§ Mr. Edwin Wainwright
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will give details of the national research programme for the development of low-cost energy from coal; and if he will make a statement on the present kind of co-operation that is taking place between the United Kingdom and other countries on such research.
§ Mr. Eadie
The annual report of the National Coal Board and the Department of Energy's annual report on research and development provide a useful account of the effort devoted nationally to improving the efficiency and reducing the cost of coal-using processes.
The Working Party on Research and Development under the Coal Industry Tripartite Group, which I chair, is studying a number of proposals made by the National Coal Board and the British Gas Corporation for the development of coal conversion technologies which will be needed to secure our future energy supplies in the long term. Details are given in the Department of Energy Press Notice dated 19th October 1977. I am sending a copy to my hon. Friend.
In the field of international co-operation, the Government are supporting National Coal Board and British Gas Corporation participation in the coal research programme of the International Energy Agency, and the NCB plays a major role in the coal research programme of the European Coal and Steel Community.