HC Deb 12 February 1993 vol 218 cc832-3W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will outline the research undertaken by his Department to date on(a) the quality and (b) pollution levels occuring when burning (i) deep-mined coal produced within the United Kingdom coalfields, (ii) open-cast coal produced within the United Kingdom, (iii) deep-mined coal from each country that exports coal into the United Kingdom and (iv) open-cast coal from each country that exports coal to the United Kingdom.

Mr. Eggar

The key aim for Government support for clean coal technology research over the past few years has been to ensure that coal can achieve its full economic potential in contributing to United Kingdom energy supply taking account of the increasing severe environmental constraints. Although our programme has focused on improving the quality and reducing the pollution levels of using United Kingdom coals, much of the research would be applicable to deep mine and opencast coal from both the United Kingdom and overseas.

The present programme is funding a portfolio of 56 projects with a value of over £114 million. Many of these projects are collaborative projects undertaken in partnership with United Kingdom industry, universities, British Coal, and overseas organisations under the auspices of the European Commission and International Energy Agency. Most of this expenditure is funding research on advanced power generation such as British Coal's topping cycle technology, alternative uses of coal—for example, British Coal's coal liquefaction project at Point of Ayr, North Wales—and coal science research with universities and United Kingdom industry.

A wide range of reports on coal quality, emissions, and technologies applicable to both United Kingdom and overseas coals are published by IEA Coal Research which forms one of the projects supported by my Department. A list of its publications are in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Tipping

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what total funding for clean coal technology, including funding by the International Energy Association, has been given in the United Kingdom for each year since 1985; and what comparable information he has for Japan and the United States of America.

Mr. Eggar

[holding answer 9 February 1993]: The International Energy Agency does not provide funds of its own, but encourages voluntary collaborative arrangements between member countries who contribute funds to a number of agreements including those based on clean coal technologies. Figures for the distribution of such funds among member countries are not readily available and I cannot add any further financial information to my previous reply in the Official Report, column 206 on 3 February 1993. The United Kingdom has, however, participated in most of the coal-related IEA agreements.

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