HC Deb 16 June 1997 vol 296 c57W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans she has to review the level of effectiveness of the clean coal initiative proposed by the previous Administration; and if she will make a statement. [3017]

Mr. Battle

An evaluation of the clean coal programme took place only last year and the evaluation report published in July 1996. The evaluation by an international panel of experts and involving UK industry and universities showed that the programme has been a significant value to industry by acting as a focus for collaboration and contributing to the development of the technology for both the home and export markets. The present phase of the programme is due to be completed next year and we are currently reviewing in consultation with industry, what further work may need to be undertaken. This review will take into account both the recommendations in the evaluation report and the views of the industry led Foresight Task Force on clean coal power generation.

Over the coming months the Government will be considering the balance of activities within the spending plans it inherited to ensure that they reflect the Government's priorities. The results of our review of the UK's future clean coal technology requirements will be fed into this wider exercise. Copies of the evaluation report for the clean coal programme are in the Libraries of the House.