HC Deb 26 January 1998 vol 305 cc53-4W
Mr. Page

To ask the President of the Board of Trade when her Department applied to the European Commission for permission to use NFFO—non-fossile fuel obligation—funds for clean coal technology. [23794]

Mr. Battle

Policy on clean coal technology and new and renewable energy, including the non-fossil fuel obligation (NFFO), are under review. Accordingly, no application for permission to provide state aid for clean coal technology demonstration projects using NFFO-type arrangements or otherwise has been made.

Mr. Bill O'Brien

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans she has to assist the progress of clean coal technology; and if she will make a statement. [24965]

Mr. Battle

We have already initiated a number of activities to support work in this important area. These includeestablishing an industry-led task force as part of the Foresight exercise to identify the UKs research, development and demonstration requirements for the future. My Department is contributing some £50,000 to this £100,000 study by industry and universities which will be completed in the spring; supporting a number of trade missions, seminars and workshops in key export markets for UK clean coal technology expertise and components; both leading and providing financial support to a number of International Energy Agency initiatives to promote the development of clean coal technologies in developing countries which are expected to be the main market for these technologies over the next decade and beyond

My Department has just completed a review of clean coal technology which examined what further support the Government should provide to research, development and demonstration. An announcement will be made about the outcome of the review once Ministers have had time to consider the review recommendations alongside those arising from the Department's wider Comprehensive Spending Review exercise.

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