HC Deb 03 December 2003 vol 415 cc53-4W
Mr. Djanogly:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many individuals he expects to apply for grants under the Powershift initiative for the (a) conversion of vehicles and (b) for the purchase of low emission vehicles in (i) the current financial year and (ii) each of the next three financial years; [141491]

(2) what the level of unallocated funds is for grants for (a) the conversation of vehicles and (b) the purchase of low emission vehicles under the Powershift initiative, in this financial year; [141492]

(3) what the total cost has been of the Energy Saving Trust's Powershift initiative in each of the years since its commencement; [141493]

(4) what the total reduction in carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide attributable to the Powershift initiative has been in each of the years since its commencement; [141494]

(5) what steps he will take to encourage the introduction and development of (a) gas driven, (b) electric, (c) biomass fuelled, (d) hybrid low emission and (e) hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles. [141495]

Mr. Jamieson:

"Powering Future Vehicles—The Government Strategy", published in July 2002, describes the action which the Government are taking to promote the shift to clean, low carbon fuels and vehicles, including low duty rates for liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas, hydrogen and biofuels, the introduction of CO2-based graduated VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) and company car tax, and grants towards the purchase or conversion of cleaner fuelled vehicles, including electric and hybrid vehicles. The First Annual Report on implementation of the Strategy was published in October. Copies of both documents have been placed in the House Library. In this financial year the Energy Saving Trust estimate that they will provide grants for around 4000 vehicles under the PowerShift programme, compared to some 2000 vehicles last year. My Department is currently discussing with the Trust how they can support the Government's environmental objectives in future years. Estimates are not yet available for the number of PowerShift grants in future years. In the current financial year, take-up of PowerShift grants has been strong, and the year's resources have been fully allocated. However, if existing offers are not fully taken up, the resources will be allocated to organisations or individuals whose grant applications have been placed on the PowerShift waiting list. The financial outturn for PowerShift are detailed in the following table.

Financial year Outturn (£ million)
1997–98 1.684.
1998–99 2.254
1999–2000 3.837
2000–01 8.147
2001–02 9.201
2002–03 5.201
2003–041 9.125
1 Forecast outturn to end March 2004

The Energy Saving Trust is currently carrying out a detailed review of CO2 and NOx savings resulting from the PowerShift programme since its inception in 1997. This will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

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