Written Ministerial Statements — Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (5 Jul 2018)
Greg Clark: As part of the Industrial Strategy, the Government committed to making the most of the UK’s strengths, so we can be at the forefront of new technologies and emerging industries in the years ahead. The construction sector is fundamental to our economy as we invest in our future; building the homes and infrastructure we rely on. The Construction Sector Deal aims to drive a substantial...

Written Ministerial Statements — Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy (28 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: As part of the Industrial Strategy, the Government committed to making the most of the UK’s strengths, so we can develop the technologies that will transform existing industries and create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the United Kingdom. The nuclear sector is an undoubted strength of our economy and one of the most advanced in the world, from research, fuel production,...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales has been vigorously engaged in making sure that every aspect of the analysis of this project has been conducted, including the impact on the local economy. The hon. Lady is familiar with the figures and the economics of the project, and because she is aware of the proposal she knows of its distance from being value for money, which causes...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: The Swansea city deal, to name one case in point, will be welcomed by the hon. Gentleman. In terms of planning for the future, making commitments that put on bill payers or taxpayers costs that are three times higher than are justified is no strategy for the long term. To saddle businesses and industries with such costs is a strategy for uncompetitiveness.

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: On the hon. Gentleman’s last point, my understanding is that the Welsh Government support the option of a third runway at Heathrow; I am not sure whether that is a co-ordinated position. The hon. Gentleman asked a number of questions. I understand his disappointment that we have not been able to approve the proposal, but he will know that we all—be it the UK Government or the...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: I can confirm that. Anyone who has concentrated on this proposal and seen the assessment that has been made would conclude that my hon. Friends and I have left no stone unturned in looking at all possibilities that might improve the economic case. However, when the conclusion is that something is so much more expensive than other low-carbon technologies, we have to follow that evidence and...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: The commitment given was to enter into discussions to see whether the project could be financed. We have done that rigorously, including with the Welsh Government. I think there have been more than 10 meetings with the Welsh Government this year alone to consider whether this was possible and to make sure we were looking at every possibility. The conclusion we have drawn is that it cannot be...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: The hon. Gentleman would accept that the commitment that I have given to pursue alternative energy sources, including projects in his constituency, has been clearly demonstrated. Of course we are open to innovation—we fund innovation. The assessment by independent experts is that the prospective cost reduction for this technology is not the same as that enjoyed by offshore wind. When it...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: The hon. Gentleman and I engage closely with the steel industry. In fact, the steel content of the proposed lagoon would have been about a third of a month’s output of the Port Talbot plant. He knows perfectly well that one of the challenges facing the steel industry in this country is energy prices. I would have thought that he would want to take steps to reduce the burden of energy...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: The hon. Gentleman represents a country that has prospered from the development of the offshore wind industry. The truth is that if a decision had been taken to subsidise this proposal, that money would have come out of the budget for offshore wind, which would have led to job losses in Scotland and elsewhere around the United Kingdom. He mentions a proposed subsidy. The truth is that if a...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: My right hon. Friend is correct to point to the amortisation. As someone who has spent a career in finance, he is aware that in discounting the value of earnings in future generations, the great majority of the value is in the earlier years, and that has been the standard basis of the assessment made. What has not been taken into account is the prospective decommissioning cost of the proposed...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: I will. I welcome my hon. Friend’s remarks. We have a substantial programme of investment in innovation. Indeed, when it comes to the costs, to pay £30 billion more than is required to generate the same amount of electricity crowds out the ability to fund genuine projects that can reduce the price of energy.

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: The hon. Lady will know, as Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, that the Government’s programme of renewables has resulted in the biggest reduction in the cost of the deployment of renewables that we have seen in this country, and that deployment has increased threefold. The success of that strategy is evident. I was asked by many Members, the Welsh...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: Of course we look at energy security, and having a diverse energy supply is important. In so doing we have to look at the contribution that is being made, and it is much more cost-effective to diversify our energy by commissioning sources that, in many cases, are a third cheaper than what is proposed. We can do more of it if we adhere to value for money.

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: I saw the evidence given to the Committee inquiry chaired by my hon. Friend and the hon. Member for Leeds West (Rachel Reeves). He is right that we made a commitment, in approving Hinkley Point C, that future projects had to come in at a lower price. I think it is the case that evidence to the inquiry cited a strike price on a comparable basis of not £92.50, but £150, which...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: My hon. Friend is right that it is important to take a long-term and strategic approach. That is exactly what we did with offshore wind, identifying a technology in which the supply chain could be located in the UK and creating jobs right across the country. That has been a great success. The opposite of that, however, would be to spread very thinly very expensive projects that do not, as the...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: The right hon. Gentleman will see from the analysis, and indeed from the conclusions that Charles Hendry and others have pointed to, that the technology inherent in the construction of the lagoon programme—whether building sea walls or the turbines—is not subject to the same degree of cost reduction as other energy technologies. We will be very open about this and publish whatever...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: My hon. Friend is right that £700 per household across the UK cannot be justified, either for consumers in Wales or in any of our constituencies.

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: I know that my hon. Friend has been a great champion for this technology and that he will be disappointed with the conclusion that has had to be reached. At the point of considering any proposal, we are required to examine the cost of alternatives, and the costs of low-carbon alternatives, including offshore wind and nuclear, were more competitive than those for this programme. It is not...

Energy Policy (25 Jun 2018)
Greg Clark: I will indeed. We have an energy innovation fund that can bring forward new technologies, but when it comes to the point of mass deployment, they have to be value for money and show that consumers and taxpayers will not see increased bills as a result.


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