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Written Question
Research: Career Development
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Alex Davies-Jones (LAB - Pontypridd)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how the £20 million of funding, announced on 27 May to support early career researchers, can be accessed.

Answered by Amanda Solloway

Like many sections of the economy, medical research charities have been hit hard by COVID-19. This funding to support early career researchers will help to protect the pipeline of research superstars who will have a fantastic impact, and improve patient lives, in the future. We will announce further details about the way in which this funding will be distributed by UKRI on behalf of BEIS and DHSC in due course.


Written Question
Cosmetics: Hydrogen Peroxide
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Carolyn Harris (LAB - Swansea East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to prevent the selling by online marketplaces of teeth whiteners which exceed the legal amount of hydrogen peroxide permitted for home use.

Answered by Paul Scully

Cosmetic products such as teeth whitening kits sold in the UK must meet some of the strictest safety requirements in the world and may only be placed on the market if they meet strict safety requirements, including specific restrictions on the use of potentially harmful chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) works with colleagues in local Trading Standards to take effective enforcement action where products are identified online that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects online platforms to act quickly to remove them from sale.

Through its Call for Evidence, OPSS is reviewing the UK’s product safety framework to ensure it is fit for purpose, protects consumers, and enables businesses to safely innovate and grow. The implications of non-traditional models of supply, including e-commerce, and how it has changed the way products are distributed, forms of part of the review.


Written Question
Cosmetics: Safety
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Carolyn Harris (LAB - Swansea East)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure online marketplaces are preventing unsafe cosmetic products from being listed and sold on their sites.

Answered by Paul Scully

Cosmetic products available on the UK market must meet strict safety requirements and the Government is committed to ensuring that only safe cosmetic products can be sold in the UK. Furthermore, there must be a Responsible Person established in the UK who is responsible for ensuring the cosmetic product is safe.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is engaged with online marketplaces to ensure that they are playing their part in protecting UK consumers from unsafe products. OPSS works with colleagues in local Trading Standards to take effective enforcement action where products are identified online that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects online platforms to act quickly to remove them from sale.


Written Question
Renewable Energy: Subsidies
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Fleur Anderson (LAB - Putney)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to (a) phase out the subsidies for electricity companies that burn wood from cutting down forests and (b) increase subsidies for the production of electricity from solar and wind power.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

This Government has a long tradition of supporting clean electricity, and we have announced ambitious plans to support up to 12GW capacity of renewable electricity in the next allocation round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme, which would be double what was secured in the previous round.

The Government announced in March 2020 that solar projects, onshore wind, floating wind and remote island wind will be able to bid for contracts in the next CfD allocation round, which is planned to open in December this year. The scheme has already awarded contracts to around 800MW of onshore wind and solar capacity combined, alongside 13GW of offshore wind.

We recently announced that coal-to-biomass conversions will be excluded from future CfD allocation rounds. This means there will be no new coal-to-biomass conversions under the scheme. We have no plans to remove support for biomass conversions prior to 2027 for generating stations that are already supported under the Renewables Obligation and CfD schemes.

In the Government’s response to the Climate Change Committee’s annual progress report to Parliament, we announced that we will publish a new Biomass Strategy in 2022. This strategy will review what amount of sustainable biomass could be available to the UK and how this resource could be best utilised across the economy to help eliminate the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.

Sustainable Biomass is a renewable organic material, such as food waste, wood residues or other plant material which has a wide array of applications including as a substitute for fossil-fuel based energy production, but with lower associated carbon emissions because the carbon that is released from the organic material was sequestered recently from the atmosphere, compared to fossil fuels where the carbon was sequestered millions of years ago.

The UK only supports biomass which complies with strict sustainability criteria which take into account a range of social, economic, and environmental issues including protecting biodiversity, land use rights, sustainable harvesting, and regeneration rates. They ensure that the carbon stock of the forest from which the pellets are derived is not decreased, by requiring that biomass fuels are from forest waste wood and residues and the forest owner adheres to the relevant legal requirements, to protect biodiversity and the environment.


Written Question
Renewable Energy: Hydrogen
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Peter Aldous (CON - Waveney)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the UK's potential to produce hydrogen from offshore renewable energy between (a) 2021 and 2025 and (b) 2025 and 2030.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan confirmed our aim, working with industry, for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for use across the economy.

The UK has abundant sources of renewable electricity, and the Prime Minister has made a further commitment to deploying 40 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, alongside further deployment of onshore wind.

Our ongoing work with stakeholders suggests there is a strong pipeline of electrolytic hydrogen projects ready to deploy in the 2020s, building on our existing investment in research and innovation to ensure we can achieve the scale up in low carbon hydrogen production necessary to meet our future energy needs.

The forthcoming UK Hydrogen Strategy will set out further detail on the role of hydrogen production technologies in meeting our 5GW ambition, including electrolytic projects using offshore and onshore wind as a primary electricity input. This ambition will be supported by a range of measures, including a £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, and our preferred long term, sustainable business model, which we will finalise in 2022. We will be consulting shortly on these measures, alongside the publication of the UK Hydrogen Strategy.


Written Question
Heating: Housing
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Steve Baker (CON - Wycombe)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of households that require a mains electricity and fuse upgrade to install a heat pump.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

In the ‘Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution’, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced our aim to install 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028. We estimate that, in all future heat scenarios, we will need to hit this target to remain on track for net zero. We must therefore act now to scale up supply chains and build the UK heat pump market.

Our analysis of off gas grid homes suggests that around 70% to 80% of homes would have sufficient energy efficiency and internal fuse limit electrical connections to accommodate a low temperature heat pump system. This potentially rises to around 80% to 90% with fabric upgrades including draught-proofing, cavity wall insulation, floor and loft insulation, and/or more major upgrades such as external wall insulation.


Written Question
Heating: Standards
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Steve Baker (CON - Wycombe)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish his Department's review of Microgeneration Certification Scheme Planning Standard MCS-020 relating to heat pumps.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme Planning Standard MCS-020 is maintained by the quality assurance organisation MCS. Whilst BEIS has not carried out a review of the standard, the Department is in regular contact with stakeholders regarding heat pump deployment and uptake. Recently, this has included engaging with local authorities on noise, which is one of the issues covered in MCS-020.


Written Question
Electricity Interconnectors: Morocco
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Ben Lake (PC - Ceredigion)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of proposals for a high voltage direct current transmission line from Morocco to the UK.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

The UK is supportive of electricity interconnection with other markets. We have not undertaken a specific assessment of the merits of a transmission line from Morocco to the UK. The regulation of specific interconnector projects within the existing regulatory framework is a matter for Ofgem as the independent regulator.


Written Question
Artificial Intelligence: Intellectual Property
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (LAB - Slough)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he is taking steps to review intellectual property legislation as it relates to the protection of (a) artificial intelligence technology and (b) inventions made by artificial intelligence.

Answered by Amanda Solloway

The Government conducted a call for views on artificial intelligence (AI) and intellectual property (IP) in 2020, inviting stakeholders to share their thoughts on how AI impacts on the IP framework and help our understanding of any impact IP might have for AI, in the near to medium term.

In March this year, the Government published its response and proposed eleven actions to explore issues raised in the call for views process, with the aim of providing a system better equipped to meet the Government’s wider ambition for the UK to be a leader in AI technology. These include consulting on a range of possible policy options, including legislative change, for protecting AI generated inventions which would otherwise not meet inventorship criteria and commissioning an economic study to enhance our understanding of the role the IP framework plays in incentivising investment in AI.


Written Question
Cosmetics: Hydrogen Peroxide
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (LAB - Slough)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure home teeth-whitening kits sold online do not contain dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide.

Answered by Paul Scully

Cosmetic products such as teeth whitening kits sold in the UK must meet some of the strictest safety requirements in the world and may only be placed on the market if they meet strict safety requirements, including specific restrictions on the use of potentially harmful chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) works with colleagues in local Trading Standards to take effective enforcement action where products are identified online that do not meet the UK’s product safety requirements and expects online platforms to act quickly to remove them from sale.

Through its Call for Evidence, OPSS is reviewing the UK’s product safety framework to ensure it is fit for purpose, protects consumers, and enables businesses to safely innovate and grow. The implications of non-traditional models of supply, including e-commerce, and how it has changed the way products are distributed, forms of part of the review.


Written Question
Consumer Goods: Safety
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Lisa Cameron (SNP - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) proactive and (b) reactive measures the Office for Product Safety and Standards' voluntary commitment will require online marketplaces to take in order to reduce the risks from unsafe products sold online.

Answered by Paul Scully

The Government is committed to ensuring that only safe products can be sold in the UK.

The new voluntary commitment that the Office for Product Safety and Standards is developing will build on international best practice to reduce the risks from unsafe products being sold online. This will strengthen the commitment of online marketplaces to work with UK regulators, including by taking proactive and reactive action to protect consumers.

Discussions with the online marketplaces are ongoing and more details will be announced in due course.


Written Question
Director of Labour Market Enforcement
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Gill Furniss (LAB - Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress he has made on the appointment of a new Director of Labour Market Enforcement.

Answered by Paul Scully

Cracking down on non-compliance in the Labour Market is a priority for the Government and a new Director for Labour Market Enforcement will be appointed as soon as possible. Recruitment for the role is ongoing and a successful candidate will be announced in due course.

The temporary vacancy has no impact on workers’ rights. The three enforcement bodies themselves are responsible for their overall work and enforcement responsibilities. They will continue to work hard to protect workers and bring enforcement action against employers who break the rules.


Written Question
Research: Career Development
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Alex Davies-Jones (LAB - Pontypridd)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how the £20m within his Department's Research and Development Budget Allocation announced on 27 May 2021 is planned to be used to support early career researchers.

Answered by Amanda Solloway

Like many sections of the economy, medical research charities have been hit hard by COVID-19. This funding to support early career researchers will help to protect the pipeline of research superstars who will have a fantastic impact, and improve patient lives, in the future. We will announce further details about the way in which this funding will be distributed by UKRI on behalf of BEIS and DHSC in due course.


Written Question
Nuclear Power: Hydrogen
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Peter Aldous (CON - Waveney)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the UK's potential to produce green hydrogen from nuclear energy between (a) 2021 and 2025 and (b) 2025 and 2030.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan confirmed our aim, working with industry, for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for use across the economy.

The Government welcomes the nuclear industry’s ambition to support low-carbon hydrogen production. BEIS funded EdF’s ‘Hydrogen to Heysham’ feasibility study[1] showing that current nuclear technologies are technically capable of producing low-carbon hydrogen in the 2020s. Recognising planned decommissioning and the time required to build new nuclear, we assess that the amount of hydrogen produced from nuclear in this period will be determined by the availability of nuclear power for this purpose.

The forthcoming UK Hydrogen Strategy will set out further detail on the role of hydrogen production technologies in meeting our 5GW ambition. This ambition will be supported by a range of measures, including a £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, and our preferred long term, sustainable business model, which we will finalise in 2022. We intend to support a range of low carbon production methods but will be guided by timing, volumes and other considerations to meet our 5GW ambition. We will be consulting shortly on these measures, alongside the publication of the UK Hydrogen Strategy.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hydrogen-supply-competition


Written Question
Nuclear Power: Hydrogen
15 Jun 2021

Questioner: Peter Aldous (CON - Waveney)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the production of green hydrogen from nuclear energy.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan confirmed our aim, working with industry, for 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for use across the economy.

The Government welcomes the nuclear industry’s ambition to support low-carbon hydrogen production. BEIS funded EdF’s ‘Hydrogen to Heysham’ feasibility study[1] showing that current nuclear technologies are technically capable of producing low-carbon hydrogen in the 2020s. Recognising planned decommissioning and the time required to build new nuclear, we assess that the amount of hydrogen produced from nuclear in this period will be determined by the availability of nuclear power for this purpose.

The forthcoming UK Hydrogen Strategy will set out further detail on the role of hydrogen production technologies in meeting our 5GW ambition. This ambition will be supported by a range of measures, including a £240 million Net Zero Hydrogen Fund, and our preferred long term, sustainable business model, which we will finalise in 2022. We intend to support a range of low carbon production methods but will be guided by timing, volumes and other considerations to meet our 5GW ambition. We will be consulting shortly on these measures, alongside the publication of the UK Hydrogen Strategy.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hydrogen-supply-competition