Debates between Lord Bradshaw and Lord Callanan during the 2019 Parliament

Steel Sector

Debate between Lord Bradshaw and Lord Callanan
Monday 12th July 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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I understand the points that the noble Baroness makes. My noble friend Lord Grimstone is looking forward to considering the outputs of the procurement task force. However, we should recognise the importance of continuing to treat suppliers equally and fairly through open competition. Keeping our procurement market open to international competition ensures better value for taxpayers and for UK industry.

Lord Bradshaw Portrait Lord Bradshaw (LD) [V]
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Can the Minister tell the House what proportion of the steel being used now in HS2 construction is British steel, and whether any effort is being made to ensure that more British steel is used there?

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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For HS2, our 2021 steel procurement pipeline estimates that 1.95 million metric tonnes of steel are required in phases 1 and 2. So far, all reported structural steel used has been UK-produced.

10-point Plan: Six Months On

Debate between Lord Bradshaw and Lord Callanan
Wednesday 19th May 2021

(3 years, 1 month ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Bradshaw Portrait Lord Bradshaw (LD) [V]
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I have given notice to the Minister that I wish to concentrate on the role of the national grid. On a number of occasions that I have come across, the national grid has been shown to be operating at margins that are very close. For example, and this is an instance that I am familiar with, if you want to run a couple more freight trains up the east coast main line, immediately the shout goes up, “The power supplies will not support this!” It is the case that throughout the economy a lot of people are going to have to spend a lot more money on electricity both to charge their cars and run their trains, particularly freight trains. I am something of a hydro-sceptic, but even if you want hydrogen you are going to have to spend electricity money on it.

When I looked today at National Grid’s shareholders, many of them could hardly be described as friends of Great Britain. The sorts of friends that you see in that list are perhaps not always the sort with which you wish to be associated. So my question for the Minister is: is Ofgem up to the job of making sure that National Grid is preparing plans so that the electricity is available to do many of the things to which he has drawn attention? This is possibly a national fault, but we run too close to the margin and then, when we want to do something a bit extra, find that we cannot.

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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The noble Lord has drawn attention to some important questions. Of course, as we proceed with decarbonisation there will be an inevitable rise in electricity use and in the dispersion of electricity sources as we move away from fixed nodes to more dispersed forms of power generation. He is right to draw attention to the important role that Ofgem and the regulators, working in close partnership with the grid operators, will need to play to ensure that there is sufficient capacity, and I reassure him that we are doing exactly that. The Energy White Paper gave a commitment that the Government would consult on a strategic policy statement for Ofgem during the course of 2021, so we will absolutely ensure that it is up to the job—fit, battle-ready and taking part in important debates, negotiations and strategies to ensure that there is sufficient electricity capacity to meet the demand that he refers to.

Travel Agents

Debate between Lord Bradshaw and Lord Callanan
Monday 23rd November 2020

(3 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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I will certainly have a look at the issue that my noble friend refers to, but I think the guidance has been very clear and most sectors of industry have been rigorously applying it.

Lord Bradshaw Portrait Lord Bradshaw (LD) [V]
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I believe that the advent of a vaccine gives a real glimmer of hope that the people working, as travel agents are, to the future have a lot to look forward to, provided they can get through the probably three months that we will have to wait until the industry starts to recover. I am quite happy that, if the Government believe they have made things clear so that people know what help is there, they have in fact done all we can ask.

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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I thank the noble Lord for his support. The developments on the vaccine are encouraging. It is not my area of responsibility, but we all have our fingers crossed that the vaccine will prove successful, and that we will be able to help the industry through its current short-term difficulties and that it has a bright future ahead.

Clean Growth Fund

Debate between Lord Bradshaw and Lord Callanan
Wednesday 28th October 2020

(3 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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I can reassure the noble Lord that it is open to UK companies. I am pleased to say that Wales is still part of the United Kingdom, so all Welsh companies will be able to benefit. I do not have the precise number of Welsh companies that expressed an interest, but if that information is publicly available I will write to him with it.

Lord Bradshaw Portrait Lord Bradshaw (LD) [V]
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Can the Minister tell us whether the Clean Growth Fund will take into account only companies that are commercially viable, or is it expected to take into account net gains to society, such as reduced emissions or biodiversity gain?

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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I can reassure the noble Lord that the fund is indeed targeted at companies that are commercially viable. It is run by a commercial fund manager and there are private sector investments alongside government investment. The Government play no role in allocating investments, but the fund is looking for commercial investments that will provide a return.

Energy: Hydrogen

Debate between Lord Bradshaw and Lord Callanan
Thursday 17th September 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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We are closely examining all these matters. The noble Lord makes a good point and these matters will be addressed in the hydrogen strategy, when it is published in due course.

Lord Bradshaw Portrait Lord Bradshaw (LD) [V]
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I believe that industry is very anxiously awaiting the hydrogen strategy to which the Minister refers. As other noble Lords have said, green hydrogen, which does not produce CO2, is relatively easy to make using the surplus energy we have, most of it from wind. The strategy must make great efforts in that direction.

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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Green hydrogen is relatively easy to make from electrolysis but it uses large amounts of electricity, so we need to work on improving the technology. However, these are all factors that we are already working on with industry in the Hydrogen Advisory Council, which will advise us on the next steps forward with the hydrogen strategy.

Renewable Energy

Debate between Lord Bradshaw and Lord Callanan
Tuesday 15th September 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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As the noble Lord said, we have a tremendous record in deployment of renewables. Renewable capacity in the UK has gone from less than 9 gigawatts at the start of 2010 to almost 47 gigawatts at the start of 2020. We certainly hope to increase that rapid deployment.

Lord Bradshaw Portrait Lord Bradshaw (LD) [V]
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Could the Minister talk about the future of interconnectors and whether more are planned to give the security of supply to which he referred?

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan (Con)
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As the noble Lord correctly said, a number of very successful interconnector projects already exist and will exist in the future. We think they will make a valuable contribution to our energy mix and to providing security of supply.

UK Internal Market: White Paper

Debate between Lord Bradshaw and Lord Callanan
Wednesday 29th July 2020

(3 years, 10 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan
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The free ports policy is unaffected by this legislation. If the power exists for devolved Administrations to create them, it is unchanged by this legislation.

Lord Bradshaw Portrait Lord Bradshaw (LD) [V]
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I have a simple question, of which I have given the Minister notice. Good public transport is essential to the functioning of the union, but public transport is at present in a very weak condition. This could be remedied by a strong message from government that public transport is safe and, to help keep it that way, you should wear a mask. Also, since the coronavirus, travel patterns have changed, particularly season-ticket journeys, and the overdue fares provision is a key factor for the Government. Can we expect an announcement imminently?

Lord Callanan Portrait Lord Callanan
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While that is not the subject of this legislation, I can reassure the noble Lord that the Government’s proposals on the UK internal market will not impact on the transport system between the constituent parts of the UK. I totally accept his wider concerns on the need to revive the public transport industry. I believe he is in correspondence with my ministerial colleague, my noble friend Lady Vere, and I am sure she will respond to him shortly.