§ Mr. Norman Lamont
It is estimated that the proportion of electricity supplied by the public supply system in the United Kingdom generated by coal in 1979 was about 71 per cent. For 1974 the comparable figure was about 57 per cent.
§ Mr. Lamont
I cannot say what will happen this year. I agree with my hon. Friend that the figures represent satisfactory progress. At present the CEGB does not have any plans to construct new coal-fired stations, although studies have been undertaken of possible developments at a number of other sites.
§ Mr. Gordon Wilson
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there are reports that the AGR developments at Torness and Heysham are already falling behind schedule? Does he not conclude that it would be better to obtain more generation of electricity from coal rather than nuclear power, where the problems still exist and are manifest?
§ Mr. Lamont
We have to do both. We have to have a diversified system. The existing nuclear power stations on the grid system have supplied electricity at extremely competitive prices.
Mr. John H. Oshorn
I welcome the decision that has been taken on the first major cross-Channel transmission link. What are my hon. Friend's proposals for transporting coal via transmission line to our fellow EEC members?
We have none at present. The cross-Channel link will enable us to use spare capacity on the system.