§ Mr. Rost
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he has studied the memorandum by the National Association of Water Power Users presented in June 1975 to the Select Committee of Science and Technology (Energy Resources Sub-Committee) on the financial disincentives restricting the generation of water power; and if he has any plans to help the operators of water wheels and water turbines;
(2) if he has any proposals to discuss with the National Association of Water Power Users which will reverse the decline in hydro-power generation, encourage the restoration of abandoned water wheels, and assist the installation of new plant, in the interests of energy conservation;
(3) what representations he has received over the past year from the National Association of Water Power Users, or from individual owners of waterwheels and water turbines; what replies he has sent; and what consideration he is giving to the continuing decline in this number of operators, in the interests of energy conservation.
§ Mr. Eadie
My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations from the National Association of Water Power Users over the past year, and he has seen the Association's memorandum to the Select Committee on Science and Technology, Energy Resources Sub-Committee. As these representations were primarily concerned with the effect of the level of charges made by water authorities they were passed762W to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, who has replied to them. I understand that the National Water Council has asked the Association for examples of any hydroelectric schemes which would have gone ahead but for abstraction charges or schemes which would have been kept in operation if abstraction charges had not been applied. If the Association wished to forward to me details of any such case, or evidence of a decline in the number of operators, I would be willing to consider whether there was an aspect which my right hon. Friends could appropriately discuss.