Lord Callanan: My Lords, the investment in OneWeb is still subject to US court approval and regulatory clearances. The Government undertook appropriate due diligence. We will continue to ensure that this ambitious acquisition safeguards the UK’s interests and maximises future opportunities for this innovative technology. The Government have a special share that provides them with the final say over any...
Lord Callanan: The Government will invest $500 million, on an equal basis with Bharti Global Ltd. As part of the agreement, a small equity stake will be held by existing OneWeb creditors. This is not specifically designed for global national positioning systems; these satellites operate in a lower orbit for a number of missions, but primarily for earth observations and tele-communications.
Lord Callanan: Given the commercial considerations, at the time I am unable to provide further detail on our ongoing discussions. However, we will have strong representation on the board, we will be fully involved in setting the strategic direction of the business, and we will of course be discussing the future of the business and the merits of bringing in additional shareholders with our partners in due course.
Lord Callanan: The noble Lord asks a lot of questions and there is not time to address all of them. We are investing in this as a one-off strategic opportunity to own a satellite communications network, working with Bharti Global Ltd, and to support our ambition for the UK to be a pioneer of novel satellite technologies. We are delighted that our bid was successful.
Lord Callanan: As I have said, given commercial considerations, I am unable to provide further detail on ongoing discussions, but we will be discussing the future funding of the business, and the merits of bringing in additional shareholders, with our partners in due course.
Lord Callanan: We will use our golden share to full advantage for the British taxpayer. We will take all those considerations into account, but primarily national security.
Lord Callanan: As the noble Baroness recognises in her question, this is novel, cutting-edge satellite technology which we are investing in as part of our focused research and innovation in the UK. We want to become a world leader in the space sector, and this provides us with suitable strategic geopolitical opportunities to do so.
Lord Callanan: Our membership or otherwise of the European Union is not relevant to this discussion. The other shareholders are, as I said, Bharti Global Ltd and some small shareholders. We have an equal shareholding with Bharti Global Ltd and a small shareholding is held by existing OneWeb creditors.
Lord Callanan: The noble Lord asks a very good question. Through this investment we will look to leverage our influence to set the strategic direction of the business, and of course we want to see direct manufacturing the UK by both the company and its supply chain expanded.
Lord Callanan: This is, as I said, a one-off investment in a cutting-edge satellite technology company which has many applications that the UK can leverage, including defence applications and providing communications, resilience and remote operations where services are currently limited.
Lord Callanan: The noble Lord can be assured that appropriate due diligence was carried out, which showed that this investment will be commercially sound and is likely to make an economic return. As I said in response to earlier questions, we will of course discuss with existing partners and shareholders any new funding requirements for the business. Sitting suspended.
Lord Callanan: I thank noble Lords once again for their valuable contributions to this debate. The capacity market has played, and continues to play, a key role in maintaining secure electricity supplies for consumers and businesses in Great Britain. The market is tried and tested, and it is working. It has secured the capacity we need to cope with unexpected peaks in demand until 2024 at prices far lower...
Lord Callanan: My Lords, before outlining the provisions made by this draft instrument, I will briefly provide some context for the benefit of noble Lords. The capacity market is at the heart of the Government’s strategy for maintaining security of electricity supplies in Great Britain. It secures the capacity needed to meet future peak electricity demand under a range of scenarios through competitive,...
Lord Callanan: I thank noble Lords for their valuable contributions to this debate. As so often, they have strayed far and wide on the general subject of renewable energy and government support, as well as addressing the individual points made in this particular instrument. Nevertheless, in an effort to be as helpful to the House as possible, I will address most, if not all, of the points that noble Lords...
Lord Callanan: My Lords, the aim of this draft instrument is to limit the negative short-term impact on electricity suppliers of an unexpected increase in the costs of the contracts for difference—CfD—scheme as a result of measures introduced to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Before outlining the provisions, I will briefly provide some context for the benefit of your Lordships. The CfD...
Lord Callanan: My Lords, as we recover from Covid-19, the Government intend to deliver a UK economy that is stronger, cleaner, more sustainable and more resilient. As the Prime Minister set out in his speech on Tuesday, we intend to “build back better, build back greener, build back faster and to do that at the pace that this moment requires.” The UK has shown that growing our economy and cutting...
Lord Callanan: My noble friend makes a good point: we want to tackle delays in the planning system to support economic recovery, but that does not mean weakening our environmental protections. We can speed up developments while still maintaining the strong protection for the species he highlights, such as the great crested newt.
Lord Callanan: No, I do not agree with the noble Lord. Local road schemes can contribute to reducing congestion in many areas. We are still committed to our manifesto commitment of home insulation. The noble Lord will want to watch this space for further announcements.
Lord Callanan: I cannot give the noble Lord specific commitments on Bombardier’s role in this, but it is a world-class aeroplane manufacturer. This is an extremely optimistic long-term goal that the Prime Minister has set out, but we are totally committed to making progress towards it. It will be a tremendous achievement by Britain’s scientists and engineers when we achieve it.
Lord Callanan: My noble friend will understand that I cannot go into too many details on this until those announcements are made, but we believe we can get the balance right between protecting our environment on the one hand and cutting out many of the unnecessary delays in our planning system on the other.