Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Our country is pretty well off when it comes to natural renewable resources for energy production, I am glad to see that we are finally beginning to follow Scotland's example of harnessing the potential of renewable energy. A generation scheme off Ynys Mon , promoted by Marine Current Turbines and RWE npower renewables plans to generate a fifth of the island's electricity needs from the £70m project, with seven turbines between the Skerries and Carmel Head acting as underwater windmills, if the plans are approved. 

There are other potential spots where we can generate sustainable energy not to mention the readily exportable skills and technologies that can help to sustain and develop our economy over the next decades and help to tackle Climate Change. Here in Wales, when it comes to power generation there are real job opportunities; there is absolutely no reason why the renewable energy sector can not play an immensely important role in creating more green energy jobs not to mention sustainable secure and safe energy supplies.

There is a need to create a decentralised power generation system which will create sustainable long-term jobs for local people, not damage the environment and contribute to providing our local communities with a long-term viable economic energy future. Sadly I suspect that there will be little new from David Cameron's Con Dem's over the next few years - if the coalition lasts that long - and even less leadership on the green energy issue. It need not be this way, away from the Westminster village and the dead hand of Whitehall, things are already happening.

In Scotland, the Scottish Government has plans to tackle the threat of Climate change, with plans for a 42% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, rising to 80% by 2050. These proposals which were first unveiled last year are far more ambitious than anything that has been proposed in Westminster in recent years, where the 2020 target (set before the Con Dems came to power) for cutting carbon emissions has been set at 34%. The Scottish Government has already set out a wide-ranging vision to address climate change, which includes a drive to boost renewable energy such as wind and wave power.

Scottish Ministers also aim to see significant progress in boosting the energy efficiency of buildings, increase the number of electric vehicles on the roads and aim to cut in emissions across the farming and rural sector. This is serious forward thinking on the part of the Scottish government as energy experts have for several years been consistently warning of a serious future shortfall in Britain's energy supplies.

This will be as a result of the rapid depletion of Britain's North Sea gas reserves, the increasingly tough regulations on carbon emissions from Britain's ageing coal-fired power plants and the planned decommissioning of 14 of 15 existing nuclear generating stations by 2025.

Now is definitely the time for control of energy policy to be devolved to the National Assembly and time for some original non nuclear thinking and a fundamental sea change in attitude from government in Wales when it comes to energy policy. Imagine what we could do if the National Assembly possessed similar powers to develop the alternative energy sector here in Wales as in Scotland.

In Wales, we need real direction when it comes to the development of safe and secure energy resources, power generation can provide the potential for real sustainable long term job opportunities; the renewable energy sector can and should play an immensely important role in creating more green energy jobs.

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