Wednesday, 6 June 2012

SO MUCH HOT AIR...

By the time the dust settles around the draft Energy Bill (rolled out at Westminster on the 22nd May) the best that can probably be said about it is that was a missed opportunity because of the failure to include the devolution of energy planning powers to the National Assembly. Plaid’s Jonathan Edwards MP, put forward legislation (Electricity Generation (Wales) Bill ) to devolve energy generation planning powers to Wales (last January), but that idea was voted down by Labour in Wales and Conservative MPs in Westminster – so much for standing up for Wales! At present, the Welsh Government only has powers to decide on energy proposals up to 50MW on land and 1MW on sea. One direct result of this state of affairs is that the recent decision to grant permission for the Pen y Cymoedd windfarm in south Wales (which will generate an estimated 250MW) was made by the Secretary of State in London and not by the Welsh Government in Cardiff. Another result is that all the hot air generated by the Welsh First Minister on energy infrastructure development is largely meaningless as along as his colleagues in Labour in Wales (in Westminster) and their Conservative friends in London continue to refuse to allow our country to make its own energy decisions.

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