Tuesday, 18 December 2012


In Northern Ireland there is clear evidence of some long term thinking as more than £ 44 million pounds has been approved to boost green energy generation including potentially some 1,000 megawatts of renewable wind generation. Some of the funding will go to improve the transmission network and sub stations. The Northern Ireland Executive has set a target of generating 40% of the Northern Ireland’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The Scottish Government revealed its new green energy target set at 50% of demand by 2015. The Scots have already surpassed their 31% target for 2001 by about 4%. The SNP Government has stated that the new target would help build on the current 11,000 jobs in green energy following a "bumper year" for investment, with projects estimated to be worth £2.3 billion pounds.

The Scottish government's new interim target for 2015 is included in a refreshed Routemap for Renewable Energy for Scotland. Sustainable energy generation has been boosted by the launch (in October 2012) of a £103 million pound fund for Scottish renewable energy projects. The Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) is designed to attract more private investment to the sector. Scottish priorities include wave and tidal energy, and renewable district heating.

Meanwhile in Wales...yesterday the Welsh Labour in Wales Government yesterday woke from its post Welsh general election slumbers and demanded control of large-scale energy projects in Wales. Carwyn Jones now says that the Welsh Government should have the same powers as its counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland to set energy policy – it’s a pity that he did not ask for the powers when Labour had a majority in Westminster.

The truth is that Plaid’s Jonathan Edwards MP and his colleagues in Westminster have done more (since the last Westminster general election) to try to get energy policy devolved to Wales than the whole of the Labour Party in Westminster and the Labour in Wales Government in Cardiff. The party formerly known as New Labour has had plenty of opportunities to stand up for Wales; it has just chosen to put its own party interests before those of the Welsh nation.

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