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Environment Secretary sets out ambitions for Wales to become nation renowned for clean energy

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has yesterday set out the steps the Welsh Government will take to reduce the amount of energy used in Wales and move from its traditional association with fossil fuels to a nation renowned for its clean energy.

The Cabinet Secretary updated the Assembly on how the Welsh Government will use its devolved powers to take advantage of the many opportunities Wales has to deliver secure and affordable low carbon energy.

This includes:

  • Wales leading the way in the UK by reviewing how we can use building regulations to build new homes in Wales which are more energy efficient and cheaper to run; 
  • Supporting energy intensive industries to become more efficient;
  • Ensuring Wales secures transformational benefits from major energy projects such as Wylfa Newydd and Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon;
  • Investing in energy efficiency projects, such as Welsh Government Warm Homes Nest, which is reducing emissions associated with heating while also reducing energy bills for consumers and helping people to stay warm and healthy;
  • Support phasing out of unabated coal fired power, the most polluting form of energy generation in Wales, by 2025, and use planning powers to limit the opportunities for new coal development;   
  • Set ambitious and realistic targets for renewables, including community energy.

The Welsh Government is already supporting the development of low carbon energy projects in Wales, for example providing vital funding to support local renewable energy projects such as the Awel Aman Tawe Community Energy scheme in Swansea, but would like to do even more. 

The Cabinet Secretary used yesterday’s statement to set out her frustrations on restrictions caused by the UK Government’s energy policies. 

Lesley Griffiths said:

“Wales has huge potential to host projects which generate energy on a large scale for the UK and can bring significant benefits to Wales.

“If we are to deliver secure and affordable low carbon energy, we need an energy mix of different technologies and scales, from community level to major projects. I am keen to move this agenda forward so Wales benefits from this change rather than being left behind.

“However, it is frustrating that the UK Government continues to create uncertainty in energy policy, with decisions driving the market away from the lowest cost renewable sources and undermining investor confidence in renewable energy here in Wales. This must change.”


Channel website: http://gov.wales

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