Wales to set up a state-owned renewable energy company to tackle energy insecurity
Wales is to set up a state-owned renewable energy company to tackle energy insecurity, the cost-of-living crisis and the climate emergency.
The Minister for Climate Change, Julie James announced that a new state-owned energy developer will scale up renewable energy rollout, initially through the development of onshore wind projects on the Welsh Government woodland estate.
It is expected to launch in April 2024 and will become the only government-run company of its kind in the UK.
Surplus funds generated through the new developer will go back into the public purse to be reinvested in improving energy efficiency in homes in Wales and creating good quality, home grown, clean energy jobs.
The Minister said: “We want to harvest our wind and use it to produce power that directly benefits people in Wales.”
“We will set up a publicly-owned renewable energy developer. This is a long-term sustainable investment that puts net zero and the communities of Wales at the heart of the transition we need. ”
“We are in a climate emergency and our approach is in stark contrast to the UK Government that is focusing on fracking and fossil fuels – opposed by most communities and incompatible with our international obligations.”
“With soaring living costs and an ongoing lack of certainty around energy supply, the Minister said the current UK market was “bad for bill payers.”
The focus of Wales’ energy policy is securing a reliable and diverse energy mix that delivers local benefit.
Minister for Climate Change Julie James added:
“This is an historic moment for Wales. The cost-of-living crisis is directly related to the major increase in the cost of energy, which strengthens the need for an approach that returns more to the people of Wales.”
“If other countries are anything to go by, then we should expect considerable returns from our investment and – as we share the ambitions of these other nations – we have a genuine opportunity to produce an income that will really help us to deliver here.”
“We are taking positive action to ensure we deliver on our net zero commitments in ways that benefit our communities.”
Welsh Conservatives have called for clarity over the new Welsh government energy plan
Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Janet Finch-Saunders MS: “As we face the ever-pressing issue of climate change and the increasing cost of energy, a new approach to renewable energy is needed in Wales. Unfortunately, Labour’s new plan provides no clarity.”
“There has been no detail as to how much money is going to be invested and no clarity as to how this plan will fit with the existing Energy Service.”
“Labour ministers must listen to Welsh Conservative plans to establish a £150 million Wales Marine Energy Investment Fund to ensure Wales has access to vast amounts of clean and affordable energy.”
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