Launching ‘Energy Wales: A Low Carbon Transition’, the First Minister Carwyn Jones has set out how energy is a golden opportunity for Wales.
The commitments include:
- Working to make every pound of investment in energy contribute to Wales’ economy and long-term wealth.
- Improving the planning and consenting regime.
- Working to put in place an improved energy Infrastructure.
- Focusing on maximising the value from the energy projects of greatest benefit such as energy efficiency and the Anglesey Energy Island programme, which includes the new nuclear power station.
- Providing support to Welsh businesses to enable them to compete for energy contracts to maximise the number of jobs and economic benefits.
- Developing the Welsh workforce to meet the industry’s needs through access to high quality apprenticeships, Skills Growth Wales and Jobs Growth Wales programmes and through science, technology, engineering and mathematics in our schools.
- Ensuring communities have access to advice, expertise and funding to harness renewable energy.
- Bringing the significant expertise in Wales together to position Wales at the forefront of innovation, research and development in unlocking the energy from our seas and leading the way to smart living.
The First Minister said:
"Energy is a defining issue for our generation and an issue on which, as a government, I am determined that Wales will lead. Our ambition is to create a low carbon economy that delivers a wealthy future for Wales. At every step along the way, we must make sure Wales takes full advantage of the potential for jobs and long term economic development, an aim which is especially important in the current economic climate.
"There is no escaping the challenges of climate change and energy security. However, these challenges are also a golden opportunity for Wales to lead the way in creating a low carbon economy and lay the foundations for a better future and maximise the long term benefits to Wales at every stage along the way.
"Last year the renewable and low carbon sectors supported 29,000 jobs in Wales. I want to see these figures increase and see Wales securing the highest possible number of the 250,000 additional jobs predicted for the energy sector in the UK in the coming years. Business is essential to our energy and our economic future. We therefore aim to build on Wales’ reputation – working in partnership with the industry – to ensure that we are not only ‘open for business’, but are once again seen as a global centre for energy. We recognise that we must create a stable environment for long-term investment as well as supporting our vital energy intensive industries through this transition."
Environment Minister John Griffiths said:
"Wales, like the rest of the world, is working hard to make the move to more sustainable, low carbon energy. It is vital that we do this in a way that is sensitive to the needs of our communities, creates sustainable, local jobs and supports Wales’ wider economy. As a government we are committed to working in partnership – with private, public and social sectors – to make this a reality."