Wales economy boost by £2.3bn because of the Welsh wind?

6 Feb

Research has been carried out and found that onshore wind projects may well inject £2.3bn into the Welsh economy before 2050. The study, ‘Economic Opportunities for Wales from Future Onshore Wind Developments’ was produced by Regeneris Consulting and Cardiff Business School. In addition it has stated that around 2,000 jobs may be added to the economy annually if Welsh government desires for onshore wind are met. The Welsh government’s objective is to see 2,000MW of installed onshore wind capacity by 2025.

Labour MP Alan Whitehead scheduled an amendment to the Energy Bill that would guarantee electricity emissions do not exceed 50 grams per kWh by 1st January 2030. Whitehead said the alteration would bring a clear indication to investors and that it already has the backing of the secretary of state.

A problem that has been identified for the industry is a lack of grid infrastructure, particularly in mid Wales, as are constraints on the roads. Plans for wind energy projects have sparked protests from objectors in mid Wales, fearing the impact on roads, the landscape and local communities.

Peter Ogden, director of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW), said: “The whole point of a planning system is to be democratic and democracy means taking everybody’s view into account and not just one sector. It needs to be democratic, it needs to be inclusive and it needs to be comprehensive in terms of making sure all impacts are taken into account. Slowing down the process doesn’t necessarily mean you end up with a worse outcome.”

The Welsh government requests the UK government to entrust control of planning decisions for the biggest energy projects – those with a capacity of more than 50 megawatts – but the request has been prohibited by Westminster.

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