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Maximising the benefit energy can deliver for Wales

Wales is open for business and we want it to be viewed as a business-friendly nation.

It is our aim to ensure that Wales is at the front of the low carbon energy agenda, and the move to a low carbon, low-waste and hi-tech economy. We are prepared to do all we can to ensure that Wales is recognised – globally – as an attractive location for energy investment.

But our clear focus is on energy for Wales. Our responsibility is to Wales. We are acting on energy to ensure that Wales – notwithstanding global pressures and the energy powers that rest with UK Government – shapes its energy future to the long term benefit of our businesses and our communities.

Our aim is to unlock and harness Wales’ energy resources to maximise economic, social and environmental benefits for the people of Wales. We believe that our action on energy can and will generate wealth and deliver jobs and investment.

In this Government term we will ensure:

  • Wales benefits economically from energy developments
  • our communities benefit from energy developments
  • a focus on energy projects of greatest potential benefit.

What we have done

We are supporting the Anglesey Energy Island Programme (external link). This enables people, businesses and infrastructure to be competitive and secure employment and sourcing opportunities.  

We have created 3 energy focused enterprise zones in Anglesey, Snowdonia and the Haven Waterway.

Through our engagement, the onshore wind industry has agreed to contribute to an economic and community benefit register. This will help the industry communicate how they are delivering for Welsh businesses and communities. It will also enable knowledge sharing for communities.

We have been working with the Energy and Utility Sector Skills Council (external link) to evaluate skills gaps and shortages in the energy sector. A programme to fill short term skills gaps has been created and will be delivered by the end of 2014. Longer term skills programmes are being developed.

We have developed a collaborative and targeted supply chain approach. An example of where this has been used is Vattenfall’s Pen y Cymoedd onshore wind scheme (external link) on Natural Resources Wales managed woodland estate. The scheme is expected to have significant Welsh content in their supply chain and deliver a 25 year community benefit package.

Our Arbed scheme will invest up to £45m in three years to 2015, with a further £100m in our Nest fuel poverty scheme over the five years to 2016.

The Ynni’r Fro scheme (external link) supports Welsh businesses and communities to develop small scale renewable projects. Ynni’r Fro has responded to over 190 expressions of interest from communities in Wales since 2010. They are supporting 24 projects – 12 wind and 12 hydro. These projects are expected to be operational by April 2015.  

To read about all the progress, read the First Minister’s oral statement on the progress of Energy Wales.