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Energy Policy

Volume 525: debated on Wednesday 16 March 2011

10. What recent discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues and Ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government on energy policy in Wales. (45740)

The Under-Secretary of State for Wales and I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues and Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on a range of issues, including energy policy. Last week, I was pleased to call the first Welsh Grand Committee debate on energy since 2008, which gave right hon. and hon. Members a chance to debate in detail that issue, which is of vital importance to Wales.

As a result of the last Government’s policy of burying their head in the sand when it came to energy, we are facing the real prospect of power cuts. Does the Secretary of State agree that building new power plants in Wales is essential for energy security, industry and job creation?

Energy is certainly a key priority of this Government and we are working hard to ensure that the UK, including Wales, has an energy infrastructure that is fit for the 21st century.

Does the Secretary of State agree that the exciting plans of the Welsh Assembly Government to generate enough electricity for every home in Wales from non-barrage marine sources offers Wales an energy future, like that of Ireland and Scotland, that will be nuclear free and renewables rich?

I am not sure that I caught the drift of the hon. Gentleman’s question, but I have always welcomed the work that is being done to enable Wylfa A to continue to generate low-carbon electricity for a further two years until 2012. I was also delighted that Wylfa was chosen as the site for a potential new station in the future.

This Government have put the environment at the heart of their energy policy. Last week, I attended the launch of Norman Electrical Ltd, a small business in my constituency that is working with households and businesses to invest in renewable technologies. Will the Secretary of State join me in welcoming such start-ups and do what she can, with colleagues, to help Wales to become central to the renewable technology sector in the UK?

Yes, I join my hon. Friend in congratulating the company in her constituency. If all 26 million households in the United Kingdom take up our green deal over the next 20 years, employment in that sector could rise from its present level of 27,000 to something approaching 250,000, working all around the UK to make our housing stock fit for a low-carbon world.