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19 June 2024
Renewable Energy

Offshore Wind Strategy to Position Wales at ‘Forefront of Green Energy Revolution’

Welsh ports are ‘gateways to economic growth’ and work will start soon to develop a clear offshore wind strategy.

That was the message from Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Energy, and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles to the Global Offshore Wind conference in Manchester.

As part of a keynote speech to an international industry audience, the Cabinet Secretary vowed to build on a reputation in Wales for internationally pioneering offshore wind projects. He said he would put a strong focus on strategic investment, robust supply chains and developing skills to ensure that Wales is excellently placed to lead the charge towards a green energy future.

This work will start by developing and enhancing offshore capability at the strategically placed ports of Holyhead, Mostyn, Pembrokeshire, and Port Talbot, which have each had a pivotal role to play in Wales’s offshore wind successes to date.

Jeremy Miles said:

“Wales was at the forefront of one industrial revolution, and now we have the tools, the expertise and the ambition to be at the forefront of the next.

“Offshore wind is not just an energy solution; our ports are gateways to economic growth and environmental sustainability. I’m proud of the part Wales has played in leading on offshore wind energy production so far, and I’m committed to maximising the benefits to Wales by driving high-value investment in manufacturing, infrastructure and skills as we look to develop and support further projects at key sites.

“As a Government, work will soon begin with our ports to develop a clear offshore strategy, ensuring the industry has the certainty it needs, and businesses in the supply chain can be best positioned to meet demand. We want to move quickly with this, working with the industry, experts and local communities to get the very best from an industry with huge potential, not just for Wales but globally.”

The Welsh Government said its Net Zero Skills Plan was crucial to achieving a net-zero Wales.

Jeremy Miles added:

“Skills are critical to improving productivity and delivering on the economic opportunities from our transition to a net-zero Wales. I want to ensure there’s an emphasis from Government to work with the industry, trade unions, and education organisations to enhance our skills offer, and develop bespoke educational and training initiatives tailored to an offshore wind industry we know provides so many truly prosperous and sustainable opportunities.”

It comes as a report published by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) says that government decisions following next month’s General Election offer the opportunity to focus on a ‘homegrown energy transition’ which could secure the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of highly skilled people.

People currently employed in offshore oil and gas, wind and hydrogen energy production or carbon capture projects have highly transferable skills that are crucial to securing the UK’s target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it says.

The report says the UK energy sector holds the key to achieving a homegrown net zero economy that will be a blueprint for the world.

David Whitehouse OEUK Chief Executive Officer said:

“Our report shows that the offshore industry could invest £450 billion in UK energy by 2040. The path to success is a homegrown energy transition that puts people at the heart of it, builds on our industrial strengths and drives collaboration across sectors.

“With supportive policy, the industry can deliver enduring economic value, scale up our supply chain capacity, sustain skilled jobs, deliver energy security, all while delivering on our climate goals.”

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