Plaid Cymru's leader in the UK Parliament has condemned the government's failure to invest in renewable energy and insisted that the National Assembly for Wales must be given powers over large-scale energy projects.
Elfyn Llwyd MP was speaking after the government confirmed that the Severn Barrage would be scrapped. While welcoming this decision, he said that the government should be investing in other renewable energies in the Severn Estuary.
“The Severn Barrage was always an expensive ‘silver bullet’ pushed by the Labour Party to show their supposedly green credentials,” insisted Llwyd.
He said that Labour had missed the opportunity to “invest in smaller, sustainable and more credible renewable energy schemes in the area, such as tidal lagoons and a tidal reef which would have generated significant energy but with less environmental damage”.
But he added, “The ConDem government however, is following an equally unimaginative route which lacks any aspirational vision for future energy development. The failure to invest in renewable energy in the Severn Estuary shows why it is so important that energy powers be devolved to the National Assembly for Wales.”
Plaid Cymru, whose name means “Party of Wales”, is currently in coalition with Labour in the devolved Welsh government, but the two parties are gearing up to campaign against each other in the Welsh Assembly elections in May 2011. Plaid is a socialist party with an aim of an independent Wales within the European Union.
“In Wales, we have huge natural resources and we would prioritise the development of sustainable, renewable energy,” insisted Llwyd, “The lands of the Crown Estate off the Welsh shoreline and powers to develop major energy infrastructure must also be devolved immediately to the Welsh Assembly if we are to make any realistic progress on these important issues.”