IT’S taken a war to persuade politicians that it’s perhaps time to take a more realistic look at energy production in the UK.
Westminster’s mad rush to ‘net-zero carbon’ appears increasingly misjudged in view of the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, with energy costs already rocketing at present and people’s fuel bills affected negatively.
With Boris Johnson now commissioning a new ‘energy paper’ to push for more energy self-sufficiency, it’s also a good time to remind everyone that Wales is already ahead of the curve in some respects.
And that we could achieve so much more as a nation with full energy independence.
‘Wales is already a net exporter of electricity and renewable energy as it is right now’ said Gwlad Leader, Gwyn Wigley Evans.
‘When we get the right to fully develop hydro, off-shore wind, and tidal power as well, we can be a prosperous nation at last.’
Mr. Evans said that Wales also had substantial gas reserves which could also be considered as part of Wales’s energy mix for the future.
But that it was very clear that highly-subsidised, and energy-ineffective onshore wind farms had to be scaled back.
He added that whatever u-turn Westminster decided to make on energy production, Wales was very well positioned to become an energy-rich nation in its own right.
‘The past injustices with energy production in Wales should also fuel our efforts in this direction’ he said.
‘And of course this injustice is still going on when you consider that Westminster have announced that it’s the Welsh Taxpayer – you and I – who will now have to pay to make coal tips safe here’.
‘So, essentially, the same people who stole the people’s donations towards Aberfan, are saying we have to pay again! ‘
The current energy crisis also makes the Welsh Government’s decision to set aside 60% of its capital budget towards green-related projects even more problematical.
It appears that looking virtuous on the UK stage and bowing to the vociferous environmental lobby is the main driving force for Welsh Labour at present.
With precious little attention given to more practical and pragmatic considerations such as encouraging mass house insulation, installing heat pumps etc. which could reduce people’s fuel bills in the short term.
It looks like a perfect storm is upon us with energy issues and other cost of living matters impinging on everyone right now.
There are even reports that petrol prices could hit £1.80 to £1.90 a litre here in Wales by the end of this week, which would be ruinous for drivers and for people in rural areas in particular.
And with gas and electricity prices soon to rise 60%, and cost of food and other items also going up, it’s going to be a tough year to say the least.
Perhaps it will concentrate people’s minds on the pressing need to become much more self-sufficient energy-wise, so as to be more resilient in the face of external problems.
And Wales has got an excellent case to make in that particular debate.