Why Ireland's Wind Turbines Could Be Good News for Wales; National Assembly for Wales' Deputy Presiding Officer, David Melding, Outlines Why It Is So Important That Wales Is at the Forefront of Anglo-Irish Energy Agreements

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THE UK Government is considering plans to import wind power from Ireland to the National Grid through cables under the Irish Sea to North and West Wales.

Under the proposals, energy created by 700 wind turbines in the Midlands region of Ireland would be sent through cables which would resurface at two locations in Wales at Pentir, near Caernarfon, and another in Pembrokeshire.

The PS6bn project could transfer enough energy to power up to three million homes.

But for Wales, this is more than just about meeting UK government renewable energy targets.

It has huge potential for the local economies of North and West Wales in particular, but the wider Welsh economy in general.

Not only will it create jobs through the building of the infrastructure, but it will also provide long-term employment when it is up and running.

There is also the knock-on effect on the service and retail sectors in those areas, as well as putting Wales on the renewable technologies map.

Of course when looking at developing these kinds of projects, we must ensure that the views of those local communities, that could be affected, are taken into consideration. But it is this sort of issue and project, that myself and my colleagues will be discussing at the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Donegal next week.

Energy is the theme of the Plenary session, and in particular clean and sustainable energy, and how Britain and Ireland can work together to achieve mutual goals.

The delegation of National Assembly Members will be ensuring Wales' voice is heard in these discussions, particularly as we are going to be at the forefront of any energy-sharing projects such as the one I outlined above. …