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Columnist advises Welsh to ‘head for high ground’ after Minister’s pledge to build hydroelectric dams

21 Sep 2021 2 minutes Read
Kwasi Kwarteng picture by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). The upper reservoir (Llyn Stwlan) and dam of the Ffestiniog Pumped Storage Scheme.

A newspaper columnist has advised the people of Wales to “head for high ground” after a UK Government Secretary of State suggested that he was looking into the possibility of building more hydroelectric dams.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, said that he was determined to increase the amount of hydroelectric power in Britain.

“I am fully conscious of the outstanding contribution of hydroelectric power. In fact, I was just speaking to the Norwegian Minister, and that country has 96% of its electricity derived from hydropower,” he said.

He said that he had “asked officials to look into it” to see what opportunities for hydroelectric dams existed in the UK.

Reporting on the comments in the Times, columnist Quentin Letts said: “Residents of the Welsh valleys may want to head for high ground.”

His comment was a reference to the numerous valleys in Wales that have been drowned by the UK Government to produce water and energy, including Llyn Celyn, Llyn Clywedog and Llyn Fyrnwy.

The drowning of Llyn Celyn in the 1960s was politically controversial and led to the slogan ‘Cofiwch Dryweryn’.

Wales is already home to one of Wales’ largest hydroelectric projects – the Dinorwig pumped-storage hydroelectric scheme, which was constructed in the abandoned Dinorwig slate quarry. The Ffestiniog Pumped Storage Scheme is to the south-east.

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Here we go…

Charles L. Gallagher
Charles L. Gallagher
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Back in a day, the North of Scotland Hydro Board surveyed all the possible Glens that would be suitable for Hydropower and EXCLUDED ALL where the natural beauty would be destroyed and cause local resentment.

I wonder how many sites are in the Lake District, or in the Peak District of England – I bet none!!!!

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Stick ’em all in the Pennines and wait for the god almighty row !

We could adopt the technology here in Wales but only to suit local communities who might prefer it to monster turbines all over the place.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago

Plenty of water in the Lake District.

Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
1 month ago

They really really hate us

Huw
Huw
25 days ago

How did the jrm visit go

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Tory smiles rhyme with wiles…tricks, ruses, ploys, schemes, dodges, manoeuvres, gambits, subterfuges, artifices, guile, devices, contrivances, cunning and craftiness. Just saying…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
Antonoir Jacques
Antonoir Jacques
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Cunning is very similar to a word I’d use to describe them

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Although I agree that there is (almost) always an air of the nefarious with the Tory Party (and appreciate some nice word play – good stuff), I don’t see them, or any avowed unionist party that way right now. They’re often quite explicit, quite brash, boorish even. They tend to just come out and say what they mean nowadays. Llafur Cymru’s current flirtation with the fringes of the indy movement seems closer to your statement (until I’m – hopefully – proving entirely wrong). Hate the Tory stance, thank the gods that they trumpet it loud and proud.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  CJPh

I thank you for your reply and there is much of merit in your post. His words in the Guardian today, however, support my ‘good stuff’.

Jones
Jones
29 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

You do realise that Llyn Celyn was a Labour project?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
29 days ago
Reply to  Jones

A Tory project, initiated under McMillan.

Hywel
Hywel
1 month ago

I have a (sinking) feeling that one reason Welsh independence will never be realised is precisely what has been alluded to here.

Water.

If, as has been widely predicted by Climate Scientists, that conditions across the world and our own island change drastically over the next Century, H2O will become an increasingly valuable resource. It’s one of Wales’ most important natural resources. What chance is there that the UK/English Government will allow such a precious resource to be taken out of their sphere of influence? Watch this space.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Hywel

Ssssshhhhhh! Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and the Wales Act 2017 already go some way to handing power from Westminster to the Sennedd on natural resources including water.
Cairns promised faithfully that he would give up the SoS right of veto over the environment.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

“Cairns promised faithfully…” Ha Ha that’s an oxymoron, or just the moron ?  Boy is a big time fabricator

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Hywel

Well, please remember that it’s not just us who monitor England’s moves, but Europe and the World. Any aggression is around the world in a flash.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Hywel

My mamgu said 30+ years ago ‘We can live without oil but will always need water, so I’d rather a water well than an oil well on my land’. More true now than ever.

We need to properly guard against profits from water going the same way as the coal and slate money did. Interestingly many English immigrants are angry that water rates here are higher than in England and some of the most ‘aggressive’ Welsh nationalists I know are the offspring of English parents or grandparents. We must not go quietly under the waters, again.

ToniT
ToniT
29 days ago
Reply to  Hywel

Do we not all share and profit from each other’s resources? This world is becoming so seperatist that we are all in danger of failing! Work together for the common good!

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

If these a-holes try this again, its war.

Gavin Lure
Gavin Lure
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

STFU you sorry idiot. You have all been riled up by Ifan Bach putting a picture of a black man and a dam on a complete non-story.

All so that you all come here and make nasty comments and see his clickbait links and earn him money.

He playing you ignorant snide morons for the pathetic clueless people you are!

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
29 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Lure

Yeh, right. Because absolutely no-one was aware of the condition of Wales before Nation.Cymru was established? Nation.Cymru does a good job of bringing these issues to a still-wider Welsh public, in the absence of a national print media.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

No mention of Tidal power then? Is there not some useful Geothermal energy available from some of our older mine workings too?

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

Cymru is a great site for tidal power, of various forms. And reliable and predictable output, unlike some renewables. But let’s have a good mix, with maybe some pumped storage to act as batteries.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

First separate Pumped Storage from free-flow hydro…one makes electric and money the other is expensive and for emergencies only…putting the kettle on at half-time during the World Cup etc.

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
1 month ago

The Thames valley would be an excellent site.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

Soon will be for tidal power given the rate London and parts of South East are sinking !

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Is that why they opened-up the Fenns……….instead of the Nederlands?

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

Hydro electric dams at sea are the answer our tidal power is massive and extremely predictable. It could also help boost sea defence. No more farmland or valleys should be flooded especially in Cymru, we’ve got more then our fair share.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Good idea, but will the money it makes remain here?

Maldwyn
Maldwyn
29 days ago
Reply to  j humphrys

The Crown estates would take their cut – absolute theft.

Androw Bennett
Androw Bennett
1 month ago

…And where are the solar panels on houses in England’s Home Counties? I know of one “village” (a small town in practical terms) where dozens of houses have been demolished in the last 25 years and replaced by grandiose dwellings with few, if any trees, hardly any green garden and NO solar panels. Local MP is none other than Oliver Dowden.

Thomas ROBERTS
Thomas ROBERTS
1 month ago
Reply to  Androw Bennett

????

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Flood the Thames Valley you arse.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Quornby

But what would estuary English sound like then? Some sort of blubglug language?

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
1 month ago

Wales probably has a lot of potential for small hydroelectric schemes, of similar size to Mary Tavy Power Station in Devon (supplying 1700 homes), or Fonthill Lake in Wiltshire (supplying 11 homes).

What’s needed is LOCAL thinking, perhaps including community ownership. We already have individual households selling solar power to the grid on sunny days, so it can’t be difficult!

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
1 month ago

There is plenty ofpotential capacity for community owned hydro in Cymru (which should be exempt from business rates) and as other posters have made clear plenty of potential for tidal, no dams required see the Orbital O2 in Orkney, or pumped storage (Glyn Rhonwy 100MW scheme given consent) which can utilise old industrial sites, or heat pumps using water in old mines. Control of the resource should remain in Cymru.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

I’ve warned this many times in previous posts that the Tories are indeed planning more dam building Wales. Crooked Boris Johnson indicated so years ago as London Mayor, And this news should raise alarm bells as Minister Kwasi Kwarteng can overruled our Senedd Cymru as done with Home Secretary Priti Patel did when she bypassed the our Welsh Government and the people of Pembrokeshire when she place hundreds of desperate migrants in terrible dehumanising Covid incubating conditions. Tory diktat Kwasi Kwarteng must realise that the Welsh nation will not take lightly another Tryweryn forced on us by Whitehall. Not one… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago

That is why they want to keep Wales in the UK. If England had to pay a fair price for Welsh water Wales would be a very rich country 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Gavin Lure
Gavin Lure
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

Dwr Cymru owns 91 reservoirs in Wales

United United Utilities and Severn Trent operate 2 – they pay for the maintenance and the wate

Dwr Cymru’s turnover for water charges for the entire country is approximately £350 000 000.

So in what world would Wales be very rich?

Last edited 1 month ago by Gavin Lure
CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Lure

In a world where Wales is an independent state, fully able to negotiate and set rates for our own international trade. That’s the key sticking point in the economic debate over indy – those who are against or sceptical continually fall into the trap of considering how Wales operates now. We operate as part of a UK market. Our contention is that Wales would be better off if we did it ourselves, so any contemporary examples of how things work should be moot. We won’t be Ireland, we won’t be Switzerland, we won’t be Denmark, but these are all examples… Read more »

Gavin Lure
Gavin Lure
29 days ago
Reply to  CJPh

You said Wales would be rich from water.

How so? It is important you clarify for everyone’s sake.

CJPh
CJPh
29 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Lure

In exactly the same way that many other independent states are able to monetise their natural resources, a way we are currently unable to do. Could it be bungled, could it prove to be a terrible way to generate capital, could it be mismanaged? Yes (and that is the current situation) but it’d be our responsibility, both our achievements and the failures. Right now, we’re subject to the whims of the elected officials voted in by the vast population next door. I cannot understand why the perpetual scepticism are about things we cannot know for sure and not the broader… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

This may sound like a joke but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it really was Tory thinking – flood the valleys rather than build barrages off the coast. They have no love of Labour voting communities. Undoubtedly, muscular unionism on steroids.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Wales can vote 100% Labour and it won’t affect an UK election outcome. There are no Scottish Labour MPs to boost English/UK Labour numbers so it’s permanent Conservative governments until the end. UK Labour has to support the union or accept it will never win another election. Checkmate.

j humphrys
j humphrys
29 days ago
Reply to  Huw Davies

Yes, why does Welsh Labour still believe in this tooth fairy?

Keith Howard James
Keith Howard James
24 days ago

There were plans to build reservoirs in West Yorkshire and south Oxfordshire, but were abandoned after strong local opposition. they will not have to worry about this in Wales.

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