Greens call for Wales to get ‘a fair share’ of £4 billion windfarm bounty

Gwynt y Môr wind farm. Photo by Pasicles, licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Wales Green Party has called for Wales to get a fair share of money being generated from the auction of sites for offshore windfarms in the Irish Sea.

The crown estate, which manages land and property owned by the monarch, holds exclusive rights to lease the seabed around the British Isles, and is currently conducting its first auction of windfarm licences in a decade.

So far, the auction is estimated to have raised up to £4 billion, with the proceeds potentially boosting the Queen’s income by at least £100m a year and producing over £300m a year for the UK Treasury.

Wales Green Party leader Anthony Slaughter said the boom in value for offshore wind sites was “a clear sign” the transition to greener energy is underway but warned, “we need to ensure that this value is invested well, and that Wales gets its fair share.”

‘Value’

“The latest round of auctions demonstrates the increasing value of what, for an independent Wales, would be our territorial waters. We are clear that the value gained from use of the seabed to site wind turbines is invested for the benefit of future generations here in Wales.

“The windfarm sites that have attracted the most intense bidding are apparently in the Irish Sea. The Guardian is reporting that licences are for 10 years, meaning the auction will raise at least £4bn over a decade.

“Countries of comparable population size to Wales, such as Alaska and Norway, have invested their fossil fuel wealth in sovereign wealth funds. We need to see the value of Welsh renewable energy resources being used in a similar way.’

“The history of natural resources in Wales has been one of extraction and exploitation.

“We need to make sure that as we transition to a renewable future, the value of our common heritage is invested for the common good.”

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