Plans for more offshore wind farms spark renewed calls for devolution of Crown Estate
Plaid Cymru has renewed calls for the Crown Estate to be devolved to Wales, following the announcement that the UK Treasury could earn £43bn in rents from proposed wind farms off the Welsh coast.
The Crown Estate today announced plans to generate 4GW of electricity through floating winds farms off the coast of Wales, the tender for which will start in 2023.
Research commissioned by the Crown Estate also suggests a further 20GW of floating offshore wind capacity could be established in the Celtic Sea by 2045.
Powers over the Crown Estate in Wales are currently held in Westminster, with 25% of revenues going to the Royal Family and the remainder to the UK Treasury.
The Crown Estate in Scotland was devolved to the Scottish Government in 2017.
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for Energy, Delyth Jewell MS said: “While there is a green goldrush off our shores, Wales will remain a mere spectator in the rush to capitalise from our natural resources.
“Plaid Cymru has long called for the economic levers and powers over the Crown Estate to be devolved to Wales, and now it’s crystal clear to see why this is so important.
“Instead of people of Wales being the ones who benefit from the leasing of our seabed, all the profits will disappear into UK Treasury, with a large chunk going to the Royal Family.
“Put simply, the resources of Wales, should be governed by the Government of Wales, for the people of Wales.
“Devolving the Crown Estates’ Welsh territorial assets would allow us to align them with Welsh decision-making and priorities and provide us with the means to use our resources to invest in our green future.
“So let’s bring our natural resources and their rents closer to home and devolve the Crown Estate to Wales.”
The value of the marine holdings held by the Crown Estate, including much of Wales’ seabed, has jumped 22% in a year.
The Crown Estate reported annual results last month, generating £313m in net revenue profit for the public purse in the year to the end of March.
That was a £43m improvement on the prior twelve months.
The value of the estate’s portfolio also jumped in the period, rising more than 8% to £15.6bn, driven by an increase in the value of the company’s marine holdings, which include most of Wales’ seabed, which jumped 22 per cent to £5bn.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.