Potential impact of green deal
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out a 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution to create and support up to 250,000 British jobs.
The PM says the blueprint will allow the UK to forge ahead with eradicating its contribution to climate change by 2050 and will mobilise £12bn of Government investment.
It covers areas from low carbon energy production to ‘Jet Zero’ planes – potentially putting North Wales in a important position on any strategy.
How North Wales could be affected?
What UK Government said: “Producing enough offshore wind to power every home, quadrupling how much we produce to 40GW by 2030, supporting up to 60,000 jobs.”
Impact on North Wales: This commitment to a huge increase in wind power could be a blessing or curse for North Wales – depending on your views on wind turbines.
The region already has hundreds of turbines off the north coast – investment that does bring jobs in maintaining those sites.
Going forward there are plans for the new Awel y Môr wind farm to the west of Gwynt y Môr.
This could bring another 100+ turbines off the coast and with Mr Johnson’s commitment the assumption would be that schemes like this will be approved.
It could prove politically challenging though with Conservative MS
Janet Finch-Saunders – who backs nuclear, tidal and hydrogen – among those concerned about the potential impact on the coastline of more windmills.
The ambition could bring back proposals for the 2.2GW Rhiannon wind farm – that was planned for 12 miles off the north coast of Anglesey.
This 440 turbine scheme was scrapped in 2014 with developers saying it was “economically unviable” with current technology.
Plans for the region to accommodate more windmills could come with demands for a greater jobs premium by bringing some elements of turbine manufacturing to the area.
What UK Government said: Working with industry aiming to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, developing the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.
Impact on North Wales: Welsh Government has given investment funds to early development works for hydrogen hubs in Holyhead and Deeside.
In Holyhead the project is in the development stage for setting up a potential hydrogen production plant and fuelling/distribution hub – to enable the development of an embryonic hydrogen economy in Ynys Môn/Anglesey and north west Wales.
The project provides the platform for the decarbonisation of the transport sector at scale in the Holyhead area and further afield.
There is the potential for a ‘Hydrogen Highway’ along the A55 and Bangor University and Menai Science Park are looking in to further research on this.
Managing Director of M-Sparc, Pryderi Ap Rhisiart said: “There’s an opportunity here for North Wales to excel in the green recovery and Hydrogen clearly has a role to play.”
Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn, has held a meeting with the Minister for Business and Industry Nadhim Zahawi to press the case for investment.
Airbus has also revealed three concept designs for the world’s first zeroemission commercial aircraft –powered by hydrogen.
The aerospace giant says the new planes could enter service by 2035 as they spelt out their commitment to cut emissions.
What UK Government said: £525 million to help develop large and smaller-scale nuclear plants, and research and develop new advanced modular reactors.
Impact on North Wales: The region has a huge stake in nuclear with the potential for developments at Wylfa on Anglesey and Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd to bring hundreds of future jobs.
Wylfa remains in a state of flux after the withdrawal of Hitachi from the project but developer Horizon Nuclear Power says “several parties” are interested in the site.
In reality the £525m will not go far when it comes to Wylfa – a circa £16bn development.
Horizon said they need to see progress on the Government’s new funding approach.
This money will though help into research and the development of new advanced modular reactors and Trawsfynydd is tipped as being at the front of the queue for this technology.
It is also a potential fall back option for Wylfa if a large nuclear plant is not funded.
A ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans is to be brought forward to 2030, 10 years earlier than planned.
The government has said it will also include funding to develop mass-scale production of electric vehicle batteries, including in North Wales.
Japanese car giant Toyota currently makes petrol and petrol hybrid engines on Deeside so would need investment in the long term to adapt to these changes.