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SDC: South West Wales must tap into ‘green goldmine’ of clean energy

9 September 2010

  • Peter Davies & Jane DavidsonCommissioner launches region’s ‘Low Carbon Routemap’ with Environment Minister at the Start Festival in Carmarthenshire
  • Blueprint for South West Wales to be Wales’ first ‘low carbon region’ 
  • Region’s ‘Low Carbon Taskforce’ meets for the first time 
  • Sustainable Development Commission says untapped tidal, wind and solar energy hold the potential for high quality jobs

Urgent action is needed to involve local people, to maximise the benefits of South West Wales’ ‘green goldmine’ of renewable energy, according to the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC).

At the launch of the ‘Low Carbon South West Wales Routemap’, SDC Commissioner For Wales, Peter Davies, said that the combination of superb natural resources, skilled workforce and the pressing need to shift away from fossil fuels mean that the region has a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’.

“We are seeing a global ‘gold rush’ to develop the secure, clean energy resources we will need in the future. Other parts of the UK, such as the South West of England and the North of Scotland, are already moving to harness the economic benefits. If we are to create green jobs here in Wales, we must not get left behind. South West Wales is well placed to produce clean energy. What we need now is for local people to be fully involved, harnessing tidal, wind and solar energy to benefit the people and environment of South West Wales.”

The Routemap is a blueprint for South West Wales to become a ‘low carbon region’. It was jointly developed by representatives from a number of public, private and third sector organisations in South West Wales, together with the Welsh Assembly Government and the Sustainable Development Commission Wales.

The region’s new ‘Low Carbon Taskforce’, which met for the first time today, will use the routemap to produce an action plan for cutting carbon emissions early next year.

The Routemap: 

  • Sets out a vision of the South West as Wales’ first ‘low carbon region’, having cut its CO2 emissions by at least 80% against a 1990 baseline
  • Describes the role of the region’s low carbon task force, including the co-ordination of low carbon activity, building links with business and being a focal point for low carbon inward investment 
  • Sets out early priorities for the task force, which include establishing a forum for renewable energy development and establishing a low carbon brand for the region

The document was launched by Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing and Spatial Plan Lead Minister for South West Wales, Jane Davidson AM, at the Start Festival in Carmarthenshire.

Environment Minister, Jane Davidson said:

"I am delighted to launch this route map. It sets out a blue print for how the South West of Wales can move to a more low carbon way of living in a range of ways including managing its waste, making the move towards renewable energy and developing more sustainable transport arrangements.

"The Welsh Assembly Government has a clear role to play in leading action to help the transition to lower carbon living and ensuring that we capitalise on the many associated economic and environmental benefits. However we know we need to work closely with businesses, local government and the wider public sector, the third sector, communities and individuals to make this a reality.

"That is why the route map has been developed with input from all those parties and will now be taken forward by the region's new Low Carbon Taskforce. The Taskforce will look at the the key role that local authorities, third sector organisations and businesses have to play in helping to develop a sustainable, lower carbon, greener economy for South West Wales and I very much look forward to seeing how this work progresses over the coming months and years."

The taskforce is being established on the recommendation of the SDC’s ‘Low Carbon Wales’ report, published last year, which set out advice on how each part of Wales can become a ‘low carbon region’, based on the nature of each region . A similar process is under way in the other regions of Wales. ‘Low Carbon Wales’ highlighted the development of low carbon technologies as an important area for South West Wales and identified ‘significantly increasing’ renewable energy generation as a high priority in every part of Wales.

» Download 'Towards a low carbon South West Wales: A routemap' (English)

Welsh language version to follow shortly.


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