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Monday, 25 November, 2002, 10:38 GMT
Hain strikes blow for green energy
Wind farm graphic
Peter Hain wants more renewable energy sources used
Welsh Secretary Peter Hain has called for the nuclear industry to be phased out in favour of a huge expansion of renewable energy source.

His call comes ahead of a government White Paper which will lay out the future of energy generation in Britain in the immediate future.

Mr Hain has said he cannot see any demand from companies wanting to build new nuclear stations.

It is very important that in order to get a safe and secure and green energy future, we stop this plague of nimbyism

Peter Hain

But he has warned planning laws may need to be changed to counter local opposition to wind farms.

The former UK energy minister has criticised so-called "nimbyism" (not-in-my-back-yard syndrome) which he has pinpointed as a barrier to expanding green energy sources.

He said: "It is very important that in order to get a safe and secure and green energy future for Wales and the rest of Britain, we stop this affliction, this plague of nimbyism."

He claimed that unless decisions are taken on energy sources now, the country could be facing an energy shortfall by the year 2020.

Peter Hain, Secretary of State for Wales
Mr Hain supports ending nuclear power in Britain

Mr Hain's comments raise a question mark over the future of Wylfa nuclear power station, which was shut down for 18 months after developing defects within the pressure reactor.

The 32-year-old reactor is due for review in 2004 and campaigners have said the problems at the plant can only get worse as the reactor ages.

Opposition

The White Paper has been prepared by the present Energy Minister, Brian Wilson, who succeeded Mr Hain in the post.

However, the pair may be on a collision course over nuclear energy, as Mr Wilson, whose constituency includes a nuclear energy station, is regarded as a supporter of the technology.

Wales has a number of planning applications for land-based or offshore wind farms, all of which have provoked opposition from some sections of the local communities.

  • A 30-turbine off-shore site planned for the beach resort of Porthcawl at Scarweather Sands provoked a 5,000-strong opposition petition by residents
  • The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales is leading opposition against the biggest proposed wind farm in the UK, which would see 39 turbines built in Cefn Croes at Cwmystwyth in mid Wales
  • An plan for 30 turbines to be built off the coast of north Wales at Rhyl recently received a 10m government grant to take it forward
  • Wrexham councillors blocked the erection of three turbines at Cefn Coed in the Ceiriog Valley, north Wales, on environmental grounds after receiving over 1,400 letters against it.

The Westminster government is hoping to produce 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2010.

See also:

25 Oct 02 | Wales
11 Oct 02 | Wales
24 Oct 02 | Wales
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