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Last Updated: Monday, 10 December 2007, 13:17 GMT
Wind power central to energy plan
Wind farm generic
Ms Davidson says wind power features prominently in her plans
Wind power will be central to renewable energy says Wales' environment minister, as the new Climate Change Commission meets for the first time.

The commission is examining how local government can tackle environmental challenges like carbon emissions.

At the same time the Westminster government has said all homes could be powered by offshore wind farms by 2020.

Welsh Environment Minister Jane Davidson said this was a "huge opportunity".

However, plans for more wind power generation are likely to face opposition across Wales. But Ms Davidson said with Wales' 13,000 km of coastline, harnessing wind energy would be an effective way forward.

She added local communities would be encouraged to commission their own renewable energy through woodchip, water or wind.

Unfortunately people seem to be opposing wind regardless of where it is, whether its onshore or offshore
Huw Evans, GAMESA Energy UK

"Wind will be central and of course Wales has already taken a decision to actually look at the places onshore, where wind is most effective and make sure that we have the largest wind farms only in those places," she said.

"We already have applications for offshore wind farms, we already have applications for tidal power propositions including a consideration of the Severn Barrage."

However, Huw Evans from GAMESA Energy UK, who develop and build wind farms and turbines told BBC Radio Wales he thought people seemed to be against wind farms generally.

"Unfortunately people seem to be opposing wind regardless of where it is, whether its onshore or offshore," he said.

"But offshore - people are arguing on a number of issues particularly to do with birds or marine life."

Around Wales, windfarms have faced local opposition, and Mr Evans, a Plaid Cymru councillor for Neath Port Talbot, said work on a project at Scarweather Sands off Porthcawl faced such challenges.

The 100m scheme with 30 turbines, each 400ft tall is now due to go ahead in 2008-9. John Sauven, from the environmental group Greenpeace said difficult decisions would have to be made to address global warming.

"Climate change is so serious and every government in the world recognises it is so serious, that tough decisions are going to be made," he said.

"But we need a clean renewable future."



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Wind power is an important part of energy plans in Wales



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