Streaming through Welsh countryside past TATA Steel’s sprawling site in Port Talbot on the way to cover the launch of npower’s new gas plant at Pembroke yesterday, I was reminded of the Olympics opening ceremony.
From the angular arms of cranes to the tall cigarette-thin towers, the TATA plant was like that pre-sporting spectacle – but for real.
Whilst the opening ceremony was breathtaking, seeing industrial activity in a lovely green location somehow gives it far more punch than grimy smokestacks surrounded by grey urban blocks.
Out in a remote region of the British Isles where you have to ask the conductor for the train to stop at your station (unlucky residents of Narberth and co) it’s clear what a boon big energy projects can be.
One hundred jobs must go a long way in beautiful but quiet castle-scattered Pembrokeshire.
Which is one in a hundred reasons why there must be more decisiveness from the Government with the Energy Bill.
For investments to be made, the Government needs to give that “certainty” that everyone from the fossil fuel brigade to the sun worshippers has been crying out for.
Today at Pembroke Power Station as the new Energy Minister declares energy investment to be good for the UK’s economic recovery, he will surely be hoping it looks like he’s giving investors a bit more of that.
But with rumours that Charles Hendry got the boot for lack of decisiveness, many eyes on John Hayes will be wondering if he’ll fall into the same trap.
Let’s hope he doesn’t. Let’s hope his trip to Wales will inspire our new Energy Minister, because Britain’s economy – from the smallest villages near Pembroke to the metropolitan centres which rely on a consistent energy supply – depends on the right investment for the future and fast.