Nationalists Plaid Cymru want ownership of Wales’ natural resources to be devolved to the Welsh government. Party spokesperson for energy and climate change Hywel Williams said Wales should have full planning powers over energy and water and Ofwat should be equally answerable to the National Assembly as well as Westminster.
At the moment the Welsh Assembly has little influence over large scale energy projects or policies affecting the country’s natural resources, which fall under the remit of the Crown Estate.
Mr Williams explained: “The issue of ownership of Wales’s coastal resources is the single most important new area of potential income for the Welsh government, as well as being an environmental issue of the first order.”
He argued that ownership would make administrative sense and offer a huge opportunity for jobs, economic and environmental development and revenue generation for the Welsh government.
“The scale of renewable energy potential would increase the income without causing distortion to the tax regime,” he added.
He said that Wales should be given the same powers as Scotland, which has much greater control of its energy projects. “Responsibility for energy generation has been considerably more devolved in Scotland than it has in Wales – and Wales deserves the same respect.”