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[Mr Adrian Bailey in the Chair] — Clean Energy Investment

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:54 am on 25th November 2015.

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Photo of David Hanson David Hanson Labour, Delyn 9:54 am, 25th November 2015

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Bailey. I welcome the contribution made to the debate by my right hon. Friend Caroline Flint, not only today but over many years, and I support her objectives on this important issue. I am concerned about ensuring that we have a policy to tackle climate change, but also about creating jobs and creating a fluent, diverse, dynamic industry in places such as my area of north Wales.

When the Minister responds to the debate, I want to hear four simple commitments from her. I want to hear a welcome for the contribution that renewable energy industries such as solar, wind farm and tidal can make. We need a commitment to ensure that we help grow those industries in all parts of the United Kingdom—Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England. Crucially, we have to learn from Joe Biden’s lesson, which my hon. Friend Julie Elliott mentioned, and put our resources where our policy mouth is. My right hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley has mentioned the key decisions that we need to take to ensure that stability and future planning happen.

In my area, we have all parts of the renewable energy picture in place. My right hon. Friend and I were seasick together off the north Wales coast in February this year when we visited Gwynt y Môr wind farm, which opened earlier this year, in my constituency. I am sad to report that no Minister sought to attend the opening of the wind farm, even though it is the second biggest in the world, with €1.2 billion euros spent on turbines and €2 billion spent on the development overall. That is a massive investment, which creates jobs across the United Kingdom.

Only last week, I attended a wind farm presentation, where we saw that 220 jobs had been created in the Isle of Wight at Vestas for blades, jobs had been created at Lowestoft and 1,000 new jobs related to wind farms had been created at Siemens in Hull. I confess that we missed a trick in north Wales; we should have bid many years ago for that investment in manufacturing. We are now dependent on Mostyn docks in my constituency to assemble goods that are manufactured elsewhere, but there is opportunity for the future, because this industry will grow, to develop manufacturing across the country. Offshore wind at places such as Gwynt y Môr in my patch—the second-biggest wind farm in the world—Burbo Bank and North Hoyle have the ability to create jobs. Only last week, I met three apprentices employed by RWE Renewables to look at how they can learn skills for the future. This is high-skill, high-investment technology.