Wales looks to build publicly-owned wind farms

This will be to bring profits back to local communities, the Welsh government has said

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The Welsh government is looking to build a wind farm owned by local communities – to bring profits and renewables to the country.

Currently, many of the wind farms in Wales are foreign-owned and therefore the majority of profits go to other nations.

This has led the government to consider setting up a publicly owned energy company that would benefit the local community either through ownership of wind turbines, savings on bills or having homes directly fitted to save energy.

Climate Change Minister Julie James said: “This will be a company that brings more of the profits back to the people of Wales directly, in the form of a state developer but we will have to do that in a joint venture partnership with a range of other providers.”

Profits generated by some of the largest wind farms in Wales are used to fund the public services of the nations that own them – such as Sweden with Vattenfall, which owns the largest wind facility in the country.

Vattenfall responded stating that in the last eight years it spent £300 million in Wales.

Similar situations exist with German and Irish-owned wind farms.

“In the previous industrial revolution in Wales, the wealth of Wales were worked by its people, the profits were exported away. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” added Ms James.

If these plans are approved, it would see the Welsh government help developers in receiving planning approval and the necessary infrastructure. In return, the Welsh government would use its portion of the profits to benefit Welsh people and fund new projects of the same ilk.

Ms James stressed that “some of the turbines will be directly owned by the community.”