13:30:15 Jayne Bryant Will the Minister make a statement on the economic benefits of major energy infrastructure projects in Wales?
13:30:22 Ken Skates Yes. Major energy infrastructure projects are enormously beneficial to the Welsh economy. Energy is one of our most important economic imperatives. We have the potential in Wales for £50 billion of investment in low-carbon electricity production over the next 10 to 15 years.
13:30:40 Jayne Bryant Firstly, I’d like to welcome Newport High School to the Chamber today, who are keeping an eye on us, from my constituency. Tidal lagoons create clean, green, eternal energy as consistent as the tide on which it relies. As large-scale energy infrastructure projects, with plans to build tidal lagoons in Cardiff, Newport, and Swansea, they will also create hundreds of jobs. Will the Cabinet Secretary work with UK Government to ensure these projects go ahead, and discuss ways to utilise the local workforce so the benefits can be felt environmentally, socially and economically?
13:31:23 Ken Skates Absolutely, and can I thank the Member for her question and her keen interest in this subject? The sort of development we’re talking about could offer lifelong careers for the young people who are joining us in the gallery today, from the Member’s constituency. We recognise the opportunity that tidal energy generation presents for the economy of Wales, and I hope to have an early meeting with Swansea bay tidal lagoon to discuss the economic aspects of the project. Now, whilst the UK Government’s independent review of tidal lagoon is under way, my officials are continuing to regularly engage with tidal lagoon power and the UK Government to ensure Welsh businesses, and, specifically the local economy, gain the maximum benefit from the project.