Wales politics

Plaid Cymru conference: Wales 'is exploited for energy'

Elfyn Llwyd
Image caption Elfyn Llwyd said powers over energy should be devolved to the Welsh Assembly

Wales is being exploited for its natural energy resources, Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader has said.

Elfyn Llwyd told the Plaid spring conference that powers over energy should be devolved.

He said a massive wind farm had been approved off the north Wales coast "to feed England's need for additional electricity".

The assembly election in May was a chance to "send a very clear signal to London", he said.

The UK government approved the Gwynt y Môr project off the north Wales coast in 2008, despite opposition from campaigners who said it would harm the local tourist trade.

To be built about 10 miles out to sea off Llandudno, it will be Wales' biggest wind farm.

But Mr Llwyd said such decisions should be made in Cardiff, not Westminster.

He told an audience at the Wales Millennium Centre hat three German companies were involved in the project, while the seabed at the site was owned by the Crown Estates.

He said: "Wales is being stripped bare of its natural resources for the benefit of England's power needs.

"Make no mistake, this is a serious matter.

"Ownership of our maritime renewable power resources is the single most important issue facing Wales today."

In her speech, Plaid AM Nerys Evans said this month's referendum in favour of direct law-making powers for the assembly gave Wales a "real parliament".

"Who would have thought, after 500 years when Wales was treated as a part of England to all purposes?" she said.

Miss Evans, who as Plaid policy director is compiling the party's manifesto for May's assembly election, is giving up her seat in the Senedd as a regional member for mid and west Wales to fight the Tory-held constituency of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

She attacked UK government plans to part- fund S4C from the TV licence fee, saying Plaid had to "stand up and protect the things that are important to us".

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