In February 2004 AM Andrew Davies led a delegation to Navarre in Northern Spain to see wind farm development.In a report on February 24 that year, he said the visit allowed delegates to see the benefits that Navarre’s development model for renewable energy could bring to Wales.
Navarre’s model involved the regional government and private companies joining to establish a company responsible for massive wind farm development. Partners included Iberdrola, the world’s largest producer of wind electricity, which owns Scottish Power.
In 2002, Iberdrola sold its shares in EHN. Over the next few years ownership of this public/private partnership changed, until the regional government sold its share in 2005, leaving the whole of Navarre’s renewable energy resource in private hands.
On October 25, the First Minister announced the conclusion of a tendering process to award options to develop wind farms across the Forestry Commission estate in Wales.
Private companies have been invited to develop wind farms in Welsh forests. If they are successful, they will be granted a lease of the land on which the turbines will be built.
Does the Assembly Government plan to disinvest in their wind farm project and make a tidy profit by selling its land to the wind farm operator after the wind farms are built? If this happens then large amounts of Welsh forests will effectively have been privatised by a Labour and Plaid government. Not something I recall seeing in One Wales!
Navarre now has 28 wind farms and around 1,000 wind turbines. Even if the forests aren’t sold to greedy wind farm developers, if Navarre is a model for Wales, then this is the scale of the blight that we can look forward to.
14 November 2007
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