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Renewables under threat without staff, says Bates

July 26, 2003 12:00 AM
Mick Bates AM

Mick Bates AM

Mick Bates AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson, today expressed his satisfaction at seeing so many renewable energy related stalls at the Royal Welsh Show, but also his misgivings over a lack of skilled staff for the expanding Welsh renewable power industry.

He said: "Wales is forging ahead with renewable energies, but it will lag behind if skill shortages in this key sector are not addressed; the Labour Assembly Government (LAG) must seek to encourage greater employment and training in renewables if it is to meet its ambitious targets".

The report of the Electricity Association published yesterday shows that UK-wide governmental targets are in danger of not being met because qualified staff do not yet exist to meet the overall target of 10% of energy supplies provided by renewables in 2010. Although a 7% share is achievable in the near future, many distribution network operators are anticipating difficulties in employing the requisite number of electrical power engineers.

"This is a wake-up call for the government", said Mr. Bates, "When we have such good projects in Wales and a growing stakeholder culture, it would be churlish to not meet targets because the government failed to anticipate the need for qualified personnel".

Notes to Editors:

The report of the EA can be accessed at http://www.electricity.org.uk