The Milford Haven Waterway Future Energy Cluster, representing the UK's energy capital, has outlined a vision for a low carbon future at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.
The Cluster – a coalition of energy companies, renewable developers, green technology innovators, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven – outlined how their plans will play a pivotal role in enhancing the wellbeing of future generations and in helping the Welsh Government achieve a just transition to net zero in Wales.
The Senedd reception – sponsored by Senedd Members Samuel Kurtz, Joyce Watson, Cefin Campbell and Jane Dodds – was attended by more than 100 people from across business, academia, government and politics in Wales.
The Cluster’s plans include a pathway to support at least 20% of the UK's hydrogen production target and 10% of the Celtic Sea Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW) target by 2030. Continued utilisation, adaptation and innovation in the Haven will also support the development of low carbon liquid fuels, CO2 shipping, marine renewables and energy storage.
The Milford Haven Waterway Future Energy Cluster also demonstrated to political stakeholders and industry representatives how its whole energy cycle solution has a pivotal role to play in supporting an accelerated transition while stimulating substantial economic growth in Wales.
Early economic analysis undertaken for the Cluster by Cardiff Business School indicates that its vision could add an additional 3,000 Welsh jobs to the 5,000 already supported by the Milford Haven Waterway energy sector.
To deliver this vision and unlock substantial international private sector investment, the Cluster called on Welsh and UK Governments, National Grid, The Crown Estate and OFGEM to support the future success of this critical national energy asset by:
- Expanding South Wales’ Grid capacity by 10GW by 2030
- Implementing a fast-tracked consenting regime
- Backing a Celtic Freeport bid
- Introducing mechanisms to de-risk the Celtic Sea FLOW opportunity
- Backing a South Wales FLOW infrastructure bid
- Supporting the Milford Haven Waterway SuperPlace ambition, including both blue and green hydrogen
- Supporting prioritisation of South Wales in National Grid’s Project Union
- Supporting a BEIS Cluster Sequencing Track 2 bid
- Incentivising the production and use of low carbon fuels
- Backing Skills Accelerator and Supply Chain Accelerator programmes.
Speaking on behalf of the Haven Waterway Future Energy Cluster, Tom Sawyer, CEO at the Port of Milford Haven, said:
“By the 2040’s the Milford Haven Waterway aims to be a significant exporter of low carbon electricity and hydrogen, and a globally recognised example of a low carbon, smart energy system fully capable of supporting society’s energy needs reliably, cost effectively and with significantly reduced emissions.
Playing our vital role in the transformation of the energy industry with its consequent investment in green jobs will help Wales reach net zero. We will help deliver the just transition that the Welsh Government and politicians across the spectrum wish to see.
We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to share our plans to create around 3,000 jobs in Wales. We’ll be investing in green skills in our local communities and creating new career opportunities for future generations.”
Samuel Kurtz, MS for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire welcomed the Cluster’s vision, saying:
“The Haven Waterway has long played a key role in the hydrocarbon industry, including oil and gas. With the focus turning to the fuel, energy and technologies of the future, the waterway has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of some exciting developments, such as floating offshore wind and hydrogen production.
“Highlighting these opportunities, and the jobs that will be created in Pembrokeshire is paramount if we are to unlock our potential and see our communities thrive. I’m pleased to champion this in the Senedd and urge us all to get behind these renewable projects.”
Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales said:
“I welcomed the opportunity to co-sponsor this event at the Senedd, promoting the vast potential the Haven Waterway poses in delivering a low carbon future which enhances the well-being of future generations and delivers against Welsh Government’s Net Zero and Energy strategies.
South-west Wales has the potential to become a global leader in a green energy revolution – delivering huge economic and social benefits for the local communities. I look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders to grasp these significant opportunities and fulfil such ambitions.”
Chris Williams, Head of Industrial Decarbonisation for Industry Wales and SWIC Lead added:
“The Milford Haven Waterway Future Energy Cluster will play such a vital role in decarbonising industries in South Wales. Milford Haven has the ability to supply SWIC industries with huge amounts of low carbon power, fuels, hydrogen and CCUS infrastructure that will support our industries by developing the infrastructure they will need to make things in a net zero way. This development is so important to providing a ‘just transition’ for south Wales and the Celtic Freeport bid is essential in accelerating this hugely important initiative.”