During questions to the First Minister on Tuesday I asked whether Wales should have it's own sector in manufacturing turbine blades for wind power. There is a need for green jobs in Wales to boost the economy, and Denmark and Germany employ thousands of people in those sectors. If we are to accomodate huge wind developments such as Gwynt y Môr then we should benefit as much as possible in terms of jobs. I also mentioned solar panel manufacturing. The Assembly Government has invested money to bring various companies to Wales in the past, and I will be pressing for similar investments to be made in the environmental sector so that we can forge a Green New Deal for Wales.
Leanne Wood: The One Wales Government has a commendable renewable energy strategy, which relies heavily on wind power. The Government has taken a strong lead on the promotion of wind power in Wales, but our industry is nowhere near as developed as that in countries such as Denmark and Germany. To my knowledge, there are no commercial wind turbine blade manufacturers in Wales, which means that they must be imported. What is the Welsh Assembly Government doing to encourage and support the growth of wind turbine manufacturing in Wales, and do you think that the expansion of turbine and, indeed, solar panel manufacturing could be a part of a green new deal that could help with the economic crisis?
The First Minister: You are right about wanting to encourage the supply chain for renewable energy in the UK, and we would give a particularly high rating to any such companies that wanted to invest in Wales, because you are right, certainly with regard to wind turbines. I do not know of a turbine manufacturer that makes the blades. However, we would expect quite a lot of work from the Gwynt y Môr plant, assuming that it is not judicially reviewed successfully in the remaining part of the window. There will be considerable knock-on effects in Wales from that investment, assuming that it proceeds.