(1 year, 8 months ago)Read Full debate
Of course, the opportunities for Wales follow from exactly the point that my right hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Sir Michael Fallon) made. The knowledge of the investment that will be made there provides great opportunities for people in north Wales and beyond to develop the skills that will be in high demand, to ensure that the engineering companies and other suppliers can gear up for this important work. Before I came to the House today I discussed the matter with the First Minister, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales spoke to Ken Skates, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport. We will work closely together to ensure that across Wales and, indeed, the United Kingdom, these opportunities result in real jobs and prosperity for the people of Wales and the UK.
The right hon. Gentleman makes the very important point that we have seen progress in renewables and that we are seeing progress in storage. Today, nuclear provides just over 20% of the electricity we consume and wind provides 5.5%. My view is that we should have diversity in our energy supply—the wind will not supply all our needs every day. His point about storage technology is correct and he knows from the industrial strategy that we are investing in its development, but it is not at the stage where it can offer the reliable baseload power that nuclear, which supplies 20% of the UK’s electricity, offers now. That is a very important part of the mix.