Anglesey Energy, the future debate

Will energy play a major future role in the Anglesey economy? When a visitor arrives on Anglesey this is unlikely to be their first question. But things are moving fast!

We hear almost daily about the looming world energy crisis. Even here in Britain many people wonder whether we will face power cuts and blackouts in the future.

Are we indeed approaching the so-called "peak oil" production, after which it's all down hill with a dwindling resource? How will we drive our economy when hydrocarbons decline?

Anglesey Wind farm

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Consumers here in Britain worry about rising gas and electricity prices, and there seems no end to the price increases. It seems we will have to live with high prices for the forseeable future.


Now you can keep up with the latest news and articles by subscribing to our free Anglesey Today Newsletter. Just complete the simple form below. It's as easy as 1-2-3!

Renewables: Tidal Power

As you wander across the island you will see the enormous potential for renewable projects here.

You only have to jump into a fishing or sailing boat, make for the open sea and you will soon experience one big source of untapped sustainable resource.

Yes, with miles of strong tidal coastline, the island offers the ideal location for harnessing the potential from tidal currents.

New technology means that turbines can be placed on the seabed to capture the tremendous resource locked into natural tide flows.

And the great thing with this technology is that you don't harm the natural beauty of the coastline.

Those beautiful sea views will still be there to admire because most of the turbine will be underwater.

And what's more, it's predictable, so long as the moon stays in orbit around the earth!

Now npower renewables and Marine Current Turbines have formally announced a partnership, called Seagen Wales, to develop the world's first commercially viable tidal project off Anglesey, North Wales.

Wind Power

Apart from the tide, the other source of energy you would experience in your boat trip is the wind.

Anglesey is famous for having had, at one time, the most windmills in Wales.

It's not hard to see why. With our low lying coast exposed to the Irish Sea, the island gets its fair share of steady wind from the prevailing south west.

Today you can still visit the last working windmill near Llanddeusant - a beautifully restored piece of industrial archeology.

And so, to the future!

There is probably scope for more development, if done sensitively. It seems there is now a preference for these "farms" to be buit offshore, rather than onland.

npower renewables are currently developing a large offshore windfarm - "Gwynt-y-Mor"- to the east of the island, and about 8 miles north of Llandudno.

Biomass and biofuels

Recent rises in oil prices to record levels have had a knock on effect on fuel prices in Britain. A litre of diesel already costs more than one pound sterling(£1), and with record oil prices and diminishing supplies, this situation is unlikely to resolve itself.

One renewable source with much promise is biomass, for producing biofuels as well as electricity.

Farmers on the island and wider region could supply the raw material by growing the most suitable crops. Among those mentioned are miscanthus, willow, switch grass and oil seed rape.

The Anglesey Aluminium plant (AAM) at Holyhead closed in September 2009 and is now a reduced remelt operation.

Rio Tinto Alcan and Kaiser Aluminium, the joint owners of AAM have applied for planning consent to build a 300 MWe biomass plant on location.

More on island biomass projects here.

Nuclear Power

Our major source of electricity is the Wylfa Magnox nuclear power station situated just outside the village of Cemaes, on the north west corner of the island.

With a generating capacity of 980 MW, it is a major contributor to the UK electricity grid. The problem is that this nuclear plant is due to close for decommissioning between 2010 and 2012.

In January 2008 the UK Government energy review concluded that nuclear does have an important role to play in contributing to the UK energy mix and security of supply by providing a clean, secure and predictable power supply in the future.

Nuclear power will be important in our future energy strategy because it combines the benefits of low carbon generation with the supply of baseload electricity. With the likelihood of new nuclear power stations in Britain, it is almost certain that one would be built at the Wylfa location on Anglesey. Some interested parties have already expressed an interest.

Get the latest news on Wylfa here

Stop Wylfa B: Have Your Say on this mega issue

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Anglesey Turbines Outstanding Green Project 
The Ysgellog Farm wind turbines on Anglesey are the most "Outstanding Green Energy Project" in Wales, as Airvolution Energy Ltd receives the top award …

Airvolution Turbine Plans Consultation, Ysgellog 2 
Proposals for building two new turbines close to two existing turbines near Ysgellog Farm, Rhosgoch on Anglesey are set to be presented to local residents. …

Anglesey Contractors Key to Amlwch Wind Turbine Construction 
The two new wind turbines at Ysgellog Farm on Anglesey are turning thanks to Welsh and Anglesey businesses. Final analysis of the figures has shown …

First Minister Opens Island Energy Centre 
A brand new, low carbon energy training campus in Llangefni on Anglesey has been opened by Wales First Minister Carwyn Jones, with the capacity to train …

Skerries Tidal Energy Lease Granted 
The Crown Estate agrees the essential lease for the Skerries Tidal Stream Array off the west Anglesey coast, giving the green light to SeaGeneration (Wales)to …

Lateral Power Welsh Eco Park Ambition 
Lateral Power Limited is the preferred bidder for developing an innovative Eco Park on the Anglesey Aluminium (AAM)smelter site at Holyhead, with the …

Holyhead Biomass Plant Gets DECC Approval 
Approval has been given for a 299MW biomass plant application on the former Anglesey Alumninium site at Holyhead by the UK Department for Energy and …

Island Farms Power Plant Plans 
Farms on Anglesey, the Energy Island, are to become prototype mini-power stations, according to plans put forward by the local authority. The idea …

Island Tidal Turbine Scheme Plans Submitted 
Seagen Wales has submitted plans to build a £70 million, 10.5 MW tidal turbine project between Carmel Head and Skerries, off Anglesey in North Wales. …

Anglesey Energy Island Jobs Potential 
The Anglesey Energy Island Programme promises to attract potentially thousands of new, high quality energy-related jobs to the North West Wales economy …

Anglesey Energy Island Gets Miliband Support 
The Anglesey Energy Island idea is given a big boost as Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, pledges Government support for …

Wind Energy Island Jobs Boost 
The Government is urging wind turbine manufacturer General Electric to seriously consider Anglesey, the "energy island", as the site for a manufacturing …

Island Wind Tidal Turbine Hub Hopes 
Plans are advancing for turning the former Anglesey Aluminium smelter site into a wind turbine manufacturing factory with potential for creating hundreds …

First Minister Boosts Island Energy Training Centre 
First Minister Carwyn Jones recently launched the building of a new energy sector training centre for young people at Coleg Menai at Llangefni on Anglesey. …

Offshore Wind Farm Boosts Island Prospects 
A massive offshore wind farm proposal nine miles north of Anglesey is one of nine successful bids for licences awarded by the Crown Estate, owner of the …

Island Tidal Power Project Cash Boost 
Marine Current Turbines (MCT), which hopes to build a tidal power farm near Skerries off Anglesey, has recieved a £3.5 million capital investment boost …

Agricultural Residues For Biomass Projects 
It’s my understanding that biomass to energy projects are typically fueled with agricultural residues or wood wastes, but not with whole trees specifically …

North Wales Wind Energy Challenges and Opportunities 
With growing concerns about the impact of climate change, offshore wind energy schemes off North Wales, including Anglesey, have an important role to …

Llangefni Wood Biomass Power Plant 
Irish company Eco Pellets Limited plans to develop a wood biomass power plant in Llangefni, Anglesey as part of a £100 million renewable energy centre, …

Seagen Wales Island Tidal Assessment 
A full assessment of tidal energy and wave characteristics off Anglesey, North Wales has been completed by oceanographic consultant Partrac for SeaGen …

Island Biogas Plant Application Update 
A proposal to build a methane biogas plant at Cors Goch near Benllech on Anglesey from animal waste has caused huge controversy on the island. The …

Island Methane Power Plant Proposed 
Dutch food company Vion wants to produce electricity using methane gas from chicken carcasses from a factory site at Llangefni on Anglesey. The ambitious …

First Green School For Island Children 
The first ever North Wales green school opened its doors to more than 300 pupils on Anglesey today. The spring term signals the start of a new chapter …

Gwynt Y Mor Wind Farm Gets DECC Approval 
Gwynt Y Mor, the NPower Renewables wind farm project off the east coast of Anglesey and 10 miles north of Llandudno, has been approved by the Department …

Scottish Power Delays Anglesey Electricity Supply 
Various reports suggest Scottish Power are delaying until 2010 the installation of extra electricity supply infrastructure needed on Anglesey. Local …

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