1 March 2006
Press Notice No 23
Committee Visit to Denver and Chicago
The Welsh Affairs Committee will be undertaking a visit to Denver and Chicago in relation to its inquiry into Energy in Wales. The purpose of the visit is to focus on energy policies that are pertinent to Wales in the global context; and to hold meetings at some of the world's leading facilities and advanced research centres to discuss energy production that is directly relevant to Wales
The Welsh Assembly Government has taken the view that Wales should concentrate on renewable energy, and in particular wind energy. It has also taken the view that nuclear power should not be a part of Wales' future energy production. The outcome of any decision on future energy production will have a significant impact on Wales, both technologically and economically. Therefore it is imperative the Welsh Affairs Committee takes part in that debate.
Wales' nuclear power stations are at the end of their lives. Any decision to replace them will need to be made in the near future. We will discuss the feasibility of the next generation of nuclear power with one of the world leaders in nuclear reactor technology. We will also look at clean coal technology and assess its possible development in Wales. Clean coal technology and hydrocarbon exploration is a potential form of energy that is specifically suited to Wales and its coal reserves. This is particularly relevant in Illinois which has very similar problems to Wales in exploiting its coal reserves.
Wales has great opportunities for harnessing renewable energy and already has a wide variety of renewable energy projects. We will hold meetings with world leaders in photovoltaics, bio-energy and wind energy to understand how best they can be further developed in Wales. Wind energy is at the heart of the Welsh Assembly Government's energy policy. However, wind farms are highly controversial and we need to assess fully the balance between the environment and energy production of this form of energy. We will gain that knowledge during our visit.
Attached is an outline programme for that visit.
Sunday 5 March 2006 London - Denver
Evening Informal meeting with the Consul General, Denver.
Monday 6 March 2006: Denver
0830 Informal meetings and presentations at the National Wind Technology Center
1100 Informal meetings and presentations at National Renewable Energy Laboratory on:
Geothermal Energy Programmes
Solar Energy Programmes
1400 Informal meetings and presentations at the Colorado School of Mines on Clean Coal Technology
1800 - 2000 Reception hosted by the Consul General, Denver
Tuesday 7 March 2006, Denver - Chicago
0900 Meeting with elected representatives of Denver and Colorado on energy policy
1200 Depart for Chicago
1730 Informal meeting with the Consul General, Chicago.
1930 Reception hosted by the Consul General.
Wednesday 8 March 2006 Chicago
0900 Informal meetings and presentations with nuclear power companies.
1400 Informal meetings and presentations with the Coal Research Centre, Southern Illinois University, the Illinois Dept of Economic Development and the Illinois Clean Coal Institute
1600 Informal meetings and presentations at Illini Centre to discuss Biomass Technology
Thursday 9 March 2006 Chicago - London
0730 Breakfast meeting with elected representatives for Chicago
0900 - Informal meeting with Welsh Development Agency (WDA)
1130 Informal meetings and presentations at Argonne National Laboratory to discuss current and future energy technology, nuclear power, and waste management.
1545 Depart Argonne National Laboratory
1900 Depart Chicago