The minister was welcoming news that one of the world's biggest developers of renewable energy projects, EHN of Spain, plans to invest €500m (£352m) in Britain over the next five years to help meet climate change targets. The company intends to base its UK headquarters in Newport.
'EHN has an exemplary track record in Spain in not only erecting highly efficient clean energy installations, but in doing so in close co-operation with the local communities and building strong regional supply chains. From its new UK HQ in Newport, I am sure that EHN will perform similarly well in the UK and make a significant contribution to meeting the UK's renewables targets generally and our challenging targets in Wales in particular.
'This announcement is an extremely fitting one at the end of a year which has seen the Welsh Assembly government publish an ambitious clean energy strategy, with challenging targets of 4TWhr/annum of renewable energy production in Wales by 2010 and 7TWhr/annum by 2020.'
The minister added: '2003 has also seen the practical implementation of this strategy, for example, the building of the UK's first offshore windfarm off Prestatyn and the opening of the world's highest efficiency gas turbine power station at Baglan.
'In October I was also delighted to welcome the news that Sharp (UK) Manufacturing was establishing its European manufacturing base for solar products at Wrexham, creating 90 new jobs and strengthening Wales' reputation for clean en ergy development.
'All this demonstrates our continued commitment to lead the way, not only in the UK but in the world, in true sustainable development.'
EHN plans to establish local equipment manufacturing plants to support its British developments, which will be expected to have a total capacity of 500 megawatts, enough to power 400,000 homes.
EHN has installed 1,600MW of renewable energy capacity in Spain, France and Germany, and operates 2,000 turbines at 53 wind farms. It also owns 60MW in 21 small hydro power stations, a 25MW biomass plant based on straw combustion, and the largest photovoltaic solar energy plant in Spain (1.2MW).