Permission has been granted for company Clean Coal to conduct a drilling operation in Swansea Bay to find underwater coal seams that could help tackle prices from energy suppliers.
The company plans to use offshore drilling methods to access the coal seams and then turn the coal into a gas suitable for use as a fuel.
Initial estimates suggest there are 200 million tonnes of coal beneath the bay and Clean Coal has insisted that the first drilling operations will have no detrimental impact on local wildlife in the region, partly due to the depths involved.
Rohan Courtney, chairman of Clean Coal Ltd said: "This is an exciting and commercially viable development which can bring significant long-term benefit to south Wales."
Various other sites around the UK including locations in Humberside, Dumfrieshire in Scotland and Sunderland have been identified by the company as potential energy sources.
The conventional use of coal remains a controversial energy source due to the amount of carbon dioxide generated when it burns.
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