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The Greens have launched their manifesto, the second in the leadup to the National Assembly elections (you can read about the Plaid Cymru launch and manifesto here).

Energy makes it into the top four issues for the greens, with the commitment to source all electricity demand in Wales from renewables by 2030 (which places it squarely between Plaid, which has a target of 2035, and the Liberal Democrats, which aspires for the same by 2025).

Other ‘headline’ issues for energy include a focus on local micro and small-scale renewables, investment in the ‘national grid’, and a requirement for councils to implement community energy strategies.

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The Greens are unique in their leadership demographic; a female leader and deputy

The detail of the energy policy includes:

  • A ban on fracking
  • Retention of business rates for renewable energy projects (one of our manifesto asks)
  • Supporting organisations in the public and third sector to set up energy supply companies
  • “Give communities a say” on big decisions on planning and energy infrastructure, but ensure that projects give something back through community benefit funds
  • Ensure Welsh Government pension schemes divest from fossil fuels
  • Prioritise energy efficiency in Welsh housing, including on-demand programmes for those in fuel poverty
  • Introduce a zero-interest loan scheme for able-to-pay energy efficiency improvements
  • Require new housing developments to include district heating, onsite generation and storage
  • Require new housing to meet Passivhaus standards
  • Support skills and training in the sector

Commenting on the manifesto, David Clubb said:

“It is encouraging to see that the Green Party have considered many aspects of energy generation and use in this bold vision for energy in Wales.

“The manifesto┬ádemonstrates naivety in some areas – for example the requirement that communities should have a say on big energy infrastructure is already fully enshrined within planning policy – but the overall thrust of the policy is extremely positive.”