RenewableUK Cymru has called on Welsh Government for support for a diverse mix of renewable energy technologies with a clear roadmap and delivery plan to reach its proposed targets. 

The request has come as part of RenewableUK Cymru’s response to a Welsh Government consultation to review Wales’ renewable energy targets.

Manon Kynaston, Assistant Director, RenewableUK Cymru, said:

“We strongly welcome the Welsh Government’s ambition to increase the targets in Wales.  The current decade has been called the ‘defining years’ for renewable energy generation.  Accelerated deployment of large-scale renewable energy projects across Wales and in the Celtic Sea will be key to achieving the Welsh Government’s proposed target by 2035 and net zero by 2050.  Now is the time for unremitting ambition and a focus on creating a strong renewable energy future whilst continuing to establish Wales as a leader for net zero.

“We know that electrification of transport, buildings and industry will result in higher electricity demand and a diverse mix will help to address seasonal demand and lessen our reliance on fossil fuels to meet electricity peaks.”

The trade body is also calling for ambitious minimum targets for each technology and that the proposed new targets include scope for Wales to generate more electricity than it consumes so surplus energy can be utilised to tackle the nature and climate emergencies. 

Manon continued: “The inclusion of generation for export would also achieve the globally responsible objective of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.  Scotland has already taken this positive approach in its ambition for renewable energy development and continues to be the main area of investment for renewable energy in the UK.  For Wales to offer an equally attractive investment case for renewable energy development, closer alignment to the Scottish Government’s ambition for all renewable technologies would be a very positive first step to achieving this.”

A clear outline of the long-term ambition for renewable energy development in Wales across all technologies that is supported by a delivery plan with progress stage gates, including key initiatives, approaches and solutions will be crucial.  The delivery plan should include how progress will be measured against actions such as timely investment in grid infrastructure, sufficient resourcing for the consenting process, a Welsh multi-port strategy, investment in manufacturing capabilities to boost the domestic supply chain and intragovernmental collaboration.

RenewableUK Cymru has also proposed that two task forces are created to support the delivery of the ambitious minimum technology specific capacity targets.  The task forces – onshore and offshore – would comprise decision makers, government officials and industry representatives to support and monitor progress; provide open and ongoing engagement between participants and a recognition of how government, committees and the private sector can collaborate to deliver on these targets. 

Other interventions being called for include:

  • Timely investment in the grid network.
  • Sufficient resourcing for the consenting process.
  • A Welsh multi-port strategy.
  • Investment in manufacturing capabilities to boost the domestic supply chain.
  • Collaboration between governments, the private sector, and other stakeholders such as The Crown Estate to deliver the proposed targets.

RenewableUK Cymru concluded:

“We need much more than a ‘business as usual approach to kickstart investment on the level we need to boost energy security, cut consumer bills, and maximise benefits for Wales.  We firmly believe that the proposals we have put forward will provide the enabling policy and regulatory environment that gives certainty for investment in development and will build an industry that maximises the long-term supply chain, workforce, and community benefits for Wales.”