Policy Forum for Wales

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

The future of energy policy in Wales - renewables, cross-sector partnerships, regional approaches, and a low carbon economic recovery from COVID-19

Morning, Friday, 22nd January 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference focuses on the future of energy policy in Wales.

Key areas for discussion include:

  • next steps for renewable energy projects in Wales
  • developing cross-sector partnerships
  • regional approaches to reaching net-zero targets
  • the UK policy drive towards a green industrial revolution, and what it means for the energy sector in Wales
  • securing a low-carbon recovery from COVID-19

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with a range of key policy officials who are due to attend from the Welsh Government.

Areas for discussion:

  • UK policy - the green energy and economic recovery policy agenda and its implication for Wales
  • the Carbon Budget - looking at:
    • progress - on the first carbon budget and emissions targets, and lessons learned
    • looking ahead - with the announcement of the Welsh Government’s second statutory decarbonisation plan in the autumn of 2021
  • renewables - progress on policy and implementation in Wales, and key challenges:
    • emerging renewable energy sources - the potential for Wales to tap into marine, hydrogen and offshore wind and next steps for developing these projects
    • enablers - navigating the legal landscape around implementation and strategies for securing funding for emerging technologies
    • environmental impact - with concerns about offshore wind and marine life, discussing priorities for ensuring that implementation does not compromise biodiversity and natural habitats
  • transport and smart energy - priorities for supporting the decarbonisation of transport and grid network flexibility:
    • challenges around decarbonising transport whilst ensuring efficiency and supporting local business
    • the relationship between energy and transport in Wales, interdisciplinary thinking, and infrastructure
  • Team Wales - the way forward for collaboration to further decarbonisation in Wales, and developing partnership strategies for supporting green choices across society:
    • public-private approaches - the way forward for joint working between businesses, local authorities and individuals in promoting smart energy consumption and decarbonisation
    • Welsh R&D - policy priorities for supporting continued development of innovative solutions to tackle climate change through partnerships
  • regionally-specific plans - examining more locally-focused approaches to achieving net-zero targets, with the emphasis on regional development in the draft National Development Framework
  • a low-carbon economic recovery from COVID-19:
    • the pandemic’s impact - the widespread fall of emissions during the lockdown and as sectors across the economy plan for recovery from its effects
    • practicalities of building back greener - how Wales can secure economic recovery building both green jobs and infrastructure

The policy context:

  • Build Back Greener - the PM’s plan to make the UK a green energy leader, which included £160m to upgrade ports, infrastructure and capacity for offshore wind around the UK, including in Wales
  • PM’S Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution - with Wales being identified among industrial heartlands which will build green jobs and industries of the future - and investment across the UK in carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technology, hydrogen production, nuclear R&D, and developing nuclear plants
  • National Development Framework 2020-2040 - the Welsh Government draft plan charting the way forward for policy in areas including energy supply, all in the context of tackling climate change
  • Building a low-carbon economy in Wales - Carbon Budget 2021-2025 - the forthcoming second statutory decarbonisation plan from the Committee on Climate Change
  • Energising Wales: A Plan for Wales: government response - following the Institute of Welsh Affairs study laying out a plan for the future of renewable energy in Wales by 2035
  • Team Wales approach to tackle climate change - aimed at fostering effective partnerships across the public sector working towards net zero goals, under the by the Partnership Council for Wales
  • Consultation on plans to further reduce fuel poverty by 2035 launched - by the Welsh Government and set to report by February 2021
  • Coal policy in Wales - recent consultation as a part of the Welsh Government’s shift away from the use of fossil fuels
  • Kick-start for new Welsh schemes to heat homes and businesses using city centre heat networks - starting in Cardiff and Bridgend, moving forward heat decarbonisation in Wales’ urban areas
  • Innovative Housing Programme - from the Welsh Government, with one of the main aims being to make homes more energy efficient
  • Welsh Government makes climate emergency declaration - to signal the Government’s determination that exit from EU should not be allowed to detract from addressing climate change challenges
  • the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 - with commitments to reduce Welsh greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 through a set of carbon budgets and interim emissions targets

The agenda:

  • Energy policy in Wales and priorities moving forward
  • A low carbon recovery from COVID-19 - linking economic growth with green jobs and infrastructure development
  • Developing renewable energy projects in Wales:
    • Policy priorities for offshore wind farms
    • Next steps for hydrogen energy in Wales
    • Tapping into the potential for Welsh marine energy
    • Securing the conservation of natural habitats whilst increasing the use of renewable energy
    • Legal issues for the implementation of renewable energy in Wales
  • Implementing a flexible grid network and supporting the decarbonisation of transport
  • Cross-sector partnerships and collaboration in fostering green choices and smart energy consumption - the role of businesses, local authorities and individuals
  • Next steps for developing regional approaches to reaching Net Zero targets

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the Welsh Government; Cadw; the Office for National Statistics; and The Planning Inspectorate. Also due to attend are representatives from Cardiff University School of Engineering; Clarke Willmott; Coastal Housing Group; Energy Saving Trust; Newport City Council; Smart Energy GB; The Coal Authority and Vattenfall.

A press pass has been reserved by a representative from ICIS.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of the Senedd Cymru and Welsh Parliament and senior officials from the Welsh Government, and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as energy sector specialists including renewable energy developers, power generators, energy suppliers, network, energy storage and ancillary service providers, infrastructure, construction and engineering firms, investment and legal groups, and academics and commentators, representatives trade unions and local government, together with reporters from the national and trade media based in Wales and elsewhere.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Ron Loveland

Energy Adviser, Welsh Government

Keynote Speakers

Ron Loveland

Energy Adviser, Welsh Government

Mika Minio-Paluello

Energy Economist, Transition Economics

Hêdd Roberts

Head of Customer Solutions, Electricity Transmission, National Grid


Councillor Greg Robbins

Cabinet Member for Environment and Transportation, Conwy County Borough Council

Steve Jermy

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, WaveHub

Guto Owen

Director, Ynni Glân and Co-ordinator, HyCymru

Dr Matthew Lipson

Head of Consumer Insight, Energy Systems Catapult

Peter Allan

Managing Director, Surple Energy

Councillor Rob Stewart

Leader, Swansea Council

Jess Hooper

Programme Manager, Marine Energy Wales

Steve Keating

Lead, Milford Haven: Energy Kingdom and Sustainable Development and Energy Manager, Pembrokeshire County Council

Elizabeth Dunn

Partner, Burges Salmon