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This conference examined next steps for the energy sector in Wales.
It was an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the Government’s aims of transitioning to renewable energy and reducing national reliance on fossil fuels, and key issues for implementation, including the role of the newly established Welsh state-owned energy developer, Trydan Gwyrdd Cymru.
Delegates explored what is needed to ensure a reliable renewable energy supply that meets all of Wales’ energy needs, including the role of community energy ownership, and addressing challenges with progress toward 100% renewable energy generation in Wales by 2035.
Following the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales October 2023 report, Preparing Wales for a Renewable Energy 2050, we expected discussion on NICW’s recommendations made to the Welsh Government to enhance renewable energy development in Wales, including in the areas of grid capacity, building regulation and planning, strategic options and the future roles of key stakeholders.
We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with: Ed Sheriff, Deputy Director for Energy, Welsh Government; Rebecca Williams, Director for Wales, The Crown Estate; Ben Ferguson, Co-Executive Director, Community Energy Wales; and Richard Evans, Chief Executive, Trydan Gwyrdd Cymru.
Overall, areas for discussion included:
- progress and priorities: the Government’s renewable energy targets and net zero ambitions - what is required to establish reliable renewable energy supply to meet demand
- key supply challenges: managing grid capacity - meeting the skills needs of the sector - ensuring a just energy transition - streamlining the planning process to allow for infrastructure development
- best practice: what can Wales learn from other nations for the transition to renewable energy and state investment - strategies for collaboration to meet current and future power needs
- Trydan Gwyrdd Cymru:
- how the energy developer can best integrate into Wales’ existing energy sector and contribute towards the renewable energy rollout
- assessing prospects for community-owned energy
- the future of energy generation: priorities for establishing a comprehensive long-term plan for meeting future energy demand and supply - reducing reliance on fossil fuels in Wales
The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from DBT; Defra; DESNZ; DWP; HSE; Ofgem; OSR; UKIB; and the Welsh Government; as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.