Policy Forum for Wales

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Next steps for renewable energy in Wales -policy priorities, rollout and new projects, future role in the energy mix, local systems, planning, infrastructure and connections

February 2023

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

This conference discussed the next steps for renewable energy rollout in Wales.

Delegates assessed opportunities and challenges for expansion, including grid connection, local area energy planning rules, community energy projects and the skills pipeline.

It was a timely opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to examine progress following the publication of the Renewable Energy Deep Dive, and comes with the Minister for Climate Change announcing the intention to set up a state-owned energy developer in response to energy insecurity and the cost-of-living crisis, as well as climate change threats and natural emergencies.

It also followed the Welsh Government’s Energy Generation in Wales 2021 report, which highlights the challenges in achieving the target of 70% of Welsh electricity consumption to be generated through renewable sources by 2030.

Overall, areas for discussion included:

  • Welsh renewable energy rollout: policy priorities - implementing plans for reaching net-zero - establishing new renewable energy projects
  • overcoming barriers: opportunities around planning, consent and licensing - assessing key infrastructure barriers and priorities for increasing grid connection in Wales
  • community and local energy projects: options for set-up and scale-up - policy support - securing investment - community collaboration
  • jobs, skills and the workforce: assessing future sector needs - how best to ensure benefits are equally shared
  • cost and security: outlining a path to net-zero whilst protecting consumers from rising energy bills - the role of renewables in delivering greater security
  • growing the renewable energy industry: delivering ambitions set out by the Renewable Energy Deep Dive - regulatory priorities - impact of the new holistic network design

We are pleased to have been able to include keynote sessions with Ed Sheriff, Deputy Director, Energy Division, Welsh Government; Martin Cave, Chair, Ofgem; Dr Paul Wakeley, Strategic Network Development Senior Manager, National Grid ESO; and Bethan Winter, Systems Operation Manager, Wales and West Utilities. The chairs for the conference were Professor Ron Loveland, Energy Advisor, Welsh Government; and Jane Dodds MS, Member, Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Cross Party Group.

The conference was an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who attended from BEIS; DAERA, NI; Defra; the Department for the Economy, NI; Department for Infrastructure, NI; Department for International Trade, Wales; DLUHC; Department of Finance, NI; Strategic Projects Directorate; The Planning Inspectorate; and the Welsh Government - as well as by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons.

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles