Wales to Be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy
An ambitious new plan could see Wales sourcing 100% of its energy needs from renewable energy technology by 2035. The Welsh Government is being urged to finance more green energy projects by the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA).
As well as benefitting the environment, the IWA claims reaching the target could support 20,150 jobs annually.
Green Energy Could Be a ‘Key Part of Welsh Identity’
The reenergising Wales coordinator, Shea Buckland-Jones, believes more investment is needed. However, he has stated that that energy could ‘form a key part of Welsh identity’ in the future.
Mr Buckland-Jones added,
“There are environmental benefits, there are social benefits, there are economic benefits. I think one of our clear messages from the final plan is that we need leadership on this; the scale of the challenge is quite drastic, and we need Welsh Government action.”
10-Point Plan to Become 100% Renewable
The IWA is a big part of that future and they have been researching solutions over the last three years. The result is a 10-point plan that will move Wales towards 100% renewable energy well within the next two decades.
Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford, complimented the IWA’s plan. He called it a ‘welcome insight’ into the future of Welsh energy consumption. One possible obstacle though is that some of the energy policy power still resides with the main UK government. However, Mr Drakeford insisted that enough of the requisite powers to push the plan forward was in Welsh government hands.
The Institute of Welsh Affairs’ plan calls for significantly more funds to be diverted towards developing green technology. It is understood that the organisation believes the current block grant is insufficient to make real progress. They also encourage the government to create a ‘low carbon economic stimulus’ for a maximum period of eighteen months. This can be paid for using either borrowed funds or money from the proposed block grant increase.
Local Ownership a Key Part of Plan
The IWA believes the money can help drive the development of locally-owned energy projects. Another major benefit would be the enhancement of energy efficiency in residential buildings. Some of the funds could also go towards providing more coverage for charging low carbon vehicles.
Additional parts of the plan include using planning regulations and public land to support new renewable energy schemes. There should also be a requirement for new energy projects to have between 5% and 33% local or community ownership. The ownership requirement would only apply to new projects producing 5MW of energy or above. The IWA also wants to address the lack of education about energy matters within ‘key public organisations’.
Other items include a radical new approach to transport revolving around a comprehensive decarbonisation plan. The IWA also wants Wales to develop a marine energy niche.
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