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Climate Change Committee: ‘Wales needs action, not empty words’

Published 26/05/2022   |   Last Updated 26/05/2022   |   Reading Time minutes

The Senedd’s Climate Change Committee has described the Welsh Government’s approach to renewable energy as ‘lethargic’ and ‘lacking any sense of urgency’.

A report by the Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committee found that many of the barriers facing the development of the renewable energy sector were originally identified in 2012 and that Welsh Government promises to tackle these are the same today as they were ten years ago.

Despite the accelerating climate emergency, which has seen a global rise in wildfires and an increase in extreme rainfall in the UK, the Committee’s report shows there has been a slowdown in Welsh renewable energy development since 2015.

Many of the barriers to new renewable developments are in the planning and consenting process for energy projects, as well as in the energy grid infrastructure in Wales.

With much of Wales’ transition to renewables dependent on energy grid capacity, the Committee also told the Welsh Government it must press the UK Government and Ofgem to increase this capacity as an urgent priority. 

Llyr Gruffydd MS, Chair of the Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, said: ““We are lucky in Wales to have been blessed with natural resources that are ideal for renewable energy development, both on land and offshore. But there are significant, long-standing barriers that must be addressed for Wales to unlock its full renewables potential.

“In 2012, the Welsh Government promised a range of actions to tackle these issues but, a decade later, the same promises are still being made. Over the last ten years, the lethargic response to solving these problems has lacked any sense of urgency, and if the Welsh Government is serious about tackling the climate emergency then we need to see action  – not empty words.

“Now is not the time for the Welsh Government to be dragging its feet. It must act on the loud and persistent calls for improvements to Wales’ grid infrastructure and demand action from the UK Government, rather than waiting at the side lines until it’s simply too late.”

The Committee's report is available to read here.