By moving to 100% renewables in Wales we can increase energy security, reduce fuel poverty and tackle climate change
Our Re-energising Wales project is creating a practical plan for Wales to move to 100% renewable energy by 2035. We’re bringing together leading thinkers from industry, academia, government and local communities to find and address the barriers that are slowing down renewable energy developments and look at opportunities to support growth. We will provide evidence to convince policy makers in Wales and the UK to use our plan and make Wales an energy leader.
Tomorrow we're pleased to be launching the latest research from our Re-energising Wales project. To find out more about the project, you can watch Shea, the project's co-ordinator, explain what it's all about here.
Posted by Institute of Welsh Affairs on Sunday, 29 April 2018
Why are we working on renewable energy?
Locally produced energy that is affordable, reliable and clean is better for everyone. By moving to renewables we can create a sustainable source of energy for Wales, have more control over energy prices and reduce our carbon emissions.
Wales has some of the best natural resources for renewable energy in Europe but at the moment we’re not reaching that potential. We believe that with the right plan in place, a move to renewables can bring environmental, social and economic benefits.
Renewable energy developments are:
- Good for communities – locally owned renewable energy projects bring social and economic benefits to communities, including a long-term income and opportunities for education and tourism.
- Good for the economy – renewable energy developments bring investment to an area and create jobs.
- Good for the environment – renewable energy is cleaner and sustainable, helping Wales meet its legally-binding targets for reducing carbon emissions.
What we’re doing
We are working to create a practical plan for Wales to meet its energy demand through renewable energy. Before we can produce a plan, we need to address the main barriers that are stopping Wales moving to 100% renewable energy and look for opportunities to create change.
Providing the research and evidence to support a move to 100% renewable energy
To get public, political and financial support for a move to 100% renewable energy we need to show that it’s possible and profitable. We’re gathering information and evidence on issues such as the energy needs of homes and buildings, the renewable energy potential in Wales and the costs and benefits involved.
Increasing our understanding of what motivates people to save energy and get involved in community renewable energy projects
Before we can increase the number of community owned renewable energy projects we need to find out what values influence how people use and see energy. We’re engaging with communities about what would motivate them to take a more active role in how they generate and use their energy. We’re also looking at what potential different areas of Wales have for community owned renewable energy schemes.
Regulation that meets our needs
Current regulation needs updating to make it easier for large and small scale renewable energy projects to go ahead. We’re examining how regulation currently works to make sure we have the right regulation and powers to support renewable energy development for the future in Wales.
Filling in the gaps in policy and securing political support
The right policy needs to be in place to support a move to 100% renewable energy. We are identifying policy gaps and writing a series of papers to influence change and gain political support for our ambitions. You can read our first policy paper on Funding Renewable Energy projects and the Welsh Government’s response to our recommendations.
We will use the results from the different work areas of the project to create a detailed, costed, timed action plan for developing a renewable energy programme for Wales.
You can read further information on the project objectives here.
- Welsh Government renewable energy targets were informed by Re-energising Wales’ findings in September 2017.
- After calling for Welsh Government to introduce business relief rates for renewable energy projects, in February 2018 they announced targeted support for small hydropower projects and a 100% rates relief for community hydro projects.
- We are the first to produce a detailed report on the energy demand of buildings in Wales. The report can help develop options for reducing our energy demand and increasing energy efficiency. A summary of the full report is here.
- We have presented options on how Wales and the Swansea Bay City Region can make the most of their renewable energy potential. The full report is available here.
- Building on the above Swansea Bay City Region report, we have outlined the economic opportunity that arises with a truly transformative approach to energy generation and domestic refurbishment in the Swansea Bay City Region. The full report is available here.
- We have analysed the economic costs and benefits of a renewable energy transition in Wales. The full report is available here.
- We have developed a framework for action outlining the key regulatory and policy powers that we need to use in Wales to maximise renewable energy. The full report is available here.
- We highlighted opportunities that could significantly improve and decarbonise the transport sector in Wales. The full report is available here.
- We held events in the Summer of 2017 to inspire and create discussion on the future of community owned renewable energy schemes in Wales. Listen to the podcasts from the events.
We have also responded to a number of consultations, feeding in evidence from the project when necessary:
- IWA response to the Welsh Government ‘Locally owned renewable energy – A call for evidence’.
- IWA response to the Welsh Government ‘A low carbon pathway for Wales’ consultation.
- IWA response to the UK Parliament ‘Welsh Affairs Select Committee’ inquiry into ‘Renewable energy in Wales’.
- IWA response to the National Assembly ‘Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee’ inquiry into ‘Electric vehicle charging in Wales’.
For more detail on our progress read our 2017/2018 project update.
- For more information on the project, contact Shea Buckland-Jones
- Become a member of the IWA today and help fund important projects that are shaping Wales’ future. Join now from just £2.50 a month
The IWA ‘Re-energising Wales’ project is kindly supported by the Hodge Foundation, the Friends Provident Charitable Foundation and the Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation.
While you’re here, we’ve got something to ask you: will you join us?
We’re working every day to bring the right people together and generate the ideas to make Wales a world-leading force.
We’re independent of government and political parties. We provide a much-needed space for open, transparent debate about the ideas that can make Wales better.
To continue to do this, we need people like you to join us.
Join us today and you’ll be supporting vital work that’s making our country better than ever.