As Energy is not a devolved matter in Wales. We need to first look at the policy on a UK levelThe Climate Change Act 2008 came into force on 31st May 2009It covers two elements of addressing climate change:mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) andadaptation (coping with climate change).The Act made the UK the first country in the world to have:a legally binding long-term framework to cut carbon emissionsa framework for building the UK's ability to adapt to climate change
The adopted scenario in the RES sees the targets being raised dramatically – signing up to the EU requirement for 15% of all energy consumed in the UK to come from renewable sources by 2020.Considering the difficulty in providing substantial amounts of heat and transport from renewables in this timeframe, the proportion of electricity which will need to come from renewables will need to be raised substantially.
The new Coalition government issued The National Renewable Energy Action Plan for the United Kingdom in July 2010It sets out the UK’s approach to ensure that it will achieve these legally binding obligations. As an Action Plan, it includes a number of statements of intent, although it is not specific enough to be new Government policy. It indicates the steps the Government intends to take in the future and is indicative of the Government’s understanding of the need for new renewables developments. The Coalition Government have since issued two further policy statements through the Renewables RoadMap and the Electricity Market Reform White Paper from DECC, both published in July 2011. These maintain the drive to deliver on renewable energy and indeed suggest that the level of contribution towards the overall electricity supply could rise to as much as 45% after 2020.
Energy policy in Wales is not devolved; nevertheless the Welsh Government itself conceded that there is much they can do with regard to energy policy – making this statement 2012…
The debate on renewable energy was underway in the late 90s with 1999 seeing the publication of Changing climate – challenging choices, which looked at the effect of climate change in Wales in 21st C and how to respond.The following year saw the publication of the consultation doc “learning to live differently” The Assembly's Economic Development Committee published its Final report on Renewable Energy in January 2003, identifying a benchmark for production of electricity from renewable sources of 4 TWh per year by 2010 which equated to a little over 10% of Welsh electricity production. Each local authority was expected to advise on the contribution their area might be expected to make towards meeting these targets. It concluded …
Tan8 acknowledged from the outset that energy policy is a reserved matter but reiterates that any decision taken outside of wales will need to take WG policy into account.
The core of this TAN is about delivering targets through the planning systemA target for the electricity produced per year by 2010 was set 4TWh and raising to 7TWh in 2020.Onshore wind is expected to carry the brunt of this – with 800MW of installed capacity expected but it did anticipate a further 200MW to come from other sources.
The TAN identifies a range of potential renewable energy sources and provides information on each of their power generation characteristics. It acknowledges that local authorities will be a stat consultee during the decision making process for any offshore installations and these authorities are encouraged to be supportive.Support subject to appropriate siting and access is given to biogas and CHP installations
General support is also given for hydro, landfill gas and solar thermal and pv concluding that Other than in circumstances where visual impact is critically damaging to a listed building, ancient monument or a conservation area vista, proposals for appropriately designed solar thermal and PV systems should be supported.
The Welsh Government's approach focuses on ensuring Wales is an excellent place to conduct business and make long-term energy capital investments. A number of actions are being progressed to realise this ambition. They are: streamlining the approach to planning and consenting of energy developments. For example, the new Natural Resources Body for Wales established in April 2013, has brought together the functions of a number of statutory bodies – CCW, Env Agency and FCW.implementing Wales’ Infrastructure Investment Plan to ensure that future investment is clearly and strategically prioritised and supports renewable energy deployment. It will deliver tangible benefits to the wind industry, and others such as biomass through transport infrastructure improvements.Coordinating and prioritising delivery through a cross-government Energy Programme
In Wales, there is cross-party support for further devolution of energy powers. All four political parties included it in their manifestos.The silk commission on devolution in Wales was launched in Oct 11 by Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan on 11 October 2011 and was established to review the present financial and constitutional arrangements in Wales
Energy Policy in Wales
ENERGY POLICY IN WALESCaroline McGurganProject ManagerEco2April 2013
Climate Change Act 2008 The Climate ChangeAct 2008 obliges theUK to reduce itsgreenhouse gasemissions by: at least 34% by 2020and by at least 80% by2050,compared with 1990levels.
Renewable Energy Strategy 2009 15% of all energyconsumed in UK tocome from renewablesources by 2020
Coalition Position National Renewable Energy Action Plan July 2010 Renewables Roadmap July 2011 Electricity Market Reform (EMR) White Paper July 2011 Energy Bill - expected to achieve Royal Assent in 2013. CfD Capacity Market
Position in Wales“.. whilst energy policy is not adevolved matter, a large numberof key enabling policies are –including economicdevelopment, housing, planning,environmental regulation,pollution and transport.There is therefore much that wecan do to take control of theopportunities associated with thetransition to a low carboneconomy.”Energy Wales: a Low Carbon Transition
Supporting Policy Wales: Changing Climate, Challenging Choices A Sustainable Wales – Learning to Live Differently Final Report on Renewable Energy 4TWh per year by 2010 Concluding:"The Welsh Assembly should seek to promote a vision forrenewable energy in Wales that emphasises safe, clean and secureenergy supplies and contributes positively to reducing globalwarming. It should emphasise that this will provide opportunities forindustrial and rural development, long-term employment andincreased prosperity. Most of all it should promote this vision byexample and by vigorously pursuing well thought out policies."
Technical Advice Note 8 (July 2005)Energy policy is areserved function that isnot devolved to theAssembly Government.However, all decisionrelating to renewableenergy in Wales must takeaccount of the AssemblyGovernments policy.TAN 8
Main Aims Delivering targets through the planning system Provides technical advice to supplement PPW Sets a target of 4TWh of electricity per annum to be producedfrom renewable energy by 2010 and 7TWh by 2020 Identifies onshore wind as offering the greatest potential forincreasing the generation of electricity from renewableenergy. Concludes 800MW of additional installed capacity requiredfrom onshore wind and a further 200MW from off-shore andother renewable technologies
Support for technologies Offshore Wind The consent processes lie outside the land use planning system.However, local planning authorities are consultees in the offshoredecision-making process and wherever practicable proposals foroffshore wind developments should be supported. Biogas Criteria based policies should be supportive subject toappropriate siting, adequate vehicular access etc. CHP Local planning authorities should take an active role in facilitatingCHP systems through development plan & development briefprocesses.
Hydro Though generally supported, there could be occasions wheresome hydro schemes are unacceptable because of potentialecological damage. All of the parties involved should workconstructively to find acceptable solutions. Landfill Gas These opportunities should be encouraged, will be usually sitespecific and can be covered by criteria based local policy. Solar Thermal and PV Other than in circumstances where visual impact is criticallydamaging to a listed building, ancient monument or aconservation area vista, proposals for appropriately designedsolar thermal and PV systems should be supported.
Energy Wales:A Low Carbon Transition 2012Main Aims: Improving the planning and consenting system for energydevelopment by simplifying the process Ensuring the necessary infrastructure is strategically planned anddelivered. Provide targeted support to Welsh businesses, particularly SMEs, toenable them to compete for and take part in the delivery ofrenewable energy Intervention in supply-chain development, business support, skillsand training, procurement, innovation, research and deployment. Ensuring communities benefit from development
Realising the AmbitionActions Natural Resources Wales - April 2013 Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan Coordinating and prioritising delivery through a cross-government Energy Programme.
Where next? Silk Commission Welsh Government has appealed to increase theconsenting threshold from 50MW to 100MW Submission from Westminster :"We are at a crucial time in terms of the energy infrastructureof this country... The most important thing of all is that thereshould be a consistent predictable and streamlined method ofconsenting energy. This is the message that we have takenfrom the industry itself.“The Commission will report findings in early 2014