NRW welcomes net zero ambitions of Welsh Government’s Energy Deep Dive

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has welcomed the recommendations made in the Welsh Government’s Renewable Energy Deep Dive today (8 December), highlighting the measures as a big step forward in helping the nation’s to achieve a net zero future.

The Deep Dive carried out by a team of experts from the public and private sector and led by the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS has looked at the barriers to scaling up renewable energy in Wales and how they can be overcome.

The recommendations include:

  • Generate renewable energy to meet the energy needs at least fully and utilise surplus generation to tackle the nature and climate emergencies.
  • A scaling up of local energy plans to create a national energy plan by 2024.
  • Public engagement and behaviour change plans to help citizens take action to reduce demand, improve energy efficiency and use energy in a way which supports the Net Zero Wales vision.
  • Create an easy to access advice service to help people improve the energy efficiency and smart performance of their homes and businesses as well as a ready supply of trusted suppliers and installers of low carbon heating systems in Wales.
  • Setting up a joint-working group to look at options for supporting new, flexible grid connections for renewables and energy storage solutions.
  • Undertake a review of resource needs and options for consenting and advisory processes to keep pace with the growth in renewables, including an urgent review of resource needs and options for NRW’s Offshore Renewable Energy Programme.
  • Identifying priority marine and terrestrial evidence gaps and mechanisms to fill them, to expedite the application process.
  • Identify marine ‘strategic resource areas’ by 2023 and provide guidance to signpost appropriate and inappropriate areas for development of different renewable energy technologies.
  • Explore ways of attracting additional investment in renewable energy generation in Wales, which will prioritise local and community ownership to maximise local economic and social value.
  • A scaling up of resources to support community and local renewable energy in Wales.
  • Welsh Government funding to build additional capacity in community enterprises to help them start to scale their work and mentor smaller organisations, to create a larger, sustainable sector.
  • Improve access to the public estate for the community energy sector.

NRW’s Executive Director of Communications, Customer and Commercial, Sarah Jennings represented the environmental body in the project. She said:

“We fully support the recommendations and are delighted to note the intention to use renewable energy to help tackle the nature and climate emergencies, both of which are critical challenges for our times.
“We are excited about working with Welsh Government and our partners from the renewable energy sector to seize this opportunity to develop public and community led renewable energy generation in Wales.
“Our role, as a regulatory body, environmental advisor and land manager, puts NRW at the forefront of the renewable energy challenge and we are fully committed to playing our part with government and others to address resourcing and providing the evidence needed to ensure the consenting processes on land and sea are as efficient as possible.”