Wales sets renewable energy as national priority

Illustration/DeltaStream device installation off Wales (Photo: Marine Energy Wales)

The government of Wales has published a new Natural Resources Policy (NRP) setting out the increased renewable energy uptake as one of its national priorities.

The policy outlines three national priorities for Wales for the management of its natural resources which are expected to drive delivery of goals said to benefit communities and Welsh economy, as well as improving the environment, the Welsh government said.

In addition to renewable energy and resource efficiency increase, the Welsh government has also identified the delivery of nature-based solutions, and taking a place-based approach as priorities.

The strategy, announced today, August 22, 2017, by the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths represents the second major step in the implementation of the Environment (Wales) Act.

Lesley Griffiths said: “Working with nature and being more efficient with our natural resources has crucial benefits – less pollution, less waste and less impact. Managing them to best effect can play an important role in supporting our communities and future competitiveness, creating jobs and new business opportunities in Wales.”

According to the Welsh body for marine energies Marine Energy Wales (MEW), over €100 million of EU structural funds has been prioritized for marine energy in Wales.

Also, Wales boasts two array scale demonstration zones, seabed agreements in place for three separate tidal projects and a number of proposals for tidal range projects.

Furthermore, in a report published in March 2017 by MEW, it is stated that the investments in the Welsh marine energy sector have increased for over £23 million since 2015, with current investment reaching £68.3 million.

The report also found that the sector directly supported 137 full-time equivalent jobs – 101 more jobs than two years ago.

To remind, MEW recently received funding from the Coastal Communities Fund for its Marine Energy Test Area (META) project which is expected to provide increased opportunities for the upskilling and diversification of local supply chain, and contribute to de-risking of marine renewables project developments.

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