Locally owned renewable energy: Welsh Government call for evidence
09 May 2018
We welcome the Welsh Government’s interest in locally owned renewable energy. Our response draws on a range of research undertaken by the Heat and the City research group at the University of Edinburgh, including a UK-wide study of local authorities and energy; and on the Financing Community Energy research project being led by Tyndall Manchester.
In our response we made the following general comments, before responding to individual points raised in the call:
- We suggest that greater attention should be paid to city/town/settlement scale infrastructure for a low carbon energy system, including area based upgrading of the built environment and low carbon heating infrastructure. Heat and energy efficiency for a low energy building stock are crucial to meeting Welsh and UK Government legally binding targets for carbon abatement.
- At national scale, Wales has opportunities for sharing risk, costs and benefits of energy developments – i.e. the direct benefit to the citizens of Wales through public ownership and the aggregate costs across society of decarbonisation.
- Local Authority planning and ownership could be considered further as key components to securing greater local control and accountability, and achieving Welsh Government objectives. Our research indicates that further developing specific roles, powers, resources and responsibilities of local institutional actors in energy planning and ownership, especially Local Authorities would also add value to Welsh society and economy.