The Welsh Affairs Committee launches an inquiry into renewable energy in Wales, focusing on what the UK Government can do to support the deployment of renewable energy generators in Wales, and how it can ensure subsidies for renewable energy represent good value for money to taxpayers.
Background to the inquiry
Wales is a net exporter of electricity, meaning that as well as generating electricity for homes and businesses in Wales, it also generates electricity which is distributed across Great Britain. Wales generates over 7% of the UK's renewable electricity, making an important contribution to the UK’s low-carbon energy supply.
Although the Government has announced a moratorium on new low carbon subsidies, this does not include £557 million of funding which has already been committed to renewable electricity. The Committee will be looking at how this money can best be spent, and what opportunities the funding presents for Wales.
Wales has been identified as a prime location for the deployment of tidal technology, and although the Government's decision not to support Swansea Bay tidal lagoon has raised questions about the likelihood of the UK Government supporting tidal lagoon projects, the Committee will investigate the viability of deploying tidal technology in Wales, alongside already prevalent technologies like solar, wind and biomass.
Launching the inquiry, Committee Chair David TC Davies commented:
"Recent choices by the UK Government—such as its decision not to support the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon—have raised questions about what opportunities there are for new renewable energy projects in Wales.
We will be investigating the areas where Wales is best placed to increase its renewable capacity, and asking how the Government should support this sector in Wales. We will also be looking at how we can ensure that Government support for renewable electricity represents good value for money."
Send a written submission
The inquiry seeks to address the following points:
- How can the UK Government best support the deployment of renewable generators in Wales?
- What mechanisms can ensure that subsidies for renewable generators are good value for money?
- What opportunities are there for renewable generators in Wales of greater interconnection with other electricity markets?
Interested parties are requested to keep to a word limit of 3,000 words and to focus on key areas that the Committee should investigate during its inquiry.
The Committee expects to begin the public evidence sessions for this inquiry in the new year.