Increasing Wales’ onshore wind capacity to 2.2GW could grant £20 million per year for its communities, says RenewableUK Cymru (RUKC).
A new report by RUKC revealed that by increasing Wales’ current capacity by just 900MW (from 1.3GW) would allow existing Community Benefit Fund schemes to increase their annual offering by £13.5 million.
Releasing the ‘Onshore Wind in Wales: How our sector works with communities’ report at a conference in Newport yesterday (7 November) the trade association said that Welsh communities are “poised to seize the green energy opportunity from onshore wind.”
“Wales stands at the threshold of an extraordinary transformation towards a sustainable and prosperous future. The potential is evident, but we are making it very clear to Welsh Government that this can only be realised in an environment conducive to ongoing development,” said Manon Kynaston, assistant director at RenewableUK Cymru.
“Obstacles related to planning and grid constraints persist. This is precisely why we need a clear roadmap and delivery plan to unlock the community benefits described in this report and advance our collective goal of true partnership working in Wales.”
New partnership to bolster offshore wind power in Wales
Welsh offshore wind also saw a positive boost this week as RUKC and Marine Energy Wales signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work collaboratively, particularly within the wave and floating wind (FLOW) sector.
Now signed, the agreement will see the two organisations:
- Maximise the potential opportunities of offshore wind, including floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.
- Build a healthy and innovative supply chain.
- Collectively raise the profile of and attract investment to Wales, whilst providing a platform for business development, political engagement and networking.
- Influence stakeholders in UK and Welsh Government to remove or reduce barriers to renewables deployment.
“Power generation from a diverse renewable energy mix is a win-win for Wales, benefitting all geographical regions in industrial, rural and coastal communities; from Tidal energy in Morlais, fixed offshore wind off the coast of North Wales, onshore wind energy across Wales and floating wind in the Celtic Sea region,” said Jess Hooper, director at RenewableUK Cymru, addressing the new partnership.
We look forward to working together with Marine Energy Wales to help speed up delivery and kick-start our journey to net zero.”