Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts has drawn attention to the disparity between the UK Government’s intention to devolve further energy powers to Wales and the insufficient capacity currently available on the National Grid to accommodate new energy generation projects.
Liz Saville Roberts MP has called on both the UK and Welsh Governments to urgently ensure grid capacity is upgraded, so that efforts to increase energy generation in Wales, including renewable schemes, are not prevented from being implemented.
Under the Draft Wales Bill, energy schemes of up to 350MW would be devolved to the National Assembly, but there is currently no control over capacity where transmission is in question.
Speaking ahead of questions to the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change tomorrow (Thursday 07.01.16), Liz Saville Roberts MP said,
“Plaid Cymru has repeatedly called for power over major energy projects to be devolved to the Welsh Government, with a particular desire to increase Wales’ renewable capacity, such as tidal schemes.
But as things stand, the UK’s ageing National Grid network is known to cause transmission problems for new energy projects.
Given the UK Government's intention to devolve further energy consenting powers to the National Assembly for Wales, it’s vitally important that the Secretary of State works with the Welsh Government to ensure Grid capacity is upgraded and efforts to develop new energy generation projects are not held up by capacity issues with the National Grid in Wales.
Community energy groups wishing to generate renewable energy are prevented from doing so by the extortionate fees they are charged to upgrade the grid.
We require a concerted effort from both Government and energy providers so that potential energy generation schemes don’t fall foul at the first hurdle. Plaid Cymru is committed to an energy plan that is green and that can power Wales’ economic renewal and meet our global obligations in combatting climate change, but to do that we require the infrastructure and energy capacity which we are currently lacking.
Plaid Cymru is committed to making Wales self-sufficient in renewable electricity by 2035 if we form the Welsh Government. The Party has pledged to publish its route map to 2035 within 100 days of forming the next Welsh Government in May.”