The manifesto calls for clear leadership to be shown by the next Welsh Government as they try to reach renewable energy targets and reduce harmful emissions.
Llywelyn Rhys, Head of RenewableUK Cymru, said: “Wind power and marine renewable technologies offer massive economic, environmental and social opportunities for Wales. The potential aim is clear – the wind energy sector alone will employ over 1,000 people in 2012 and contribute £158 million to the Welsh economy, rising to £1 billion by the end of the decade.”
“To take advantage of these opportunities the next Welsh Government needs to have detailed delivery plans for all renewable technologies and ensure that business support and infrastructure is adequate in helping the development of the industry.”
The manifesto identifies the main obstacles which have prevented the delivery of previous onshore wind turbines targets. These include the slow pace of decision-making, the lack of grid infrastructure and transport issues. RenewableUK Cymru is calling for new areas suitable for potential onshore wind farms to be identified, and is urging the Government to use its powers to intervene to determine some planning applications. Local planning authorities need more support from the Government when identifying opportunities for local wind farm schemes.
RenewableUK Cymru is also calling for a detailed offshore wind turbines delivery plan to ensure that the Welsh economy fully benefits from the growth in this technology. RenewableUK Cymru is specifically urging the next Government to replicate the announcement of the development grants made in England and Scotland in order assist Welsh ports to capitalize on the profitable development in this area.
In the fast-growing wave and tidal industry, RenewableUK Cymru is calling for a delivery plan showing how the ambitious targets set could be achieved. With one of the largest tidal ranges in the world, the Severn Estuary should remain as a major area of interest for renewable energy development.
Llywelyn Rhys concluded: “Wales is blessed with an enviable wind, wave and tidal resource – it’s up to the renewable energy industry, its stakeholders and the Welsh government to surmount the challenges so that we can all exploit this natural potential”.