Lack of Westminster funding for electric grid holding Wales back, Prime Minister warned
Wales will struggle with high energy prices and be unable to realise its renewables potential unless the UK Government invests in the National Grid, the Prime Minister has been warned.
In a question following a statement about the PM’s appearance at COP27, Plaid Cymru Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts drew attention to recent findings of the Welsh Affairs Committee, which said that many renewable energy projects that are ready to be built are being held back amid uncertainty over how they will connect to the grid.
The barriers identified by the Committee include the regulatory framework not allowing anticipatory investment, delays in planning consent and high upfront connection costs making many projects financially unviable.
Ms Saville Roberts will be seeking a further meeting after Mr Sunak said he would be happy to discuss with her, and agreed that “we need to ensure that we invest in our grid to enable the transition”.
Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday (9 November), Ms Saville Roberts said: “At COP27, the Prime Minister boasted about the UK’s investment in renewables, yet a recent report by the Welsh Affairs Committee warned that Wales’s renewable energy potential is ‘threatened by a lack of UK Government leadership on improving grid connectivity’.
“The Prime Minister mentioned a number of worthwhile, good projects in the pipeline in Wales, but, without that connectivity, many of them are under threat.
“Will he set out an accelerated timetable for improving grid capacity so that Wales can realise its full potential in energy generation and, in so doing, slash bills for communities throughout Wales?”
Rishi Sunak responded: “The right hon. Lady is right that we need to ensure that we invest in our grid to enable the transition. That is an absolutely fair point and I know it is something the National Grid is focused on. I would be happy to get more into it and discuss it with her in the future.”
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