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Westminster Government has ‘dithered and failed’ – Community Energy Wales

17 Feb 2024 2 minute read
Ben Ferguson. Photo: Delyth Higgin. Windfarm Photo: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

As the UK enters recession, the Co-directors of Community Energy Wales have criticised the Westminster Government for failing to make the most of opportunities to transform the Welsh economy through a green community revolution.

Community Energy Wales, a not for profit membership organisation, aims to support and accelerate the transition to a low carbon and community-led energy system in Wales.

Leanne Wood and Ben Ferguson said: “The Westminster government has dithered and failed to make the game changing moves that would kick start a mass scale up of community energy.”

“Prevented growth”

“By failing to allow for local trading – where small community energy developers can sell the energy they create to the local community at a lower price, the government has prevented the growth of the community energy sector and stopped people being able to make the changes to their energy usage to cut their bills.

“During a cost of living crisis and now recession, this is unforgivable,” said Leanne Wood and Ben Ferguson

Leanne Wood. Picture: David Ho

“Local trading would be a game changer, but the UK government is stopping it from happening.”

According to the Co-directors, the scaling up of community energy would help to cut carbon emissions, improve energy security, has the potential to reduce bills, tacking the cost of living crisis and would provide the benefits to communities that come with community ownership of energy assets.

Leanne Wood and Ben Ferguson added: “Financial investment, local trading and the removal of other barriers like grid access, planning constraints and access to land would provide for the circumstances to ramp up what our sector does so that every community can do what our members in Bethesda, Tegryn, Cwmgors, Gower and many other communities are doing with such great success.

“There are fantastic examples of what can be done, but we must change the business conditions before we can operate at the scale that is possible.

“It’s not too late for the Westminster government to change course and support local trading and doing so could help turn around the economy over the longer term. Other countries are doing it, why not Wales?””

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G Horton-Jones.
G Horton-Jones.
1 month ago

Here we go again on our knees to England
We have to set our own course here in Wales It’s our future not our neighbours for them to decide

Sarah Eyles
Sarah Eyles
1 month ago

Great article! So true. We could be using the Energy Local template for locally produced energy to benefit local communities. Instead the Senedd plan to turn Wales into an industrial wasteland in order to produce power for the whole of the UK, with little or no benefits to local communities. Tragic and treacherous.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago

Pa syndod. Nid yw Llywodraeth Cymru fawr mwy na llywodraeth byped, yn llawn dop o Gwislingiaid di-weledigaeth, di-ruddin, di-uchelgais namyn uchelgais personol, a di-asgwrn-cefn. A dichon y gwelir hyn yn glir wedi’r etholiad cyffredinol nesaf.

1 month ago

We need green but I see the benefits going to large firms not the locals. The windy mills will generate but we still buy at market rates (we don’t see the profits). Wind today is generating around 30% of the UK power, but we pay inflated prices. System is still not geared for the consumer.

Just remember who is pulling Sunak’s strings.

Iago Traferth
Iago Traferth
1 month ago

Westminster’s fault.

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