WAG's 'Low Carbon Revolution' is idealistic not realistic, says West Coast Energy

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Independent wind energy developer calls for more pragmatism.

The Welsh Assembly Government’s (WAG) new energy policy statement ‘A Low Carbon Revolution’ is more idealistic than realistic, according to leading wind energy developer, West Coast Energy. The Mold-based company feels that although the proposals are rightly ambitious, a little more pragmatism is required for a realistic viable transition to a low carbon economy for Wales.

The strategy, launched on 15th March by Minister for Environment Sustainability and Housing Jane Davidson, sets out the WAG’s ambitions for the transition to a more sustainable economy for Wales. It focuses on a three-tiered approach to maximise energy efficiency and proposes electricity production via secure and indigenous renewable means such as marine, wind, water and biomass.

Richard Fearnall, Development Manager, West Coast Energy comments: “Whilst the policy statement is welcomed and is rightly ambitious in some areas it is cautious in others. Greater weight in delivering the proposed 48TWhr of renewable energy per annum by 2025 should be given to commercially viable, available and deliverable forms of generation, rather than more costly, immature or high risk solutions. The total potential capacity form each type of technology stated in the document should not been seen as ceilings if Wales really wants to lead the world in low carbon energy. The WAG needs to be realistic not idealistic, producing as much renewable energy as they can from each alternative technology

“I am also concerned that the statement is vague where it needs to be precise. References are made to the provision of increased support to resolve the issues currently delaying the delivery of onshore wind projects, as well as greater support for ‘brownfield’, ‘community’ ‘localised’ and ‘small-scale’ generation through the planning process. However, the document is rather short on detail as to how this will be delivered.

“Reading between the lines, it looks as though we are going to have to continue to work hard to convince policy makers that onshore wind power is the most available and deliverable option. It should be given appropriate weighting in a proposal of this nature. There is too much emphasis on untried, untested and potentially unrealistic technologies.”

About West Coast Energy:

West Coast Energy Limited is a leading independent wind energy developer based in Mold, North Wales. The company was established in 1996 and operates throughout the UK. Its team of experienced professionals specialise in the identification, design, planning and development of wind energy projects through to construction and operation.

West Coast Energy is presently involved in developing hundreds of megawatts of wind power generation for the UK’s future renewable energy needs, and to date, has secured planning permission for a range of onshore and offshore wind farms totalling in excess of 550 Megawatts.

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