Political support is crucial for the development of the emerging offshore renewable energy sector.
Our summary of manifestos focuses on the key commitments made by the Welsh political parties to support tidal stream, wave, tidal range and floating offshore wind energy during the upcoming Senedd term.
In party alphabetical order:
Plaid Cymru commitments:
- Set a Wales 2035 Mission to decarbonise and to reach net zero emissions.
- Advance our wave and tidal technologies to fully realise our coastal potential.
- Establish Ynni Cymru as an energy development company with a target of generating 100 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2035. Ynni Cymru, located in Ynys Môn, will help facilitate peer-to-peer trading of electricity between microgrids and virtual energy islands.
- We will change the existing target for Wales electricity demand to be powered by renewables from 70 per cent to 100 per cent by 2030 and set a new target that 100 per cent of electricity generation within Wales will be renewable by 2035.
- Invest in decarbonisation research, particularly for key industrial sectors such as steel, and position ourselves as a world leader in emerging Welsh strengths such as hydrogen and marine energy.
- Create a £6bn Green Economic Stimulus which will generate 60,000 jobs over the five-year term.
- Create Prosperity Wales, an arms-length development agency, to focus on growing small and medium-sized Welsh firms.
- Develop Industrial Innovation Clusters in key areas of the economy.
- We will develop a ports and maritime strategy for Wales, focusing on opportunities in freight and distribution, cruise tourism and renewables related developments. We will work with port owners and the private sector as part of this strategy to draw up a specific master plan for each individual port
- Task the National Infrastructure Commission to devise a plan to future proof Wales’ electricity grids.
Welsh Conservatives commitments:
- Establish a £150 million Wales Marine Energy Investment Fund to purchase equity in marine energy projects, including small scale and hydro, to produce renewable energy whilst prioritising those with flood protection benefits
- Support the Welsh steel industry to become the greenest in the world
- Stimulate the creation of 15,000 long-term green collar jobs to help Wales meet its carbon reduction targets
- Work with Welsh universities and the private sector to create a new centre of excellence and research into energy storage and transportation
- Set a target of net-zero carbon emissions in Wales by 2050 and a target for all new homes to be zero carbon by 2026
- Fund a Welsh Tidal Power Feasibility Study to accelerate the delivery of tidal power projects around Wales and provide open-source data for developers
- Work with the Welsh Government to design a Shared Prosperity Fund that can target pockets of deprivation in rural Wales
- Establish a £20 million Welsh Ports Development Fund to support an increase in Welsh exports, creating more jobs, alongside the UK Government’s Freeport programme
- Establish “Innovate Wales”, based in North Wales, a one stop shop for firms to support new enterprises, and encourage existing businesses to grow and export
Welsh Green Party commitments:
- Supporting faster deployment of wave, tidal stream and tidal lagoon energy, onshore and offshore wind, solar power, hydropower, district heat networks, a new hydrogen economy and storage.
- Setting up a Green Transformation Fund for Wales (GTFW) to immediately finance ambitious decarbonisation and Green New Deal measures raising billions of pounds by issuing Green Transformation Bonds. This would meet the scale and urgency of the need to invest in carbon-reducing infrastructure, creating tens of thousands of new jobs across Wales.
- Advocating for a carbon tax to help reduce Wales’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. A steadily rising price will be placed on all sources of greenhouse gas emissions, including agricultural emissions and those embedded in imports. Revenue goes to residents and to greening the economy.
- Delivering a Green vision to deliver net zero by 2030, replacing fossil fuels with onshore and offshore renewable energy and necessary upgrades to the electricity grid.
- Recognising that action is required at all scales, whilst prioritising community-scale renewable energy and decarbonisation projects supporting job creation and opportunities for local people.
- Supporting clean, decentralised power networks – renewable energy schemes, low carbon heat networks, heat pumps and energy storage – maximising economic and community benefit, whilst minimising environmental and social impacts.
- Developing new innovative funds and local banks such as Banc Cambria, and social lenders to support social and environmental start-ups and the transitioning of existing industries.
Welsh Labour commitments:
- Support innovation in new renewable energy technology, with a particular focus on supporting to market new technologies that need additional help. As part of a balanced energy policy, we will develop a Tidal Lagoon Challenge and support ideas that can make Wales a world centre of emerging tidal technologies.
- Invest for the long term in the green and modern infrastructure Wales needs to thrive. We will launch a new 10-year Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for a zero-carbon economy.
- We will support innovation through our new Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in North Wales and our new Manufacturing Strategy to help key areas of our economy, such as aerospace and steel, to innovate, grow and reduce their carbon footprint.
- Uphold our policy of opposing the extraction of fossil fuels in Wales, both on land and in Welsh waters, using the powers available to us. We will expand renewable energy generation by public bodies and community groups in Wales by over 100MW by 2026, working towards our target of 1GW in public sector and community renewable energy capacity by 2030.
- Take forward our Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission for Wales and promote good quality skills in the areas where we know the economy will grow. We will strengthen Regional Skills Partnerships to ensure supply meets the changing economic needs of Wales.
- Use our £500m Wales Flexible Investment Fund to support economic recovery and expand the Development Bank of Wales’ patient capital funds to provide long-term lending to small and medium sized enterprises, entrepreneurs and start-ups.
- Build a sustainable future for our key ports
Welsh Liberal Democrats commitments:
- Continue to work with the UK Government to deliver tidal energy projects in Wales. We must ensure that the electricity grid is ready to meet Wales’ energy aspirations. There are significant challenges with the grid that must be overcome if we are going to transition to a carbon neutral energy system.
- Make Holyhead a regional hub for renewable energy and hydrogen production, creating new, long-term jobs and opportunities for local businesses.
- Make Port Talbot the principal manufacturing and port hub for floating offshore wind in Wales, to lead the manufacturing and assembly of floating offshore technology.
- Campaign for regulatory reform by the UK government to promote grid investment.
- Pursue the devolution of the Crown Estate to support rapid deployment of more marine renewable energy.
- Invest in the infrastructure required to increase the capacity for renewable energy production. This would include the implementation of a grid system upgrade, informed by the National Infrastructure Commission tasked with carrying out a strategic review.
- Create a package of investment of £1bn per year to fight the climate emergency, creating new jobs, stability for supply chains and businesses, and investing in new technology.
- Pass an Economic Development Bill, providing long term stability to grow supply chains and strengthen the economy
- Invest in high-quality apprenticeships and training, deepening the connections between our colleges and universities to support research, innovation, and address skills shortages for ‘new’ jobs and technologies.