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14. Resources for community / local energy


We will scale up resources to support community and local renewable energy in Wales including:

  1. From the Welsh Government Energy Service with staff and financial support to ensure coverage for community owned heat, energy efficiency and transport project development (with continuation for renewable electricity) and support for shared ownership
  2. Action from government to encourage private developers to include options for shared local and community ownership including through tenders issued on public land.
  3. Welsh Government funding to build additional capacity in community enterprises to help them start to scale their work and mentor smaller organisations, to create a larger, sustainable sector.

Key highlights / milestones    

This recommendation is progressing well with continued support for community and local energy from the Welsh Government.
Key highlights since the deep dive include:

  • Increasing funding for the Welsh Government Energy Service (WGES) to support community groups access grants to support their projects. The funding enables the groups to employ staff and explore opportunities for investing in shared ownership projects;
  • Publishing more detailed guidance on our expectations, in terms of encouragement, for private developers to include options for shared ownership, (see recommendation 17). 
  • Feasibility analysis is underway on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate which will inform the development of renewable energy projects in public land.
  • In March 2022, we awarded Community Energy Wales (CEW) with a four-fold increase of funding to deliver their three-year business plan.

Next steps towards completion

Recruitment for new positions within WGES and CEW will support the continued implementation of this recommendation.

15. CEW and publicly owned developer (Ynni Cymru)


We will ensure that the community owned sector is involved and gains input into Ynni Cymru considering the following 3 options:

  1. The community energy sector has a stake in the publicly owned developer 
  2. WG invest in an existing community energy organisation to deliver this work e.g., YnNi Teg, Egni or a Coop of Energy Coops
  3. WG invest in both the publicly owned energy developer and a community owned energy developer = two bodies with resource to develop projects.

Key highlights / milestones 

There are two strands of activity to implement this recommendation.

Discussions continue on the implementation of the cooperation agreement to “work towards the creation of Ynni Cymru. 
As those discussions continue, work continues withing Welsh Government on establishing a publicly owned renewable energy development function.   

A key highlight since the deep dive included the appointment of a non-executive director to the Renewable Energy Developer interim board to represent the interests of community energy.

Next steps towards completion

This recommendation is complete with the investment in YnNi Teg and appointment of a community Board member to the public developer.

Over the next 6 months our priorities include:

  • Continued discussions between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru on working towards the creation of Ynni Cymru. 
  • Welsh Government Ministers to agree the scope and scale of the publicly owned renewable energy developer in the autumn.
  • Welsh Government and CEW to continue to review the capacity of YnNi Teg, and also consider the broader role of community groups in the energy transition. 

16. Community energy access to public estate


We will improve access to the public estate for the community energy sector via (a) community enterprises have rights to first proposal if not developed by a public body (b) structuring tendering processes to favour socially minded projects / community schemes.

Key highlights / milestones    

The principal driver for this recommendation was access to the Welsh Government Woodland Estate. As noted above feasibility analysis is underway on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate which will inform the development of renewable energy projects in public land.

Next steps towards completion

Over the coming months we will work with CEW and WGES to provide guidance on the benefits from communities having access to the public estate.

As Local Area Energy Plans are developed, these will provide a solid basis for identification of potential joint projects for public bodies and the communities in the area. 

The outcome of those considerations should result in improved access to the public estate for the community energy sector.

17. Ownership guidance


We will finalise and publicise the guidance on shared ownership, including what meets the definition of 'shared ownership', and work closely with private developers to maximise impact. We will publish the guidance in spring 2022

Key highlights / milestones    

This recommendation is now complete with the publication of our guidance document on Shared and Local Ownership of Energy Projects in Wales. This publication followed on from our earlier policy statement on local ownership of energy generation published in 2020.

Key highlights since the deep dive include:

  • Consulting on updated drafts with members of the deep dive group and the Welsh Government Energy Service;
  • Publishing Guidance in June 2022 along with a statement of support from the Minister for Climate change.

Next steps towards completion

While this recommendation is now complete, ongoing work will continue to ensure we maximise the impact of this guidance by raising awareness with local authorities, community and commercial developers, other government bodies and relevant stakeholders.

Ongoing monitoring of our local ownership targets will be reported in our regular Energy Generation in Wales publication.