Workshop 4. 21 October, 12:30 - 13:30
Document articulates the region’s aspirations and ambitions, to be recognised as one of the best places in the UK, for low carbon energy generation – how do we put steps in place to achieve that?
Ensure that the language of the document is positive and constructive, and highlights the opportunities to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem.
More emphasis needed on the new jobs that will be created: identifying the skills, identifying the jobs and then inspiring young people to apply for them; encourage young people to set up and develop businesses, and be involved in the collaboration.
Appropriateness of existing electricity distribution infrastructure, to distribute electricity to all parts of the region, from wherever it is produced, needs to be considered.
Transport emissions is a large contributor but, appears to have been omitted.
Lack of reference to behaviour change in the document - a huge challenge to persuade the population to change their behaviour and thinking around the use of electric pump cars and heaters, and how energy is used and sold.
Housing challenge: a lot of wasted energy; need funding for better insulation; EPC is a huge practical and financial challenge; lack of resources across the region.
Energy consumption/production: offshore is mentioned, also need to emphasise tidal, estuary and wind (and their impact on reducing flood risks).
EV charging is a challenge and opportunity.
Agriculture element needs strengthening; land use challenge is key.
Challenge of scaling-up community projects, regulatory issues need to be unpacked; change in mind-sets.
Understanding how the private sector can contribute is a challenge.
Ensure that document language is positive and constructive, and highlights the opportunities to be part of the solution, and not part of the problem
Challenges in this arena are meaty, need clarity on how we work our way through this.
Innovation active companies – reaching the ‘missing middle’ (i.e the M of SME) is an opportunity; how can we engage with them effectively?
Develop local supply chains across North Wales so, that people and businesses have the opportunity to work on projects in their areas; need to motivate local companies, to look for opportunities, and to have confidence to apply for the work.
Motivating young people in our schools, to follow STEM courses and opportunities that will arise from that, to pursue new careers in the region.
Improved quality, skills & specialist skill-set of workers needed – anticipating skill needs for the low carbon economy.
Education needs to be in place at all levels – anticipating skill needs for the low carbon economy.
Is there a way for developers to share information with Natural Resources Wales? Would developers prosper from sharing such information.?
Improving the consenting process in Wales – improving the decision-making process and timeline, for renewable/low carbon developments.
Bioeconomy – can use novel/natural local materials (especially in construction); there may be opportunities here with agriculture.
Regional Priorities, paving the way for 2040 vision
REF needs to be clearer about what the offer is to encourage interest, buy-in and action (recognising that it is difficult to make the REF relevant to everybody).
Most within the commercial sector are unaware of REF & what it means for them; REF needs to define financial investment/support (i.e the what’s in it for me?).
Without adequate infrastructure the decarbonisation of projects across rural areas cannot be achieved; more support for local community-owned energy.
Encourage local companies to work together, and go for the opportunities that the proposed developments bring
Need to build the physical and virtual infrastructure to keep skills and industries in the region; without the correct infrastructure, existing businesses will not be able to plan for the future, when older staff leave or retire i.e succession planning. Need a regional succession plan and ensure young skilled talent isn’t lost.
Importance of looking at what is achievable and ensuring that we get investment into the region, to ensure that the supply chain follows on.
Joined-up regional economic resilience approach; needs to be on a local/regional & national level (reference to the IWA report which highlighted gaps).
Recognise the speed of change needed – need to accelerate development & get things operational.
Role of WG is crucial in driving things forward & alignment with other regions within UK.
Decarbonisation of transport – omitted and needs to be included as priority.
Work to keep businesses & establish new businesses. Keep local, keep jobs and reduce travel requirement.
Future regional collaborative working principles
REF owned by everyone but, delivery plan needs to be owned by someone – WG have a critical role to play here, hand in hand with NWEAB & the region; appreciating that some levers fall outside of WG control.
Shared ambition and maintaining ownership across the region is important (including the North West); possible role for the NWEAB to ensure full understanding and collaboration with the MDA & North West.
Improve broadband and mobile phone signalling, as this may limit online activity
Identify the opportunities for businesses, people and economy; link businesses to have a circular economy a ‘dating app’ platform?
Procedure & bureaucracy needs cutting out.
Need to work with focus, pace & accessibility, this needs to be at the forefront of activity, making decisions early and acting swiftly.