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Workshop 4: The Low Carbon Economy

Workshop 4. 21 October, 12:30 - 13:30


General

  • 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.


Regional Challenges

  • 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.

  • Timing.


 




Regional Opportunities

  • 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.


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