Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Written Evidence

Written Evidence from Naomi Klenerman, Energy Officer, Wrexham Branch, Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW)

  I am writing on behalf of the Wrexham branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales. We are particularly concerned with the effect the current energy policies and targets, laid down by the UK Government and the National Assembly for Wales, will have on our Welsh landscapes, Welsh tourism and Welsh economy.

  We would like to comment on Section 1 a./b. in particular where energy is looked at in terms of needs and provision.

  In October this year Wrexham Branch of CPRW organised a symposium on energy efficiency and micro generation, addressed by national experts.

  The conclusions were clear:

      1.  UK share of global emissions is 2.3% and if the 2010 targets are met it can only be 0.0004% of global emissions.

    A zero carbon UK would have no effect on climate change (Renewable Energy Foundation)

      2.  During 2003 electricity consumption rose by 1.5% compared to 2002. As 1.5% =5.1TWh (Marches Energy Agency)

    Wales would have to produce more than the target of the TAN 8 SSA's simply to meet the increase in demand in one year alone.

    This is compounded by the fact that the UK is reaching the end of its spare grid capacity by increased obsolescence of generating plant and is becoming increasingly dependent on imported gas so that our supply is no longer secure.

    We need to reduce energy consumption

      3.  It is possible to cut energy use (electricity and heat) by 20% and to use energy more efficiently. This must be part of an integrated solution and will need support from government. The domestic sector can make as important a contribution as the industrial in reducing demand and local generation.

      4.  There are many viable options for generating energy from renewable sources; making homes self sufficient; producing energy in a way that is less environmentally damaging: at a local level by micro generation eg producing heat and electricity from biomass which is an ideal solution for small Welsh communities.

    There will be less loss from transmission, as well as reducing the need for connections to the grid. Communities can earn income from the surplus. Local micro generation will encourage the local Welsh economy by job creation and the economic activity of a new industry.

    We urge the committee to recommend a balanced energy strategy. Such strategy should look not only at production but also encourage conservation by incentives and subsidies for efficiency and self-sufficiency in both home and industry and should highlight the contribution of micro generation to the total energy policy.

    We urge you to place value on the role of our Welsh landscapes in providing places of tranquillity for those who live in Wales and for those who visit it. Tourism was worth £63.4 million in Wrexham County Borough in 2004 (NW.STEAM initiative).

1 December 2005

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