Minister Urges Welsh Councils To Renew Sustainable Energy Commitment

Amber-ruddFollowing an announcement from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that shale gas extraction planning applications are to be fast-tracked, the Minister for Natural Resources, Carl Sargeant, has written to local authorities in Wales setting out his expectations of their role in the Welsh approach to energy creation. 

UK energy secretary Amber Rudd (pictured) last week announced a package of measures to speed up shale gas applications in England.

These include identifying councils that do not determine oil and gas applications within the 16-week statutory timeframe, and subsequent applications potentially decided by the UK Communities Secretary.

The Minister for Natural Resources has written to councils and other bodies with responsibility for planning to assure them these measures were applicable to English councils only and remind them of the Welsh Government approach, reiterating the preference for renewable forms of generation over oil and gas exploration.

“The Welsh Government is determined to show leadership in addressing the causes of climate change. Despite recent announcements in England, we still see renewable energy as a key element in ensuring that Wales achieves sustainable development for the benefit of future generations”

He said: “We continue to believe that the technologies behind hydraulic fracturing are unproven and therefore we have maintained our precautionary policy framework in respect of proposals involving “fracking”, that is why we imposed a moratorium.

“Our vision for future energy generation is based on embracing Wales’ abundant renewable energy resources which provide exciting and immediate opportunities. Wales is a green and clever land and we want to ensure, in accordance with the principles set out in the ground breaking Well-being of Future Generations Act, that we address the issue of climate change immediately through the effective deployment of renewable energy technologies.

“The Welsh Government is determined to show leadership in addressing the causes of climate change. Despite recent announcements in England, we still see renewable energy as a key element in ensuring that Wales achieves sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.

“Measures announced by DECC, and the UK Government’s general support for oil and gas applications is contrary to the approach of the Welsh Government of promoting renewable and low carbon forms of energy through the planning system and other measures.

“We still see renewable energy as a key element in ensuring that Wales achieves sustainable development for the benefit of future generations. Local planning authorities must ensure that planning applications for renewable energy projects are determined within statutory timescales.”


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