SP Energy Networks welcomes Welsh Government Net Zero Wales Plan

04/11/2021

We welcome the publication of the Welsh Government's Net Zero Wales Plan and stand ready to support its delivery. 

The strategy clearly sets out the areas of focus the Welsh Government see as priorities to reach its decarbonisation targets, including low carbon heating, new infrastructure investment, regional growth deal proposals and local area energy planning. 

As a network operator for North and Mid Wales, our work is critical to achieving Net Zero and we are pleased to see further collaboration between network operators and government prioritised in the Plan. 

Together we will work to ensure resilient grid infrastructure to support electric vehicle charging, the decarbonisation of heat, and that opportunities are identified for projects in Wales to be supported by innovation funding. This work will help the Welsh Government in delivering the ambitions and policies within this Plan. 

We are also pleased to welcome the Welsh Government's plan to publish a Net Zero Wales Skills Action Plan in spring next year, setting out how it will prepare the workforce of the future, and its commitment to a Just Transition for all - a priority we share. 

Our CEO, Frank Mitchell, said: "We welcome the recent publication of the Welsh Government's Net Zero Wales Plan. Supporting the communities we serve to reach Net Zero is critical to us and the Plan will go a long way to supporting Wales in its own decarbonisation efforts. 

"Our networks play a key role in the energy transition, and we are proud to already be working with the Welsh Government on projects like the Ynys Mon Hydrogen Island, which involves using the excess electricity generated in North Wales to create hydrogen to refuel vehicles disembarking from the ferries at Holyhead. 

We're also a partner in the Energy Networks in Wales Future Grid Study, and in a trial with the Welsh Government for Local Area Energy Planning with Conwy County Borough Council - both enabling us to play a central role in developing networks that meet the needs of the customers and local communities we serve, whilst providing the best long-term value for wider society. 

"We're also driving our own innovation in North Wales. The Angle DC project, trialling a smart and flexible reinforcement method on a section of our network between Anglesey and North Wales, is now close to being commissioned and the trial phase commencing. 

"These activities form a part of our wider ambition to drive a sustainable future. Through £27.8m of Ofgem Green Recovery funding we are taking forward a number of projects in Wales that will demonstrate the importance of accelerating investment in the decarbonisation of heat and transport - which we know from the Welsh Government's Net Zero Wales Plan are sectors it agrees are priorities for decarbonisation. 

"We are focused on the areas we know will have significant impact and that will drive the step change needed across the energy landscape, including continued investment as set out in our RIIO-ED2 business plan. A whole system balanced approach, whilst supporting a Just Transition is critical, and we're proud to be supporting the Welsh Government's work to be at the forefront of such significant developments in our industry to deliver the network of the future."

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