Carmarthenshire leads the way, but poor progress in Wales

Wales 72% behind schedule on meeting TAN8 renewable energy targets

The BWEA in Wales has welcomed the consent given to a wind farm project in Carmarthenshire after councillors voted in favour of the 10 turbine scheme which could generate up to 30 MW.

The project was given a clear recommendation by the council's head of planning officer who explained that in approving the project the council was working within its own Unitary Development Plan as well as the Welsh Assembly Government guidance on Planning for Renewable Energy.

Jerry Sturman of project developer Catamount Cymru said:

"We first submitted this project back in January 2005. It has taken a long time getting here, but today I congratulate Carmarthenshire County Council for following their own local guidance, as well as the Welsh Government's national policy on renewable energy."

The BWEA Wales committee, representing wind, wave and tidal renewable energy technologies, have also congratulated Carmarthenshire County Council for implementing their own guidance on renewables, in line with the Welsh Assembly guidance.

Since the Welsh Assembly Government published it Planning for Renewable Energy policy in July 2005, which set specific targets of building an additional 800 MW of electricity from onshore wind power by 2010, Welsh local authorities have only approved a total of two wind farm projects between them, amounting to a mere 45.6 MW - well behind the 800 MW that is required. Progress is so slow that Wales is currently 72% behind schedule in achieving its 2010 targets.

Llywelyn Rhys, BWEA's Wales Officer, said:

"We have a very long way to go in Wales if we are to achieve our targets of increasing our electricity generation from renewable sources. The positive decision in Carmarthenshire is an excellent example of what can happen when policy is put into place and adhered to. If Wales is to do its part in tackling climate change then greater effort and urgency is needed by local governments to implement national policy."

He continued:

"BWEA call on Welsh Assembly Government to show clear leadership and ensure that policy which tackles climate change is not continually frustrated by local governments. Otherwise, Wales has no chance of producing greener energy by 2010."
Alison Hill

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