Marine Energy Wales: The Infrastructure (Wales) Bill will be transformative for marine energy

The recently introduced Infrastructure (Wales) Bill, which includes a new unified consenting process for significant projects in Wales – both on land and in the sea – has been characterised as transformative for marine energy.

Archive; llustration/Morlais Demonstration Zone (Courtesy of Marine Energy Wales)

The Infrastructure (Wales) Bill was introduced on 12 June as an important step towards supporting Government commitments to delivering on renewable energy targets as we move towards net zero emissions by 2050.

It will capture significant infrastructure projects for which the Welsh Ministers have a responsibility to consent which will include onshore and offshore energy generating stations, certain overhead electric lines associated with a generating station, works to highways and railways, and wastewater treatment plants.

The new unified consenting process established in the Bill will provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for certain permissions, consents, licences and other requirements currently issued under different consenting regimes to be obtained as one package.

As explained, it will also offer a transparent, thorough and consistent process, which will allow local communities to better understand and effectively engage in decisions which affect them.

Furthermore, the bill aims to make new consenting processes able to meet future challenges in a timely manner by being sufficiently flexible to capture new and developing technologies, as well as any further consenting powers which may be devolved to Wales.

Marine Energy Wales,  the industry association for Welsh marine energy, welcomed the introduction of the Infrastructure (Wales) Bill, expressing its belief that the bill will be transformative for the marine energy sector and for the wider infrastructure landscape in Wales.

“A more streamlined and efficient consenting process outlined in this bill aligns perfectly with our goal to support the marine renewable energy sector and foster sustainable growth making Wales an even more attractive location for renewable energy investment”, the association said.

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