What assessment has the Cabinet Secretary made of setting community energy targets for local authorities, ensuring that planning delays are limited, assisting communities hoping to generate their own power and helping the Welsh Government achieve its target of 1GW of Wales's electricity through locally owned energy by 2030?
Welsh Government work on the planning system generally seeks to focus efforts on making the planning system as streamlined and efficient as possible, whilst delivering good quality places for communities. The Planning (Wales) Act introduced pre-application advice services in local planning authorities for communities to seek support early on in the development process.
The Welsh Government has written to planning authorities requesting that they seek to assist community groups with planning applications for renewable energy schemes wherever possible and in 2016 the Welsh Government ran community renewables training workshops for planning authorities to facilitate a better understanding of local authority officers on how a community scheme operates in practice.
The annual ‘Energy Generation in Wales Study’ for 2017 is currently being compiled and will provide a breakdown of the number of renewable energy installations, type of technology and aggregated level of installed capacity for all local authorities in Wales. We are currently considering the introduction of ownership data for each local authority in the Report, which would then highlight the amount of community ownership for each local authority.