Make the rain pay to meet renewables targets, Aberconwy AM

Original by Allan George, North Wales Pioneer -… 

SCHEMES to make the rain pay should be encouraged by the Welsh Government to hit renewable energy targets.


Aberconwy AM, Janet Finch-Saunders, made a plea in the Senedd for support for hydro-electricity schemes. She said: “Wales as a whole, from Cardiff Bay to Capel Curig, is arguably the wettest part of the UK. Snowdonia sees the highest annual rainfall in Wales, while Cardiff is the wettest city in Britain.

“With such an abundance of rain, and more than 600 rivers flowing across Wales, much progress can be achieved through encouraging investment in micro, and small-scale hydro schemes.

“With the right incentives the Welsh Government could turn the tide on the slow growth in Welsh hydro, and make rain pay in Wales for our environment”.

She added: “While the Welsh Government claims to offer grants, loans, and advice for the development of hydro schemes, the reality is very different. For example, I know farmers who have been relying on bank loans to fund 100 per cent of small hydro schemes. At the same time others, such as Natural Resources Wales are contributing to the financial whirlpool by demanding extortionate amount of money for licences.

“As one person put to me, the cost of the schemes is just prohibitive.

“Wales is still a long way off reaching the target of generating 70 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

“The support offered for hydro schemes can be reformed, through introducing a hydropower development programme that provides a 50 per cent grant towards the total cost of building future hydropower schemes.”