Meeting notes 29 March 2023
Meeting held at the Bute Parc education centre
David Clubb, Chair
Jenifer Baxter, Deputy Chair
Aleena Khan, Commissioner
Stephen Brooks, Commissioner
Nick Tune, Commissioner
For Agenda item 2 only
Leo Murray, Riding Sunbeams
Jessica Hooper, RenewableUK Cymru
Ben Lewis, RenewableUK Cymru
Eurgain Powell, Commissioner
Eluned Parrott, Commissioner
Helen Armstrong, Commissioner
Welcome and declarations of interest
The Chair welcomed the Commissioners to the meeting Stephen Brooks declared new on-shore wind clients. It was agreed the register of interest would be circulated to all commissioners to check their entry and update as necessary
Jenifer Baxter and Stephen Brooks are hosting the South Wales joint RPTI event on April 18.
Action: circulate register of interest for updating: Secretariat
The Chair opened the session explaining the commission has touched on grid issues as part of their exploration of renewable energy, however had concluded with current resources the national grid is too complex to explore in detail; however, they still want to increase their knowledge base around the issues.
Leo Murray gave a presentation about his Riding Sunbeams proposal which aims to provide solutions to the core problem of how grid infrastructure investment structure is nor suited to the delivery of renewable energy targets.
Jessica Hooper and Ben Lewis then gave a presentation on the work of Renewables UK/Cymru.
Both presentations highlighted the challenge of mid wales as a key area for generation of renewable power and the absence of suitable transmission infrastructure. The presentation covered initiatives for transmission solutions to benefit communities.
The discussion highlighted the following points:
- The need to find achievable solutions, as ambition can stifle action.
- The need for feasibility studies, especially with regard to demand/supply issues.
- Prioritising ownership and visual impact.
- Ideas of how to encourage discussion about the intractable issues of resourcing and competing interests. It was agreed that NICW would like to do more work on understanding the issues and identifying solutions, including international practices with a view to developing some articles/blog posts.
Action: Guests to provide details of how NICW can provide support: Secretariat
The following items of commission business were discussed:
• Meeting notes and actions from previous meeting were noted and accepted. • The secretariat report was noted. • A update meeting with the Welsh Government about progress on the recommendations in NICWs 2020 digital report was requested. • Jenifer Baxter agreed to lead on a response to the PPW biodiversity consultation. • IDG Action Plan
Commissioners focused on the internal running of meetings and developing work programmes. It was agreed breaks would be built into meetings; check in would incorporate time to share success and disappointments. There was an acknowledgement that as NICW now has a full work programme the monthly meeting should focus on NICW business and separate meetings to discuss specific subjects with guests should be arranged when necessary.
Commissioners discussed if they were becoming involved to Welsh Government policy cycles and agreed a more proactive approach, such as engaging early and not responding to every consultation. It was also agreed that a forward work programme, including consultations and research would be a useful tool.
The chair made suggestions for a process to capture commissioners views on topics and ensure where there is not a consensus this is reflected in published material.
The year 3 project on existential risk was discussed with suggestions for a shift towards adaptation and behaviour change.
The following items were not reached and will be covered in the next meeting:
A future session on Values/North Star