Ynni Cymru will unlock Wales’ green energy potential
A successful, community-owned renewable energy company was the perfect location for Climate Change Minister Julie James and Plaid Cymru’s Designated Member Siân Gwenllian to launch Ynni Cymru – a new, a publicly-owned energy company for Wales.
Ynni Cymru, based at M-SParc, Ynys Mon, is being established to expand community-owned renewable energy generation across Wales as part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
Early scoping work has indicated that a strong opportunity exists for Ynni Cymru to position Wales at the forefront of developing and delivering smarter local energy projects.
On the visit to the Anafon Hydro in Abergwyngregyn, which generates almost 1 GWh of electricity a year from its base in Eryri National Park, the Minister and Designated Member confirmed that £750,000 has been given to 11 projects in the form of resource grants over the next three years.
These include Cwm Arian for their “Heart of Dyfed Power Unlocker” project; the Dyffryn Ogwen Gynaladwy project in Bethesda to deliver solar power on community and business buildings in the Ogwen Valley; Ynni Cymunedol Gwrog’s Tanygrisiau heat project; and support to Ynni Newydd Cyfyngedig’sBretton Hall solar project.
Climate Change Minister Julie James said: “With the launch of Ynni Cymru we are on our pathway to meet the equivalent of 100% of our annual electricity consumption from renewable electricity by 2035, and to continue to keep pace with consumption thereafter.
“However, to reach this we need a rapid transformation of our energy system.
“The current market-based approach to the energy system is not delivering decarbonisation at the scale or pace necessary for the climate emergency and has not been retaining sufficient benefit in Wales.
“Local use of locally generated energy is an effective way to support net-zero and keep the benefit in our communities.
“Ynni Cymru will complement the great work already being undertaken by the Welsh Government Energy Service and Community Energy Wales, especially around scaling up and increasing the impact of renewable energy assets across Wales.
“We are taking the lead in shaping the energy system to drive Wales towards meeting its Net Zero targets and delivering on Wellbeing goals for a more prosperous future.”
Plaid Cymru Designated Member Siân Gwenllian added:
“Ynni Cymru is an ambitious project which aims to give local people and communities control over local resources and renewable energy initiatives. As we face multiple challenges of a climate crisis and high energy bills, it is more important than ever that we develop renewable energy projects that have local benefit and ownership as a core aim.
How we produce and consume energy is an essential part of achieving net zero and establishing Ynni Cymru is a key development in our ambitions. We also know that whoever owns energy assets is hugely important. Ynni Cymru’s investment in expanding community-owned renewable energy generation will help decarbonise our energy supply with sustainable green energy and directly benefit people who live in those communities.”
The £1.2 million Anafon Hydro Project started in 2010 and began generating in December 2015. It was funded by grants, community shares and a Charity Bank loan.
Ynni Anafon Energy Cyf. which operates the Anafon Hydro is a community benefit company run by eight volunteer directors from the communities of Abergwyngregyn and Llanfairfechan.
To date, it has generated 7.5 GWh of electricity - enough to supply 1,900 houses for a year.
Gavin Gatehouse, Chair, Ynni Anafon Energy Cyf said: “The reorganisation of the electricity grid to allow local domestic and business consumers to access locally generated electricity has the potential to revolutionise public support for, and engagement with, existing and new community renewable energy projects. We welcome the launch of Ynni Cymru as a significant step towards achieving this goal.”
Notes to editors
The creation of Ynni Cymru is part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru. The Agreement can be found at: The Co-operation Agreement: full policy programme [HTML] | GOV.WALES