It's no surprise that the Welsh Government has declared a Climate Emergency especially as sustainability is hard coded into their legislation. It's both refreshing and exciting to hear Welsh Ministers talking about the economic opportunity that low carbon economies can offer. Rural affairs minister Ms Griffiths, who spoke ahead of a meeting of UK and Scottish ministers in Cardiff, said: "I believe we have the determination and ingenuity in Wales to deliver a low carbon economy at the same time as making our society fairer and healthier."
We're very proud that TEC member The University of Bristol became the first Higher Education Institution to declare a "climate emergency" to acknowledge the "deep concerns" its students have about their future. The university said it has identified a "strong link" between climate change anxiety and mental health issues experienced by students. This comes after Bristol City Council declared a climate emergency in November, and announced it planned to be carbon-neutral by 2030.
Whilst decarbonisation of the grid is one area of a much broader and larger issue, which will require Carbon Capture Technology which doesn't even exist yet, we’re already opening discussions with companies such as Tidal Power Plc, the company behind the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay Programme. This is the world’s first consented Tidal Lagoon Power Station capable of generating clean energy in predictable cycles 14 hours a day. Having achieved planning consent in 2015, the team has been driving towards their build targets under an innovative financial model that uses long term Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to underwrite the funding required to begin construction.
Over the coming months, we are committed to continuing to explore opportunities for providing a stable position against long term energy costs and helping to secure clean energy as businesses and institutions across the UK source routes to fulfil their commitments to reduce their Scope II emissions.
Our member institutions have long standing charters for economic and societal advancement, addressing contemporary challenges, developing new technologies and contributing to the politics, culture and public services of the communities in which they operate. Profound change is necessary in the way energy is generated in the UK and projects like the Swansea Tidal Lagoon alongside other renewable generation projects will be fundamental in this regard.
Our Members and UK Universities in particular, could be key – simply by committing to buy clean energy over a longer term and helping to secure the revenue stream for all renewable generators.