Investments into ports such as Milford Haven and Pembroke are being categorised as priorities by RenewableUK Cymru.

In the companies five point plan proposal for the Welsh Government, they say they need to address issues like this to underpin Wales’ future energy system.

Rhys Jones, Director of RenewableUK Cymru, said: “UK Government has made it clear that coastal areas should benefit from the Levelling Up Fund. Undoubtedly, renewable energy has a key role to play in this and we need to make sure that Wales’ recently acquired powers over ports are adequately resourced so that we pack the biggest possible punch when it comes to bidding for infrastructure adaptation funding.

“UK and Welsh Governments also need to quickly agree the parameters within which Welsh ports can apply for free port status, which is a limited offering. If there are reservations about free ports, these either need to be resolved or there needs to be a comprehensive package for ports and the communities and the supply chains they serve.

“The bottom line is Welsh ports should not be disadvantaged either in relation to ports outside Wales or in relation to their being able to access all available support. Time is of the essence.”

The other items RenewableUK Cymru is calling for Welsh Government to prioritise are:

•Workforce Skills – Attracting investment is critical but everything starts with skills. This means harnessing our talent. Government, the renewables industry, and educational institutions must work together to spark pupils’ interests in the green jobs which will proliferate in the decades ahead and equip them with the skillsets to succeed

•Energy networks – If Wales is to have a boom in renewables, the electricity grid, motorways, and A roads need to be strengthened. While the incoming Welsh Government will not have the power to consent, for example, the high voltage transmission network, it must, with decarbonisation as the guiding principle, be a galvanising force for insisting its UK stakeholders’ attention is trained where the sun sets as much as where it rises. There may also be a need to adapt the gas network if and when hydrogen figures more prominently in the energy system, which will bring with it infrastructure challenges. All of these are massive, intrusive, systems engineering challenges and will need to be well progressed by the end of the next Senedd term.

•Planning – We need to see coherence between Welsh and UK planning and consenting regimes. Floating offshore wind is also a colossal opportunity but not an area in which Wales can necessarily drive timescales. Given the scale of the opportunity and the predictions that cost will come down very fast, the incoming Welsh Government will quickly need to use its influence to push the Crown Estate for more clarity on the timing, size and speed of future leasing rounds for floating wind in Welsh waters.

•Onshore investment – onshore wind is the cheapest and most ‘shovel ready’ technology and can potentially continue to make a significant contribution to Wales’ decarbonisation roadmap and bring with it 1,600 well paid jobs by 2035. the considerable improvements that have been made to the planning framework for onshore wind, the Welsh Government should explicitly state the role onshore wind can play in a fully decarbonised power system by 2035.

“The sixth Senedd term will seal the fate of the fist Wales ultimately makes of net zero, and with that the benefits it stands to gain from the Energy Transition. RenewableUK Cymru and its members will be doing all we can to play our part.”: Mr Jones concluded.