Welsh commission issues call for evidence

The National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) has issued a call to all interested parties to submit their views and evidence on key issues.

The call for evidence has been issued as part of the body’s first annual report on 10 key issues on which it will focus in the coming year. It has identified decarbonisation, connectivity and resilience as the key themes which will run through its work.

NICW is to look at opportunities to fund infrastructure through charging for use and land-value capture. It will also consider access to alternative finance streams such as the mutual investment model and pension funds.

On energy, the commission seeks further evidence on how to rapidly improve the relationship between Wales’s energy grid and the future growth of renewable energy, and evidence on the potential for commercial scale cost effective marine energy generation.

The body’s provisional view is that decentralised, community-based infrastructure projects could have an important role to play in transforming the energy supply chain, and it seeks evidence on how these projects might be financed.

NICW Interim Chair John Lloyd Jones confirmed it will produce the first “state of the nation” report by November 2021. 

Jones said this report sets out early thinking and identifies priorities for further investigation.  

“But we must stress that this is still early in the process and we will not rush to make recommendations to the Welsh Ministers until we have found compelling evidence for infrastructure solutions.”

Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, added: “Having declared a Climate Emergency earlier this year, we need to ensure our new infrastructure is fit for the long term – so that means considering low carbon options. So I am pleased the Commission has set decarbonisation, connectivity and resilience as themes that will permeate its work.”

The closing date for submission of evidence is 27 March 2020.

The annual report is available here.