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Expensive community energy scheme labelled 'hugely disappointing'

Despite spending almost two and a half million pounds on a community energy scheme in Wales, Labour has only facilitated the completion of one project in four years.

Welsh Conservatives have criticised the failure of ‘Ynni’r Fro’ to date and called for increased efforts to ensure value for public money.

The scheme – set up in 2010 – provides support to communities who want to set up their own renewable energy projects.

Just one has so far been completed.

In March 2013, the Labour government said it was ‘well on target to deliver at least 22 community scale renewable energy schemes by the target date of 31 March 2015.’

This month, it claimed it was now targeting a ‘further 52 projects by March 2018’.

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Environment, Antoinette Sandbach AM, said:

“So far, this hugely disappointing project has been a waste of public money.

“We’ve seen enormous sums being spent on it, without anything near the kind of results promised by Labour.

“The principles behind it may be welcome – but its execution has been lazy at best.

“Scrapping an initial target and delaying it by three years says it all. Labour ministers have had four years to make Ynni’r Fro a success.

“When dealing with this kind of money, particularly in the current climate, much more must be delivered.

“If community-led energy projects are to flourish, there needs to be clear leadership and appropriate public engagement.”