Second Seminar: Infrastructure, Planning and Energy
The second seminar in our series of four took place on 29th July 2010, in the Council Chamber in Main College at Cardiff University. Whereas the first seminar examined the kinds of drivers which may play a role in the evolution of energy transitions and their interrelations, this one focused specifically on the role of the planning system.
Dr Richard Cowell spoke about the increasingly popular idea that the planning system serves as an obstruction to development and, as it may impede any future transition towards sustainable energy production, should therefore be "streamlined" (click here to download a copy of his presentation). Prof. Malcolm Eames offered some thoughts on how socio-economic conditions in Wales might have contributed to the emergence of a specific Welsh "storyline" of transition, in which the need for social sustainability is emphasized alongside the need to reduce impacts on the environment (click to download).
Subsequent discussion focused on several themes, including:
- what governance structures would be required to support new energy technologies;
- how might WAG consultations on renewable energy change the planning system within Wales;
- are renewable energy goals in Wales anything more than politically-useful aspirations;
- what tensions between short- and long-term perspectives exist in the planning system;
- how Carbon Reduction Commitments might affect energy transitions in Wales;
- and how far planning approaches are bound up with particular political paradigms.
Click here to view/download a PDF summary of the discussions. We invite your reactions and responses below.