Submission by David Cowdrey
Title: Director of External Affairs
Organisations: MCS Charitable Foundation and MCS Service Company Ltd (MCS Certified)
MCS Charitable Foundation
Our vision is a world where everyone has access to affordable and reliable renewable energy and zero carbon technologies – for the benefit of our environment, our communities and the general public. As a Foundation we work to increase public confidence, awareness and access to renewable energy and zero carbon solutions across the UK. We support education and engagement programmes, fund research and facilitate innovative solutions to drive widespread adoption.
In addition, the Foundation oversees the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) which defines, maintains and improves quality standards for renewable energy at buildings scale.
MCS Service Company Ltd (MCS Certified)
Since 2008, MCS has been the only recognised Standard for UK products and their installation in the small-scale renewables sector. It is a mark of quality. We create and maintain standards that allows for the certification of low-carbon products and installers used to produce electricity and heat from renewable sources. We are impartial: technology neutral, manufacturer neutral, and supportive of Installers committed to quality installations and consumer protection. Membership of MCS demonstrates adherence to recognised industry standards, highlighting quality, competency and compliance. Our mission is to give people confidence in low-carbon energy technology by defining, maintaining and improving quality.
Summary Response only
MCS supports the efforts to decarbonise the grid and the inter-connectively of zero carbon energy across Wales and linking to the wider UK. Wales has huge wind potential as well as other natural resources like wave, solar and tidal energy in helping to deliver a zero carbon grid of the future. Wales can play a vital role in the deployment of large scale renewable generators and should work with the UK Government on locations and investment from Westminster and the Private Sector to help utilise these resources.
As part of any transition to a zero carbon energy network MCS would like to highlight the vital role that microgeneration has and will play in decarbonising our homes and reducing reliance and demand on new grid based systems. Large scale renewable generators are vital, but any Welsh energy strategy needs to reflect an integrated approach to reducing burdens on a future grid and include the very real contribution that microgeneration can play in reducing demand, including the use of battery storage, heat pumps, along with solar PV and solar thermal applications.
This strategy needs to be reflected in the way new homes are built across Wales and their connectivity to zero carbon sources and that domestic heating is also zero carbon, and that technologies like heat pumps are fully deployed. By supporting microgeneration you create resilience in the inter-connectivity and distribution of energy , so it is not just large scale renewable generators, but also domestic renewables being a key part on reducing future energy demands from the grid.
We would also note that any installation of domestic renewables conforms to MCS Standards or higher, so that consumer in Wales are protected and have confidence in domestic renewables, which will have a key role in helping to decarbonise our society.
Domestic renewables offer Wales a positive way out of Covid-19 helping to create new green jobs, to re-skill and retrain as renewable technicians and to help retrofit the 1.43 million home across the country. As the Welsh Government presses ahead with building new Net Zero homes with zero carbon heating options and including other renewable technologies like solar PV you will help stimulate the growth in jobs and skilled labour across the entire country helping Wales to build back better.
All of the devolved nations of the UK have a vital role to play at COP26 and need to be afforded a voice and a presence to demonstrate their governments commitment to a Net Zero future and how each country is transforming power generation, industrial process and their housing stocks and preparing their economies for a zero carbon future. Some devolved nations want to move faster than the Westminster Government and have road maps with clear actions that can help share learning and improvements across the entire UK and internationally and Wales has a key role to play in this approach.
Wales needs to also sign or be party to any agreement or International Accord which commits the UK internationally to an agreement, as it impacts all of the countries within the UK and all countries need an equal voice and seat at the table. Wales has a vital role in taking the lead to promote issues like domestic renewables, standardising information on retrofitting and installing energy efficiency measures for the people of Wales. It should also be supporting calls to remove VAT for all domestic renewables and energy efficiency measures, reducing cost to consumers and can transform it new housing by insisting that all new homes built in Wales from December 2023 are all Net Zero homes and will have zero carbon heating.
MCS would finally say that as part of any renewable energy strategy for Wales we would ask that the Welsh Government also include domestic renewables in response to large scale renewable grids and that the two should be considered jointly in any strategy moving forward to create a ‘Renewable Wales.’