New Infrastructure Bill Aims to Improve Delivery of Renewable Energy Projects in Wales

By Sophia Francise

June 13, 2023
landscape with clouds in the sky and windmills

The new Infrastructure (Wales) Bill aims to modernize and simplify the processes behind developing infrastructure projects in Wales.

The end goal is to improve the consenting regime to ensure timely delivery

Climate Change Minister Julie James described it as an important step towards delivering on renewable energy targets as Wales moves towards net zero by 2050.

“This Bill introduces a modern and simplified regime for the consenting of significant infrastructure projects in Wales, both on the land and in the sea,” said Ms. James.

“Having an efficient and effective consenting regime is vital to the timely delivery of important infrastructure projects in Wales that make a positive contribution towards our social, economic, and environmental prosperity and net zero ambitions.

As well as helping improve the competitiveness of Wales and position us as an attractive place for investment and jobs, it will offer our local communities the opportunity to engage in an open and transparent consenting process to help shape developments which affect them.”

The Bill supports the Welsh Government’s commitments to building a greener economy and embedding the response to the climate and nature emergencies in everything we do.

“The need for this Bill has arisen as a result of the Wales Act 2017, which devolved further powers to Wales for the consenting of energy generating projects, overhead electric lines, ports and harbors and other infrastructure works”, Ms. James added.[1]

“As a consequence of the way these powers were devolved, we have been placed into older and outdated consenting processes by the UK Government which are not fit for purpose. This has put us at a disadvantage compared to other countries in the United Kingdom. To address these issues, the Bill introduces a new unified consenting process, which will apply both on the land and in the sea. It will include nationally significant projects where the Welsh Ministers currently have responsibility for consenting, such as onshore and offshore energy generating stations, overhead electric lines associated with devolved generating stations, as well as work to highways and railways. By replacing multiple consenting processes with a single process, we will help attract the essential investment we need, particularly in the renewable energy sector.”

The Bill aims to create a unified process for developers to access permissions, consents, licenses, and other requirements under different consenting regimes.

Local communities will benefit from a transparent, thorough, and consistent process to better understand and engage in decisions that affect them.

New consenting processes will be flexible enough to capture new technologies, and any further powers devolved to Wales, allowing them to meet future challenges.

Ms. James argued that delivering ambitious aims requires input and collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, interested parties, and local communities.


This is why the principles of the Bill have been subject to full public consultation and ongoing engagement with key stakeholders.

“This has allowed us to gauge the appetite for a new consenting process in Wales and provide an opportunity for stakeholders, including the wider public, to help shape the process to the benefit of everyone involved,” said Ms James. “I believe this Bill will deliver a consenting process for significant infrastructure projects which Wales deserves.”


  1. Robin, Whitlock,’Panorama – New Infrastructure Bill aims to improve delivery of renewable energy projects in Wales’, Renewable Energy Magazine, 12 June 2023,[]