A Strategic Approach to Research & Innovation in the Field of Energy in Wales

Liliana Fonseca, Kasia Piskorek, Rona Michie

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This report provides an overview of the Research and Innovation (R&I) approaches to the energy and environment sectors in Wales. It draws on strategic policy documents and previous work conducted within the TRACER project, namely the mobilisation of stakeholders in an Entrepreneurial Discovery Process, as per the Smart Specialisation framework. The aim of the report is to develop R&I visions for just transition for the next decades, providing recommendations in the fields of energy, environment, governance, regional development, and innovation policy and funding more generally. Key objectives and priority areas for investment are detailed. These include the promising energy sectors of hydrogen, wind and marine energy, and the development of technologies related to e.g. carbon capture and the storage of energy. The promotion of decarbonisation and renewable energy in the Wales energy mix is particularly emphasised. Recommendations related to areas of need and opportunity are made based on the previous TRACER work, related to political, regulatory and financial incentive frameworks, infrastructural and sectoral investments, and labour market, skills and community. The governance support framework and R&I strategies and plans for the transition have been characterised by OECD as fragmented. Horizontal and vertical collaboration and cross-departmental/sectoral efforts have been recommended, as well as the continued development of an integrated R&I strategy for Wales. This is particularly important in the context of relative uncertainty post-Brexit, especially with regard to future funding. Efforts to increase coordination are already underway. Since publication of the OECD report, and following an election in 2021, a new climate change ministry was announced within Welsh Government, bringing together the portfolios for environment and energy (along with housing, planning and transport). Further, a new integrated innovation strategy is currently under development. Finally, emphasis is placed on broader conceptualisations of research and innovation that consider the social aspect of the transition, with behavioural change needing to be promoted.
Original languageEnglish
Place of Publication[Munich, Germany]
Number of pages42
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2022


  • coal regions
  • transition
  • sustainability
  • clean energy
  • renewable energy
  • energy policy
  • energy transition
  • Wales
  • Brexit uncertainty


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