£15m boost for Welsh smart city projects

  • July 31, 2023
  • William Payne

Welsh capital Cardiff is rolling out EV charging as a result of funding from the Welsh government. The roll-out of EV charging complements the region’s Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle programme, which aims to provide EV charging points for every 20 miles of the trunk road network across Wales.

Another Welsh city, Wrexham, is receiving £1.86 million to roll-out EV charging across both the city and in rural locations across Wrexham County, an area of 193 square miles.

The new funding is part of a Welsh Government investment of £15m to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points across all parts of Wales.

The funding will be used to help local authorities increase the number of charging facilities ahead of fossil fuel vehicles being phased out in 2030.

The new funding follows the £26m already invested in charging infrastructure across Wales since 2021 which has created more than 1,600 charging points – enough for one in six battery electric vehicles.

Wales already features a number of smart city projects, including Cardiff Smart City, a collaboration between Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government to make Cardiff a more sustainable, liveable, and connected city. The project includes a number of initiatives, such as a smart traffic management system, a smart lighting system, and a smart waste management system.

Another Cardiff-based smart city project is the Lamby Way Solar Farm, a solar farm in Cardiff that is using smart technology to monitor and optimise its performance. The farm uses sensors to collect data on solar irradiance, temperature, and wind speed, which is then used to optimise the farm’s output.

In the far north of Wales, on the Isle of Anglesey, the Menter Môn Smart Town is a project that is using smart technology to improve sustainability and resilience of the local community. It includes initiatives such as a smart energy system, a smart water management system, and a smart transportation system.

At a national level, the Year of SMART Towns is a Welsh Government initiative that has recently been extended to run until 2025. The programme is designed to help towns across Wales become more smart and sustainable. The initiative includes a range of funding and support programmes, as well as a series of events and workshops.