I was sad to read yesterday that Mick Bates, a former member of the Senedd (back when it was an Assembly) had died.

I knew Mick as a tireless and brave campaigner for renewables during a time when many politicians refused to participate in the debate. It seems crazy now, in the world of climate and nature emergencies, but there was a time in Wales – and in mid-Wales in particular – that renewable energy was something of a pariah topic. Mick was someone who was unafraid to put his head above the parapet, and was a key driver of the main advocacy group in the Senedd at the time – NASEG (National Assembly Sustainable Energy Group).

As someone who was relatively early in their career, I really appreciated the NASEG meetings as an opportunity to travel down from Machynlleth to network with colleagues in Cardiff, as well as to stay with my brother and enjoy a night out. Pretty much all the main policy wonks and practitioners from the sector were at those events, and I remember them fondly. It’s how I got to meet people from organisations as diverse as Dulas, Awel Aman Tawe and Arup.

Mick was a brilliant and inspirational Chair. He played an important role in the renewable energy sector in Wales. I will miss him.