Wales is making good progress towards its ambitious targets for clean energy as a new report published today reveals 43% of the country’s electricity consumption in 2016 came from renewable energy – up from 32% the previous year.
The Energy Generation in Wales 2016 report provides an estimate of the sources of energy generation in Wales, the number of projects and installed capacity to the end of 2016. The report shows:
- There are more than 67,000 renewable projects, up 23% since 2014;
- Renewable energy capacity increased by 47% since 2014, making up 18% of all electricity generation.;
- A 97% increase in renewable heat capacity;
- There are 62,420 projects of renewable energy projects in local ownership, generating 575MW;
- Solar PV is the most common renewable technology, accounting for 81% of renewable projects; and
- Onshore wind has the largest installed capacity of renewable technology, with a 54% increase in capacity since 2014.
In September, the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths announced she wanted Wales to generate 70 per cent of its electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2030. The Cabinet Secretary also set targets for renewable energy projects to have at least an element of local ownership by 2020 and for at least one Gigawatt of renewable electricity capacity to be locally owned by 2030.
Cabinet Secretary said:
“We are committed to accelerating the transition of our energy system in Wales, particularly through the increased use of renewable energy. Our priorities are to increase energy efficiency, reduce our reliance on energy generated from fossil fuels and to actively manage the transition to a low carbon economy.
“That is why I commissioned the Energy Generation in Wales study to provide a complete picture of energy in Wales and for us to see the progress that has been achieved.
“In September, I set ambitious new targets to deliver a low carbon energy system and secure benefits for Wales. Today’s report shows we are already making very encouraging progress on renewable energy.
“2016 was quite a year for energy here. We generated enough renewable energy to provide 43 per cent of the electricity we used. Flintshire already hosts the biggest solar project in the UK and now we have Pen y Cymoedd, the largest wind project in England and Wales.
“By using our abundant natural resources in a sustainable way, we can ensure energy continues its important role in achieving our energy and decarbonisation targets. By doing so, we will deliver a prosperous and low carbon Wales.”