Renewable energy has a key role to play in supporting the green recovery and responding to the climate emergency – that’s the message from Lesley Griffiths as a new report shows good progress towards meeting Wales’s ambitious renewable energy targets.
Published today as day two of Wales Climate Week gets underway, the Energy Generation 2019 report shows over half (51%) of Wales’ energy needs are met from renewables and Wales is 83% of the way towards meeting its local ownership target of 1GW by 2030 – with 825 MW of renewable energy capacity in local ownership.
The report also showed:
- Approximately two thirds of renewable electricity generated in Wales comes from wind;
- In 2019, there were 72,841 renewable energy projects in Wales, 3,841 more than in 2018.
- 94% of renewable energy projects (68,560) in Wales are locally owned.
- Clocaenog wind farm was the largest project commissioned in 2019. Built on the Welsh Government woodland estate, it is the second largest onshore wind farm in Wales and provides an annual community benefit fund of £768,000.
- Energy generation in Wales is now coal-free.
As part of Wales Climate week, the digital conference will today focus on transforming our energy system whilst building a resilient economy following Covid-19.
Welcoming the report, Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “I first commissioned our Energy Generation reports in 2017 to get a full picture of our transition to renewable energy against our ambitious targets. I am pleased the 2019 figures reveal positive signs, despite the challenging market conditions faced by developers, and we are making good progress against our targets.
“Since the last report, we published our policy on local ownership of energy generation, which explains how we expect all new energy projects to include an element of local ownership, and how this means more of the benefits can be retained in Wales. This year’s figures show a record number of locally owned projects and we are 83% on our way to meeting our 1GW target by 2030.
“2019 saw the first electricity being generated by the 27-turbine wind farm at Clocaenog Forest, the second largest onshore wind farm in Wales. This has not only provided employment, it funds benefitting communities local to the development but also across the wider north Wales region.
“2020 has been a difficult year as we respond to the challenges of the global Covid19 pandemic but it has also shown there are opportunities for the sector to play a key role in supporting the green recovery and our response to the climate emergency. As we look to the future, we remain as focussed as ever on our targets and ambitions on climate change, sustainability and our transition to a low carbon Wales.”