My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Wales strengthens position as the UK’s leading nation for renewable energy uptake

Wales strengthened its spot as top of the UK nations for the installation of small-scale renewables in the first three months of 2024, according to new data from MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) – the UK’s quality mark for small-scale renewable energy.

Wales and Scotland continue to battle for the top spot when it comes to renewable uptake, but MCS data shows there has been a total of 117,804 installations in Wales since records began in 2008, accounting for 8.74% of households with a renewable installation. This puts it ahead of Scotland’s 8.47%, leaving England and Northern Ireland further behind with uptake of 5.86% and 4.41% respectively.

January to March 2024 saw Wales achieve its best ever start to a year for heat pumps. A total of 1,947 heat pumps were installed in Wales within the first three months of the 2024, averaging 650 a month. This marks an 80% increase from 2023, when Wales averaged 361 heat pumps per month during the same period.

Ceredigion is the local authority in Wales with the highest uptake for renewable energy, with nearly one in four households now benefitting from an MCS certified installation. The Isle of Anglesey is in second place with over 1 in 5 households having renewable energy installation.

Welsh Local Authority Leaderboard:  

  1. Ceredigion – 23.47% uptake
  2. Isle of Anglesey – 20.91% uptake
  3. Powys – 18.79% uptake
  4. Pembrokeshire – 16.5% uptake
  5. Monmouthshire – 14.26% uptake

The success of renewable energy and heating installations in Wales is driven by the grants and incentives available. The ECO Grants Scheme, a UK Government incentive scheme, offers free renewable energy installations like heat pumps and solar panels to low-income households, to help make their homes more energy efficient and save on energy bills. The latest version of the scheme is ECO4, which runs until March 2026.

One Welsh MCS certified contractor installing renewables under ECO4 is Anglesey-based Menai Heating Limited. Its Director, Lee Maher, believes ECO4 is vital to powering forward Wales’ renewable uptake.

He said: “Since the start of 2024, we’ve delivered over 220 MCS certified renewable installations across Wales under the ECO4 scheme. Through ECO4 we’re able to upgrade poorly insulated homes and support low-income households with solar panels, heat pumps, and various other energy saving measures – all without any cost to the homeowner.

“We’re proud of the work we’re doing across Wales to drive forward renewable energy uptake amongst low-income households. It’s reducing energy bills for consumers and making warmer, more sustainable homes, all while creating more job opportunities as our business continues to grow.”

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS, said: “The data from January to March highlights Wales’ impressive start to 2024, further strengthening its position as the UK’s leading nation for renewable energy uptake.

Grants and incentives are playing a key role in driving forward the rise of renewable energy across Wales, and it’s great to see ECO4 giving more homeowners access to the benefits of a low-carbon home.”