A new report by RenewableUK Cymru has called for an ambitious energy plan for Wales, stating that there is the potential to reach 9GW of energy production by wind turbines over the next ten years if their recommendations are followed. The publication came during their conference in Newport to discuss the future of renewable energy in Wales.
The report argues that most of the energy needed to reach the Welsh Government’s target to fulfil the energy needs of Wales by renewable means by 2035 will be generated by wind turbines. These turbines will have to be onshore and offshore, with the rest of the needed energy needing to be generated by means of solar, hydro, tidal and other technologies. One of the aims of the report is to compare the success seen in Wales compared to the rest of the UK. Yet, the report states that although there are a large number of projects underway in Wales, over three quarters of the capacity hasn’t been built yet, and half of the projects still in their early stages.
RenewableUK Cymru say that this means that Wales will have to quadruple the energy generated by renewable means from the 2 GW currently generated to the 9 GW needed by 2035.
Jess Hooper, Director of RenewableUK Cymru said:
‘Wind power is the backbone of Wales’ net zero ambitions, yet the evidence suggests not enough is being done to nurture the growth of that critical backbone. As a result, Wales risks falling short of its power generation need by 2035. For years the constraints of poor grid connectivity and an under-resourced, inconsistent planning system have hampered progress and deterred developers from pursuing the ambitious wind energy projects our country so desperately needs to succeed.
We are witnessing a more positive policy environment towards development is now emerging in Wales, for example, the introduction of the Infrastructure (Wales) Bill in 2025 will consolidate the planning process. However, we urgently need timely, consistent, clear decision-making and investment in our grid from the Welsh Government now to kickstart the journey to net zero. Unless we address these issues, the Welsh wind potential risks stagnating as a pipedream rather than a pipeline.’
You can read the full report by RenewableUK Cymru on their website.