With climate change becoming an increasingly pressing issue, many countries are looking for ways to transition to renewable energy. Wales is one such country, and its ministers are confident that the country will be able to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2035. In this blog post, we’ll explore why they’re so confident and what this means for Wales’ future.
The Current Energy Landscape in Wales
Dinorwig Power Station in North Wales. Image credit: Denis Egan on Flickr.com
Currently, Wales generates around 43% of its electricity from renewable sources, mainly from wind and hydro power. However, the country still relies heavily on fossil fuels, particularly for heating and transportation. This means that there’s still a long way to go before Wales can become completely renewable.
The Welsh Government’s Plan
Despite the challenges, the Welsh government is committed to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035. The government’s plan involves a combination of measures, including:
- Expanding wind energy: The government plans to increase Wales’ wind energy capacity from 2.2GW to 5GW by 2030.
- Increasing solar energy: The government plans to increase the number of solar farms in Wales, as well as encouraging the use of solar panels on homes and businesses.
- Investing in storage technology: To address the issue of intermittency with renewable energy sources, the government plans to invest in battery storage technology.
In 2021, 113 MW of new solar PV capacity was installed in Wales – five times the amount installed in 2020. A single 75 MW site in Newport made up the majority of this new capacity. The total solar PV capacity in Wales is now over 1.1 GW, across almost 64,000 individual projects. Over 75% of this capacity is accounted for by 128 ground-mounted solar PV projects with a capacity of 1 MW or more.Energy Generation in Wales (2021)
Why Wales is Confident
Despite the challenges involved in transitioning to renewable energy, Wales’ ministers are confident that the country can achieve its 100% target. Here are some reasons why:
- Wales has abundant natural resources: Wales has a strong wind resource and a significant potential for tidal power. These resources can be harnessed to generate renewable energy.
- The cost of renewable energy is decreasing: The cost of renewable energy has been decreasing steadily, making it more cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
- The public is supportive: According to a survey by the Welsh government, over 80% of people in Wales support the move to renewable energy.
What this Means for Wales
Achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035 would have significant benefits for Wales. It would reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. It would also create jobs in the renewable energy sector and reduce the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.
In conclusion, Wales’ ministers are confident that the country can achieve 100% renewable energy by 2035. While there are challenges involved, Wales has abundant natural resources, decreasing renewable energy costs, and public support on its side. Achieving this target would have significant benefits for Wales, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating jobs in the renewable energy sector.