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Renewable energy sources generated enough electricity to meet half of Wales’s needs in 2018, a new report has revealed.

First published:
23 October 2019
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Last year the equivalent of 50% of the country’s electricity consumption, a rise from 48% in 2017, came from renewable sources as the country continues towards ambitious targets for clean energy by 2030.

The Energy Generation in Wales 2018 report showed Wales generated twice what it consumed in electricity last year, making Wales a significant exporter of electricity to England, Ireland and the wider European network.

6 things the report shows:

  • 25% of electricity generated was from renewable sources, up from 22% in 2017. Wales consumed 14.9TWh of electricity and generated 7.4TWh of electricity from renewable energy sources
  • Approximately 67% of renewable electricity generated in Wales comes from wind
  • There are nearly 69,000 renewable energy projects in Wales with a combined capacity of almost 3,900MW. 83% of this capacity is renewable electricity, 17% is renewable heat capacity
  • The largest renewable electricity project to commission in 2018 was the 57.4MW Brechfa West wind farm in Carmarthenshire
  • Wales produces approximately 2.2TWh of renewable heat, equivalent to 13% of Welsh domestic heat demand
  • Wales now has 783MW of locally owned renewable energy capacity against a target of 1GW (1,000MW) by 2030.

The number of renewable energy projects across Wales is continuing to grow.

Solar photovoltaics is the technology with the most installations with 54,560 projects, whilst onshore wind is the technology with the largest installed capacity with 740 projects amounting to 1,106MW.

Minister Lesley Griffiths said:

It is very encouraging to see the performance of the renewable energy sector as we continue towards our ambitious targets. However, there remain significant challenges to meeting our targets, notably the lack of available price support for renewable generation and problems with new projects connecting to the network.

We understand the importance of transforming our energy system in Wales as we strive to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, in pursuit of a more prosperous and cleaner Wales.