Julie James, Minister for Climate Change
Today, I published the Energy Generation in Wales 2021 report, our most recent annual update in this series. This report provides an updated picture of energy generation and is a consistent measure of progress against Welsh Government energy targets.
2021 saw the beginning of a return to pre-pandemic energy use and electricity generation in Wales increased by 20% as compared to the previous year to meet this uptick in demand. While this meant our gas-fired power stations increased their output, I am pleased the renewable energy sector kept pace, with increased capacity primarily led by solar PV and heat pump installations. As a result, we generate the equivalent of 55% of our electricity consumption by renewable energy sources.
Looking ahead to 2030, I am pleased that we are now nearly 90% towards our goal of having 1 GW of locally owned renewable electricity, with 897 MW of our renewable electricity capacity being locally owned in 2021. We will continue to support and encourage all new energy projects to have at least an element of local ownership to help retain the benefits of this energy transformation within Wales.
Achieving our target of 70% of our electricity consumption to be met by renewable sources will be a challenge over the coming years, but I am encouraged by the pipeline of projects particularly in the offshore renewable sector as well as onshore renewable technologies that will help us achieve this goal. Our recently announced plans for a publicly owned renewable energy developer will also be pivotal to driving forward locally owned renewable energy generation.
We will continue striving as a government to remove the barriers to renewable energy including through the implementation of the recommendations from the Renewable energy deep dive. Our actions will help us to meet our ambitions of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, stimulating green jobs and wealth retention in Wales and delivering the future energy system we need to support a net zero Wales.