New figures released today (27 June) for Wind Energy Week by trade body RenewableUK Cymru show that Wales will need to double its current grid capacity to accommodate its wind planning pipeline.
At present, Wales holds 1.98GW of fully commissioned installed wind energy generation. Onshore wind accounts for the majority of this with 63%, including the nation’s largest wind farm, Pen y Cymoedd in South Wales, developed by Vattenfall Wind Power Ltd.
Wales’s offshore and onshore wind portfolio is set to grow by another 3.95GW according to its planning pipeline which, according to data from RenewableUK’s market intelligence arm Energy Pulse, will require double the amount of its current grid capacity.
An additional 4GW of floating offshore wind is also planned from the Celtic Sea region of Wales and South West England which will “significantly alter” the balance between offshore and onshore wind capacity in Wales towards the former.
“We are committed to enabling an energy system underpinned by a diverse mix of renewables which creates value for the people of Wales. A grid fit for future generations is key to enabling our success and will be a pivotal player in Wales’ green energy transition. Without investment, we stand to miss out on the many positive benefits wind energy brings – from lower electricity bills, energy security, jobs, decarbonising our homes and industry, right through to community benefits and habitat restoration,” said Jessica Hooper, RenewableUK Cymru’s director.
“Strong collaboration between the UK and Welsh Government is vital to overcoming this issue. We welcome the reform to Ofgem’s mandate to give the energy regulator a statutory duty to assist in the delivery of net zero, but now we need to see a clear programme of anticipatory investment in Wales.”