Climate Change Minister Julie James has published a consultation on ‘ambitious but credible’ targets for Wales to meet 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2035.
Wales is already making good progress on previous targets set in 2017 and, already, generates 55% of their electricity from renewables.
The Minister proposed Wales sets a target for at least 1.5 GigaWatt of renewable energy capacity to be locally owned by 2035, excluding heat pumps.
There is also a target for 5.5 GigaWatt of renewable energy capacity to be produced by heat pumps by 2035 but this is subject to scaled up support from the UK Government and reductions in the cost of technology.
Climate Change Minister Julie James said:
Our previous targets signalled our high ambitions for renewable energy and this Government’s desire to move away from a use of, and reliance on, fossil fuels.
However, the climate crisis shows that we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Providing new targets compels us to stride towards Net Zero as quickly as we realistically can.
The evidence is clear that towards the end of this decade we will need to rapidly ramp up our generation of electricity to meet our energy needs.
The renewable energy target proposals that we are consulting on today are ambitious, but credible.
I am very pleased that they propose a pathway for us to meet the equivalent of 100% of our annual electricity consumption from renewable electricity by 2035, and to continue to keep pace with consumption thereafter.
The Minister stressed that Wales’ infrastructure and supply chain would be key to hitting these revised targets and went on to reveal details of £1m funding to explore the potential of offshore wind.
This grant will be match funded by Associated British Ports for preparatory work to enable future floating offshore wind projects to deploy from Wales.
The Minister added:
This investment signals, to both the industry and the UK Government, Welsh Government’s commitment to the floating wind sector. It also provides important funding for the infrastructure that we will need to deliver floating wind to meet our ambitions.
Of course, this is not the end of our support, and we will continue to work closely with Port Talbot, Milford Haven Port Authority and colleagues in the Celtic Sea Alliance to maximise the benefits from floating wind to Wales.
Andrew Harston, Regional Director, Wales & Short Sea Ports added:
Associated British Ports warmly welcomes this early-stage support from Welsh Government to help kick start the development of a major green energy hub at Port Talbot. This support is key to the construction of transformational infrastructure, which will enable the manufacturing, integration and assembly of floating offshore wind components at Port Talbot.
The roll-out of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity for South Wales to lead a global market and will play a major role in contributing to Wales and the UK’s net zero targets. By doing so it will support and create thousands of long-term, high-quality jobs.
As the gateway to the Celtic Sea, and with unique capabilities and natural advantages, this support will help position Port Talbot at the heart of these emerging green technologies and industrial decarbonisation.