Jan 6, 2017

The pre-Christmas period saw the publication of the latest version of Energy Trends, the quarterly UK Government publication of energy statistics.

The headline figures are always interesting, but more so for followers of Welsh issues was the inclusion of separate data on Welsh energy generation and use.

Sankey Diagram of electricity generation and use

What these statistics underline is that electricity generation and use in Wales is finely balanced; by the end of 2015 (a year in which the Wylfa nuclear power plant was still operational), Wales generated a small surplus which was exported to the Republic of Ireland.

However they also demonstrate that Wales is the worst performer amongst all the UK nations for renewables, generating just 20% of electricity from renewables. Wales has an excellent resource for many renewable technologies, which heightens the disappointment at this low relative attainment.

“The need to accelerate our renewable deployment has never been more clearly shown”

David Clubb

In another blow for Wales’ sustainability credentials, Wales also used a higher proportion of coal to generate electricity than any other UK nation, at 32.7%. The next-closest user of coal was Northern Ireland at 25%.

Commenting on the data, David Clubb said:

“We must hope that these figures reflect the legacy planning situation in Wales, and that the new planning Act, National Development Framework and other measures to improve performance will accelerate our performance in future.

“Renewable energy means more employment, cleaner air and water, less carbon emissions and more local generation and economic return. It’s what is known as a no-brainer, and it’s up to the people of Wales to grasp this opportunity for themselves.”

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Source: RenewableUK Cymru