Welsh offshore wind opportunities

Wales supply chain opportunities diagram from the report Wales supply chain opportunities diagram from the report (Image: Carbon Trust)
Industry Database

Scaling up offshore wind generation could help Wales meet its renewable energy and decarbonisation targets, as well as deliver local economic stimulus, says a new report.

The full report can be accessed here.

The report, Future Potential for Offshore Wind in Wales, produced by the Carbon Trust for the Welsh Government, delivers a series of recommendations to policymakers to capitalise on the clean growth potential of offshore wind farms.

Currently, 48% of Welsh energy consumption is supplied from renewable technologies. The report estimates that an additional 2GW of offshore wind power could be delivered by just 2-3 projects in Wales, contributing over two-thirds of Wales’ 70% renewable energy target by 2030 and putting Wales on course to achieve its carbon reduction goal of at least 80% by 2050.

Wales is a strategically important net exporter of power to the UK grid, generating more than double the electricity it consumes. Historically the majority of this energy generation has been based on fossil fuels. However, the combination of an ageing coal and gas fleet, and the introduction of ambitious decarbonisation targets, is opening opportunities for cost-competitive clean energy industries, like offshore wind.

Despite limited offshore wind activity in recent years, new seabed leasing and site extensions administered by The Crown Estate are set to open new opportunities for offshore wind development in Wales. Relatively shallow waters off North Wales, in particular, are expected to be attractive for near-term development, while deeper waters off Pembrokeshire hold considerable long-term potential for floating offshore wind technology.

The Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said, “This report by the Carbon Trust provides us with a greater understanding of opportunities in Wales for the sustainable development of offshore wind for the future. We realise the potential of offshore wind to help Wales meet its decarbonisation targets and renewable energy targets. We will now consider the recommendations from the report and continue our engagement with the Crown Estate on the potential of new leasing in Wales.”

The full report can be accessed here.

By Jake Frith

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