In 2021, the Welsh Government commissioned Regen to produce a series of reports exploring energy generation and use in Wales, building on the analysis completed in previous years.
Project duration: 2018 – present
Accurately tracking and communicating progress against energy targets is crucial to the delivery of net zero and in shaping effective policy and market responses. Since 2018, Regen has supported the Welsh Government in setting out how energy is generated and used in Wales, and how it has changed over time, helping to evidence the economic, community and environmental benefits from the development of Welsh energy projects.
The latest report is available to download by clicking the image to the right, or via the Welsh Government website here.
We analysed a variety of data sources to present an up-to-date picture of Wales’ electricity generation including the growth of renewable energy technologies in Wales, progress towards Welsh targets and the growth of local ownership since the last study concluded. The most recent study ascertained that 116 MW of renewable electricity capacity was installed in 2021, meaning there is now over 3,500 MW of renewable electricity capacity in Wales. A further 29 MW of renewable heat was also commissioned in 2021, taking the total renewable heat capacity now in operation in Wales to almost 750 MW.
Both electricity consumption and electricity generation impact the Welsh Government’s target for 70% of Wales’ electricity consumption to be from Welsh renewable sources by 2030. 2021 saw the beginning of a return to pre-pandemic energy use, with electricity generation increasing by 20% from the previous year to meet an uptick in demand. While renewable generation increased to over 7.7 TWh in 2021, much of this growth in generation was attributable to gas-fired power stations in Wales increasing their outputs to pre-pandemic levels, meaning that Wales continued to generate the equivalent of approximately 55% of Wales’ electricity consumption from renewable sources. 2021 was also the second year in which no electricity generation from coal was exported to the grid in Wales, and the sixth year since nuclear generation in Wales reduced to zero.
The report also includes case studies of energy projects commissioned in 2021, including the 75 MW Llanwern Farm Solar Park in Newport and Brynwhillach Solar Farm, the first solar farm in the UK to be owned by a health board.
The accompanying second edition energy use report explores energy consumption in Wales across a range of spatial and temporal scales, as well as analysing changes in use by fuel. Key findings include the 9.7 TWh drop in demand for gas between 2005 and 2020, which represents a reduction of 28%, and the sharp reduction in non-domestic consumption of electricity of more than 1 TWh seen in 2020, possibly due to restrictions brought on as a result of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The report also contains case studies exploring changing energy use across the four regions of Wales, such as the £15 million net zero farming centre being developed in Denbighshire, and the district heat network under construction in Cardiff.
Previous reports – Energy Generation and Energy Use in Wales
Click below to view our previous reports.
People on this project
Net Zero Project Manager
After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BSc in Geography in 2016,…