We are excited that Western Power Distribution (WPD) have now published their latest Shaping Sub-transmission report for South Wales 2019 based on Regen’s distribution future energy scenarios (DFES) report which is available here.

Wales has a positive policy and planning environment for renewable generation, particularly onshore wind (in stark contrast to England). In Regen’s highest growth scenario onshore wind capacity in WPD’s South Wales licence area could increase from 577 MW to nearly 1,500 MW by 2032. Wales planning system set out the areas it wants to see these developments[1].

After a hiatus with the ending of subsidies, large scale solar projects are also starting to come forward again. In a high growth scenario where a future government provides a floor price to underpin solar projects we could see rapid growth in this sector from 530 MW to 1,750 MW.

Map 1

The report also projects increasing levels of electric vehicles and heat pumps in all scenarios, which would start reversing the recent declining trend in consumption. In the medium growth ‘Slow Progression’ scenario in 2032 around 10% of cars are electric vehicles and over 5% of domestic households heated by heat pumps.

The framework for the distribution future energy scenarios in South Wales is National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios which provides four future scenarios for how energy use and generation might develop nationally between 2018 to 2032. To apply these to South Wales and WPD’s other three licence areas, Regen build up a detailed understanding of the baseline, pipeline and potential resource in the licence area, along with information from local authorities about new developments.

WPD then use this information to model the impact of these changes on their network under different network conditions, winter, summer and intermediate period peak demand and generation periods. With this information they are able to identify future reinforcement or flexibility needs to manage issues that may arise under different scenarios.

Map 2

As WPD’s report outlines, existing levels of distributed generation in South Wales have already created some considerable grid constraints in the licence area, both at distribution and transmission. WPD are committed to roll out Active Network Management (ANM)[2] to help connect new generation without the need for reinforcement. Within South Wales there are now four active or planned ‘Active Management Zones’ to facilitate this.  And at transmission level, a ‘Winter Peak’ constraint identified in 2016 means there is likely to be no new dispatchable generation, including storage, connected until reinforcement is completed in 2026[3].

Regen have completed a number of other DFES studies for WPD and for other DNOs and localities, more details can be found on our website:  https://www.regen.co.uk/area/local-future-energy-scenarios/


[1] https://gov.wales/topics/planning/policy/tans/tan8/?lang=en

[2] https://www.westernpower.co.uk/anm-further-info

[3]  Shaping Sub-transmission report for South Wales 2019 (p.10-11)

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