Future potential for offshore wind in Wales

This report provides insight and recommendations for the Welsh Government to help meet its renewable energy and decarbonisation targets and deliver local economic stimulus through scaling up offshore wind generation.

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Wind turbines in the Irish Sea

Publication date: December 2018

This 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 2 GW 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.

In addition to achieving clean energy targets, offshore wind has the potential to deliver considerable investment and associated socio-economic benefits to Wales. Harnessing its natural resources could also leverage Wales’ rich maritime and industrial heritage to create opportunities for Welsh businesses, particularly for wind farm operation and maintenance. 

As such, the report outlines a series of key recommendations to government to improve the attractiveness of projects in Wales for inward investment. 

This report was first published on the Welsh Government website.

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