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 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 electricity 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.
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.
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. With sufficient market volume, Wales could also attract major overseas suppliers to establish local manufacturing facilities, as exemplified by a recent investment decision from Prysmian to supply submarine cable cores from its facility in Wrexham.
The full report can be accessed here.
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