Two counties in Wales have been named the most improved areas of the UK for progress on solar and wind power.
League tables compiled by think tank Green Alliance placed Gwynedd top for solar and Mid Glamorgan for onshore wind.
Cambridgeshire, which now generates enough solar power for 50,000 homes, and Lincolnshire, feature in the top ten for both.
Amy Mount, head of the Greener UK unit at Green Alliance, said: ‘Following the UK’s ratification of the Paris climate agreement, these data bring it home, showing that progress in tackling climate change isn’t just about world leaders making deals – though they’re very important.
‘It’s as much about the actions of communities and businesses here in the UK, who are gradually transforming our power system into one that’s pollution-free and fit for the 21st century.’
Green Alliance has launched the 2016 update of its interactive website which allows users to find out how renewable energy is progressing across England and Wales.
‘We have a long tradition of energy production in Gwynedd, and we are pleased that there has been a rise in terms of the production of solar energy within the county,’ said Councillor Mandy Williams-Davies, Gwynedd Council cabinet member for economy and community matters.
‘This is of environmental, social and economic benefit to the county as a whole. The council’s carbon management plan has already reduced the carbon emissions of council properties by 35,000 tonnes and delivered £3.1m cumulative revenue savings over recent years.
‘This, along with other renewable developments within the county, are obviously helping to deliver real improvements in Gwynedd’s production of renewable energy.’
The rankings are based on nearly one million projects and were produced via analysis of datasets such as the DECC planning database, installation reports of the feed-in tariff and renewables obligation certificates and through freedom of information requests for different categories of the Renewable Heat Incentive.
Robert Proctor, business development manager for Community Energy Wales, said: ‘Projects such as Awel Coop, a 4.7MW wind farm currently under construction, show what can be achieved through community ownership. Community energy projects are also leading the way in developing new business models that promote a greater link between local supply and demand.
With over £5m raised through community share offers over the last three years to invest in schemes like these, it demonstrates that there is a growing interest in supporting the democratisation of our energy.’
Photo by Gellscom