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News 29 October 2021

Welsh Government launches Net Zero Wales Plan

This week saw the launch of Welsh Government’s Net Zero Wales Plan, a five-year plan of action that shapes the next stage of the country’s pathway to net zero by 2050.

The plan responds to the latest advice from the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the UK’s independent adviser on tackling climate change, which set out a credible, affordable path for Wales to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It also focuses on creating a greener, stronger, fairer Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford MS and Minister for Climate Change Julie James MS spoke at the launch of the plan, hosted at the Solar Heat Energy Demonstrator (SHED) building near Port Talbot, with a virtual audience joining in the conversation online. Key policies and proposals from the Net Zero Wales Plan include:

  • By March 2023, all public sector organisations in Wales will report their emissions and publish their plans to achieve net zero.
  • Building 20,000 new low carbon social homes for rent.
  • Investment in travel options to encourage people to use public transport and support for walking and cycling.
  • Developing green skills within business to take advantage of the potential opportunities for Wales through decarbonisation.
  • An aim of collectively achieving net zero across the Welsh public sector by 2030.

COP Cymru and net zero

The launch of the Net Zero Wales Plan kickstarted a month of climate change activity in Wales. Coinciding with the full COP26 programme in Glasgow, Welsh Government is hosting a series of Regional Roadshows to share examples of how people across Wales are helping make the move towards net zero. Each roadshow will focus on a key theme from COP26, with people encouraged to join in online via the COP Cymru event platform.

With COP Cymru looking ahead to a decade of action to address climate change, how have organisations in Wales already started the transition to net zero?

The Welsh Government Energy Service supports the public sector and community groups in working towards the Welsh Government’s targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and generating locally owned renewable energy. Since July 2018, the Energy Service has:

  • Supported 408 projects across all 22 local authorities in Wales.
  • Saved 432,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), the same volume of CO2 as 800km2 of trees absorb in a year, an area larger than Ynys Môn.
  • Committed to 32.6MW of renewable energy capacity in Wales, enough electricity to power 9,400 Welsh homes or enough solar panels to cover the Principality Stadium pitch 56 times.

By empowering the public sector and local community groups to tackle climate change, the Energy Service supports the goals in the Net Zero Wales Plan by providing appropriate support, advice and funding.

Case study: Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

In 2020-21, the Energy Service worked with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to install energy efficiency upgrades to 20 sites across the local authority area, including primary schools, sports centres, and other public buildings.

A total of £4 million from the Wales Funding Programme was invested in lights, heating, controls, and building-integrated renewables. The upgrades are set to reduce the Council’s energy bills by £9 million over the project’s lifetime, while saving 26,500 tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of flying from Cardiff to Sydney 8,000 times.

Case study: Egni Co-op

The Energy Service also continued to support Egni Co-op and Newport City Council to complete the largest rooftop solar array in Wales on the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales.

The 1,726 solar panels will supply almost two-thirds of the building’s annual electricity demand during a normal year. The project was awarded the Alan Clark Award for local/community energy at Solar & Storage Live 2020.

Find out more about this project here.

Learn more

Want to find out more about COP Cymru? Visit the COP Cymru event platform to register for upcoming events and to catch up on-demand.

For more information about the impact of the Energy Service, download the latest Annual Report here in English or Welsh.

Stay up to date with the Welsh Government Energy Service on social media:

Last updated: 28 October 2021