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Wales leads the way on renewable energy

Welsh regions have come first for progress on renewable energy, according to data published by Green Alliance.

League tables reveal that Gwynedd and Mid Glamorgan are the most improved counties for solar and wind power. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The league tables reveal that Gwynedd and Mid Glamorgan are the most improved counties in England and Wales for solar and wind power.

Over the last year, there has been a rise in solar production in Gwynedd, meaning the county beat sunnier areas of the UK to take top place in the solar progress league table.

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. 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 £3.1 million cumulative revenue savings over recent years.

– Councillor Mandy Williams-Davies, Gwynedd Council

Top 10 counties for solar:

  • Gwynedd
  • Wiltshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Norfolk
  • Lincolnshire
  • East Sussex
  • West Sussex
  • Kent
  • Derbyshire
  • Cumbria
Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Mid Glamorgan topped the tables for onshore wind power, narrowly ahead of counties in the East Midlands and North West of England.

Onshore wind power is now cheaper than building new gas plants, with solar costs also dropping in recent years. In total, renewable energy provided a quarter of the UK’s electricity last year.

I am pleased Wales is leading the way in the UK on progress in wind and solar power. We have committed to supporting the development of more renewable energy projects in our Programme for Government and this progress clearly supports our decarbonisation agenda. These technologies provide affordable low carbon energy, which can help secure a smarter energy future for Wales.

– Lesley Griffiths AM, Secretary for the Environment and Rural Affairs

Top 10 counties for wind:

  • Mid Glamorgan
  • Lancashire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Clwyd
  • West Yorkshire
  • Suffolk
  • Leicestershire
  • Durham

Following the UK's ratification of the Paris climate agreement last week 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 twenty-first century.

– Amy Mount, Green Alliance