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Cardiff’s needs a ‘green energy revolution’ to reach net-zero


Cardiff's energy system will require significant changes, including the development of new solar farms, roof-mounted solar panels on thousands of domestic properties, multiple wind turbines the widespread adoption of heat-pumps and upgrades to the national grid, to achieve net-zero, according to a new Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP) for the city.

Local Area Energy Plans are being developed for each of the local authority areas in Wales and have been funded by Welsh Government, who will be using the findings to inform and develop their national energy plans and policies.

National Grid Electricity Distribution (formerly Western Power) and Wales & West Utilities have also committed to using Cardiff's Local Area Energy Plan to inform their decarbonisation strategies.

Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Strategic Planning and Transport, Cllr Dan De'Ath, said: "The evidence is clear - Cardiff needs a green energy revolution that will enable the city to meet Welsh Government's 2050 target for a net-zero Wales, power its future, and create skilled new jobs."

"This is a plan for the whole city and much of what is needed - for example increasing the capacity of the national grid - is not for the council to deliver itself, but we've worked closely with energy infrastructure providers, business and industry to develop the plan, so that it can serve as a key evidence base to guide the development of a greener energy system."

Based on extensive data collected from partners and stakeholders across the city region and utilising industry standard modelling techniques, the plan outlines a vision of what a net-zero carbon energy system for Cardiff could look like by 2050, setting out a need for:

  • 120MW ground-mounted solar PV (the equivalent of 12 Lamby Way solar farms).
  • 510MW of roof mounted solar PV (the equivalent of 115,000 domestic roofs).
  • 19MW of power generated by around 9 wind turbines.
  • 26,000 electric vehicle chargers, both in private houses and publicly accessible land.
  • 160,000 heat pumps, to move buildings away from gas boiler reliance.
  • 91,000 homes to be retrofitted with energy efficiency measures.
  • A 2.5 times increase in national grid capacity.

In addition to this, around 4410Gwh of electricity from renewable sources - approximately 78% of Cardiff's electricity - will still need to be imported from outside the city.

Cllr De'Ath continued: "Today, there is one solar farm in Cardiff - the new 9MW council-owned facility on what used to be a landfill site at Lamby Way - the fact that the equivalent of twelve of them again will likely need to be built over the next 25 years highlights the scale of what needs to be achieved.

"It will be a challenge - and it will require significant private sector investment and external funding to be secured - but there are steps the Council can and will take to support the plan now and in the future: integrating the findings into the replacement Local Development Plan and looking at changes to planning guidance; using the plan data to develop economic policies that smooth the transition and maximise the potential for green economic growth, and developing a Green Deal for the city which will drive forward our One Planet Cardiff strategy and help deliver a carbon neutral future for Cardiff."

The Local Area Energy Plan will be discussed by Cardiff Council Cabinet at a meeting due to take place at 2pm on 18th July. All papers for the meeting will be available ahead of the meeting, along with a live webcast on the day, here:

Ahead of Cabinet, the Local Area Energy Plan will be scrutinised by the Environmental Scrutiny Committee at their public meeting at 4.30pm on Thursday 11th July. Papers related to the meeting are available here: where a live webcast of the meeting will also be available on the day.