Future Energy Grids for Wales

Wales has set a target to reach Net Zero by 2050, which requires a re-think on the electricity and gas networks infrastructure needed to power low carbon transport and heating into the future.

The Senedd Cymru wants to establish Wales as a global leader both low carbon technologies that will power the future, and deliver rapid and effective change to ensure Wales’ citizens are not left behind because of infrastructure designed for past needs.

The Welsh Government appointed Energy Systems Catapult, as an independent and trusted body, to develop scenarios of the various paths Wales could take to decarbonise the energy system, drawing on the perspectives of a wide range of people across Wales.

The Minister for Climate Change in the Welsh Government published the Future Energy Grids for Wales report, with Wales being the first country to take a whole systems approach to identify the requirements for gas and electricity networks across power, heat and transport.

The Future Energy Grids for Wales project:

  • Consolidates a broad view, across the network companies operating in Wales, of the Net Zero compliant Welsh future energy system pathways to 2050
  • Identifies the key implications for electricity and gas network operators and steps needed to develop energy networks in Wales as part of the wider UK energy system
  • Provides recommendations for the Welsh Government to take forward, consistent with its ambitions to accelerate decarbonisation and role in the energy governance landscape.

This work will inform Future Wales: the National Plan 2040′, and provide robust evidence to enable network operators to plan and build the networks we will need for Net Zero and the interim 2030 targets.

Key findings

Achieving Net Zero requires a fundamental change in how the Welsh energy system is planned, developed, integrated and operated. Carbon Budgets and infrastructure and market lead times, mean many actions are needed soon.

Key changes and impacting factors include:

  • Significant network reinforcement will be required across electricity distribution and transmission networks, driven by increases in peak demand and renewables.
  • Substantial electrification across heat, transport and industry (up to 10TWh by 2035), but there are challenges with meeting peak demands, particularly peak heat –other technology options need to be explored.
  • A large increase in renewable deployment in Wales (up to 6.6GW in 2030 and 18.2GW by 2050).
  • The scale and production method for hydrogen which has a significant impact on the whole energy system, (e.g. green hydrogen increases electricity demand).

The reports set out 12 recommendations and detail on the implications for energy networks in Wales.

Read the Insight Report

Future Energy Grid Wales - Insights Report

Read the Technical Report

Future Energy Grid Wales - Technical Report

Whole Systems Modelling

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