The latest figures from Green Alliance have showed the Wales is now leading the way in the race to create a sustainable economy powered by green energy. The research showed that Mid Glamorgan and Gwynedd are now the two counties that have most improved their adoption of wind and solar energy across both England and Wales together.
During 2015 there was a steep increase in solar energy generation in the Welsh county of Gwynedd, allowing it to leapfrog other sunnier parts of the UK to take a lead spot in the Solar Progress rankings. The county's council said that it was particularly pleased to have seen an increase in solar energy production in a county long associated with power generation. The council added that this provided economic and social benefits to Gwynedd, alongside climate change benefits.
The county also has an active carbon management strategy that has cut emissions in council-owned buildings by 35,000 tonnes to date, saving up to £3.1 million in the process. Other counties that scored highly for solar power generation were Wiltshire, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, East and West Sussex, Derbyshire, Kent and Cumbria.
Many of these counties also saw gains in wind power, and Mid Glamorgan topped the league table for this form of green energy. Onshore wind is now less expensive than new gas plant developments and becoming cheaper as solar also drops in price.
In 2015, green energy produced a quarter of the total energy production in the UK. Campaigners want to see this figure increase and are lobbying the May government to clarify its sustainable energy policies going forwards, particularly where subsidy payments, tax breaks for development and government support schemes are in play and yet to be clarified in the post-Brexit world.