Trystan Lea

Wales: Low Carbon Pathways Consultation

Published: 1st October, 2018

Fy nodiadau i baratoi ar gyfer ymgynghoriad llwybr carbon isel Cymru.

The following are my brief notes from researching the linked reports and consultation document for the 'A low carbon pathway for Wales' consultation (4th of October 2018). See:

Building a low-carbon economy in Wales: Setting Welsh carbon targets - December 2017

The consultation document heavily references the 'Building a low-carbon economy in Wales: Setting Welsh carbon targets' report by the Committee on Climate Change, available here:

The report details both present and historic CO2 emissions in Wales and proposes targets for reducing emissions by at least 80% by 2050 based on 1990 levels. The following interim targets in bold are proposed (end of 2018):

1990: 0%
2015: 19% (0.76%/y)
2020: 27% (1.6%/y) or 32% if Aberthaw closes by 2020
2030: 45% (1.8%/y)
2040: 67% (2.2%/y)
2050: 80-85% (1.8%/y)

Emissions paths assume significant net CO2 removals (negative emissions after reaching net zero: afforestation, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, direct air capture etc). Without these CO2 removals at scale, emissions would need to reduce earlier than 80% by 2050.

Wales has reduced its GHG emissions by 19% below 1990 levels to date (not based on consumption emissions - including production of goods for consumption in Wales in other countries).

The following chart details our emissions history:

Large point-sources of emissions

The report highlights the importance of large point-sources of emissions on the total GHG emissions of Wales. In particular:

Together these 6 large point-sources of CO2 emissions make up about 38% of total emissions.

Perhaps a second interesting point is that "as Wales is a net-exporter of electricity to England, increased renewable generation increases exports but does not impact significantly on Welsh emissions.". This highlights the importance of a two pronged approach of both building up renewable energy and ensuring that coal and gas is closed. If we only build up renewable energy it does not effect Wales GHG emissions as a whole.

In 2015, 16% of Welsh power generation was from renewables, 12% was from nuclear, 24% from coal (Aberthaw, 51% of emissions), the remainder of generation and emissions from gas-fired plants.

Wales is a net power exporter and has proportionally more industry than the UK as a whole. Wales accounts for 9% of UK-wide emissions, but 5% of the population.

Renewable Energy Target

Renewables generate 43% of welsh consumption today. The Welsh government has a target of 70% by 2030.

Carbon Capture

The Committee on Climate Change scenario targets 58% of carbon abatement in industry with Carbon Capture and Storage by 2050. No explicit mention as far as I can tell is made of processes such as the Circored process for the renewable energy powered steel production, or other electrification technologies, although these may come under efficiency/innovation?

There is a brief mention of a Carbon Capture and Utilisation project by Tata Steel (FLEXIS project)

Electric Vehicles and Buildings

The 'Setting Welsh carbon targets' report makes two brief mentions of electric vehicles

A relatively brief overview of the standard mitigation solutions for buildings and transport is also given.

Low Carbon Pathway to 2030 Consultation Document

The Low Carbon Pathway to 2030 consultation document builds heavily on the Committee on Climate Change report. There are 31 actions for consultation covering the full range of possible solutions from local energy planning, developing policies on extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, encouraging renewable energy and local ownership, Electric Vehicles and charging networks, building regulations, retrofit, low carbon heat, industry.. all listed in the consultation document here: