An Abersoch adaptive surf champion is raising awareness of how weather could help generate renewable energy in a bid to tackle climate change.
As a surfer, the power of the wind shaped Llwelyn Williams’ career and his mission now is to show the people of Wales how it could also be used to produce cleaner energy.
Llywelyn said: “I started surfing at a youth club when I was twelve, then got crushed at sixteen and lost my leg.
“As soon as I got back in the water, I fell in love with the ocean and started surfing.
“For a lot of adaptive surfers it’s the same, as soon as you step into the water everything clears up.”
Llwelyn’s surf career, which has seen him represent Wales in competition, has allowed him to see the world.
But nothing beats his house.
“I have surfed from Bali to California, but catching waves off the coast of Wales will always be the most special place for me,” he said.
Wales’ rugged climate, which makes it a surfing paradise, also makes it a great source of green energy – something Llwelyn would like to point out.
He said: “The Welsh wind is not only great for surfing, it is also a great source of renewable energy.
“We should harness the power of our incredible Welsh climate more. “
As part of the campaign to fight climate change, Llywelyn is urging people to get a smart meter so the public can better understand their energy use and the availability of renewables in the UK.
The UK has nearly 40 offshore wind farms and 2,500 onshore wind farms across the country, producing 25 GW of electricity per year.
But Llywelyn warns that “energy from wind farms is underutilized because our energy infrastructure is not as smart as we need it to be.”
Energy from wind farms is the most cost effective option for new electricity in the UK. This is why Llywelyn is keen to “encourage everyone to have a smart meter” so that people can monitor and understand their energy consumption and save money.
“It amazed me how much money you can actually save by turning off things that are on standby,” he said.
Fflur Lawton of Smart Energy GB Wales explained: “We have partnered with Llywelyn to get the message across that having a smart meter helps fight climate change by allowing us to use more renewable energy through to our powerful weather.
Almost a quarter of the UK’s electricity was produced by wind turbines in 2020, but less than a third of Welsh residents are aware of the amount of energy produced from renewable sources and that the wind is the largest source of renewable energy.
“94% of people in Wales are unaware that a smart meter could increase the use of renewable energy in our country,” said Fflur.
“A smart energy system, able to make better use of the energy generated by our wind and our sun, is an essential part of Britain’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions.”