Solar PV installations are starting to gain traction in Scotland but more can be done to encourage uptake, according to WWF Scotland, Lightsource Renewable Energy and the Solar Trade Association.
Scotland now boasts a total of 140MW of solar PV, an increase of 34MW from 2013. The organisations calculate that over 35,000 Scottish homes and 600 businesses are now benefitting from solar PV.
Commenting on Scotland’s solar performance, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “The total installed solar capacity may be small when compared to wind energy, but together these solar panels are helping to prevent thousands of tonnes of climate-damaging emissions being emitted every year. The great thing about solar is that it can deployed easily and quickly in towns and cities or in places not suitable for wind turbines. Solar is also complimentary to wind and can share sites and grid connections.
“Alongside energy saving measures, renewable energy technologies like solar and wind will be important to enabling Scotland meet its climate change targets. We call upon the Scottish government to do all that it can to help ensure Scotland switches on to the full potential of solar power.”
Leonie Greene from the Solar Trade Association echoed Banks’ call for the Scottish government to do more to help boost solar deployment. She said: “Nearly 600,000 households have gone solar across the UK of which 5% are in Scotland. But, we’d like to see Scotland fully share in the many benefits solar can provide. The Scottish government has provided world class leadership on renewable energy so we urge them to throw their weight behind solar too. No other energy technology has delivered the scale of cost reductions seen in solar and no other technology has empowered such vast numbers of everyday people to take control of their power supply. It is vital to retain this momentum.”
Nick Boyle, CEO of Lightsource Renewable Energy who recently opened a Scottish office, added: “To ensure Scotland has opportunity to benefit from solar energy as the rest of the UK has, we need Scottish Ministers to use whatever powers are at their disposal to influence energy policy in support of solar technology deployment.”