Scottish solar supported by new STA branch
The Solar Trade Association (STA) is set to become the leading voice for the solar industry in Scotland as a new branch of the organisation has been launched in Edinburgh.
The new Scottish STA will work will the Scottish Government to advise and develop policies supporting the Scottish solar industry.
STA CEO Paul Barwell said: "I'm delighted to launch STA Scotland which has been set up to give our member companies north of the border the support and clout to drive the agenda forward for both solar PV and solar thermal hot water heating,"
"This has been driven by our members over the last 18 months and I am delighted to say that the STA is now able to use its in-house policy, communications and analysis resources to support this new group."
Installed solar capacity in Scotland has risen by a third in the last year according to STA analysis, with 35,000 homes and 600 businesses now benefitting from solar power.
However, the STA estimates that there are 25,000 hectares of south-facing commercial rooftops in Scotland suitable for solar generation that could be developed.
The STA played down concerns about Scotland's notoriously overcast weather, claiming that solar panels in Glasgow generate around 90% of the energy the same number of panels would produce in London.
Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, who has backed the move and called the STA Scotland a 'valuable asset', went on to say: "STA Scotland will undoubtedly contribute to the Scottish Government's target to generate the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020."
"Supporting solar energy is hugely important as it supports our economic strategy to work towards further social equality and the reduction in fuel poverty for the people of Scotland."
Deliver a future
The new chair of STA Scotland, John Forster, said his vision for the body is to create a stable and sustainable future for domestic and business energy consumers in Scotland, by advancing the availability of solar technologies.
Forster said: "Scotland has been a great supporter of solar energy and the launch of STA Scotland is testament to this. I am proud to be working alongside the industry's finest, to deliver a future for Scotland that will be able to reap the benefits of solar energy."
The STA already works to promote solar in the UK by showing how solar could by 2030 produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 18 million homes and support almost 50,000 jobs across the British solar supply chain.