Scottish solar power capacity up by a third since last year

The total installed capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Scotland has risen by 32% since last year to 140MW, according to figures from a group of renewables organisations.

Analysis of the Ofgem data by WWF Scotland, Lightsource Renewable Energy and the Solar Trade Association (STA) also shows that more than 35,000 homes and 600 business premises in Scotland now have solar PV arrays fitted.

The groups have called for the Scottish Government to do all they can to help encourage the roll-out of more solar power as the installations would help prevent thousands of tonnes of damaging CO2 emissions every year.

Climate targets

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.”

Support solar

Lightsource Renewable Energy strategy and external affairs manager Kate Baxter said: “Advances in solar PV technology have seen increased efficiency of panels and reductions in manufacturing costs, making solar PV a viable power source to add to Scotland’s overall energy mix.

“Lightsource has already identified around 70 potential sites for ground-mounted solar PV farms in Scotland, as well as opportunity for commercial and domestic rooftop solar PV systems.

“To ensure Scotland has opportunity to benefit from solar energy as 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.”

Cost reductions

STA head of external affairs Leonie Greene 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.”

Lois Vallely

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie