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Scotland's solar capacity 'grew by a third in 2014'

Scotland's solar capacity 'grew by a third in 2014'

Scotland's solar capacity 'grew by a third in 2014'

Homes and businesses in Scotland made major strides towards the use of greener energy sources in 2014, according to environmental lobbyists and other industry groups.

In a press release issued on December 29th, WWF Scotland presented an analysis of data from Ofgem showing that the country has made huge progress in terms of solar power capacity compared with the same month in 2013.

Scotland's total installed capacity of solar photo-voltaic (PV) systems now stands at 140 megawatts - an increase of almost a third (32 per cent) in the space of a single year.

Back in 2010, the country's solar PV capacity was a mere two megawatts, meaning that it has achieved growth of 138 megawatts - or 6,900 per cent - in less than half a decade.

More than 35,000 of Scottish homes are now capable of generating solar power, while 600 businesses have installed PV arrays on their premises in an effort to make their operations more environmentally friendly.

Commenting on these figures, WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said that although solar panels account for a much smaller share of the country's green energy capacity than wind farms, they still help to prevent "thousands of tonnes of climate-damaging emissions" that might otherwise be generated annually.

"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."

Government 'must help unlock full potential of solar power'

Nonetheless, WWF Scotland - with the backing of Lightsource Renewable Energy and the Solar Trade Association - called on the government to do more to help to promote the adoption of solar power north of the border.

Mr Banks warned that much greater use of solar and wind energy will be required if Scotland is to meet its climate change targets, and as such, policymakers must act to ensure that the country "switches on to the full potential of solar power."

These sentiments were echoed by Nick Boyle, chief executive of Lightsource: "We need Scottish ministers to use whatever powers are at their disposal to influence energy policy in support of solar technology deployment," he said.

Additionally, Leonie Greene of the Solar Trade Association hailed the government's "world-class leadership" on wind energy and urged ministers to take a similar line on solar power.

"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," she commented.

The calls arrive less than a month after a report from Berlin-based thinktank Thema1 forecast that should solar power in the UK maintain its current momentum, it could become subsidy-free before the end of the decade.

Gerard Reid, the author of the report, claimed that solar will become "the bedrock of the global power system" in the future, as the economic viability of rooftop PV arrays accelerates.

 

Posted by William Rodriguez