New solar industry trade body launched in Scotland

 John Forster, Chairman, Solar Trade Association ScotlandA number of leading members of the Solar Trade Association (STA) – which speaks on behalf of the UK solar energy industry – have launched a new Scotland branch.

STA Scotland is set to become a leading voice for solar in Scotland, advising and developing policy with the Scottish Government and raising awareness of the benefits of solar.

The Solar Trade Association estimates that there are 25,000 hectares of south-facing commercial rooftops in Scotland that could be put to use to generate clean, home-grown energy.

The STA has already carried out a lot of work to promote solar in the UK, 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.

STA analysis has shown that solar panels in Glasgow generate over 90% of the energy the same number of panels would produce in London, showing how strong the case for solar is in Scotland.

John Forster, Chairman of Brechin-based Forster Energy, (pictured, above) has been appointed as Chairman of the new Scottish solar trade body. He said:

“I am thrilled to be leading STA Scotland. I currently sit on the STA UK Board and I am an active member of STA’s New Build Working Group. Striving towards a more sustainable, green and energy efficient Scotland has been a passion of mine for a long time and I am delighted to be in a position to help make this happen.

“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.”

Paul Barwell, Chief Executive, Solar Trade Association, said that STA Scotland has been set up to give  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.

He added: “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.”

Other companies present at the launch meeting of Solar Trade Scotland included AES Solar, Lark Energy, Lightsource, McDonald Engineers, Solar Kingdom and Sunamp.

Fergus Ewing, Scottish Energy Minister, commented: “The launch of STA Scotland provides a valuable asset for Scotland as we work towards meeting our 2020 renewable energy target.

“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.”

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