Scottish support for solar power is on the rise and – according to the Solar Trade Association (STA) – there are now more than double the number of domestic solar installations in Scotland than there are in London, despite the UK capital having more than three million more residents.
With growing support for solar on the rise, the UK Department of Energy (DECC) is pushing for greater levels of local and community ownership. In a gesture of support the STA announced that it has revised its influential ‘10 commitments’ to include this.
This move now makes it industry best practice to offer local investment opportunities in solar farms. The commitment states: “We will offer investment opportunities to communities in their local solar farms where there is local appetite and where it is commercially viable”.
Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs, STA, said: “Our aim is to find genuine win-wins for the industry and communities that will ultimately enable the UK to accelerate the deployment of clean solar power.
“We’re very interested in the potential ISA eligibility for local investors in solar farms to help the industry secure cost-effective financing – that could give us a real advantage as well as inviting mass public involvement
“A recent opinion poll has shown that 84% of Scots would be happy or unconcerned about living next to a solar farm – higher than the UK average. With already over 140 MW installed capacity, solar power is hoped to become a driving force behind a renewable Scotland.”
STA member companies based in Scotland include Solar Kingdom, Lark Energy, Forster Energy and Lightsource.
Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said: “Solar is a key part of the community energy revolution and I think we will continue to keep [public] support and grow that support. I am particularly grateful to the Solar Trade Association for its work in showing people the best practice in installations in the 10 Commitments and for including shared ownership and community energy as part of those 10 Commitments.”