Scotland reaches ‘solar milestone’ as thousands of new homes plug in to sun power

Solar power roofScotland has passed a major new milestone for solar power, with installed capacity of photo-voltaic (PV) systems now exceeding 100 megawatts.

According to a new analysis of figures from OFGEM, the UK gas and electricity markets regulator, Scotland’s installed solar PV capacity now stands at 106MW – a rise of 28MW (+36%) on the same time last year and an increase of 104MW (+5200%) since 2010;  

More than 28,000 homes and 450 business premises in Scotland now have solar PV solar arrays fitted. Across the UK, more than 490,000 homes are now solar-powered, according to figures released last week by the UK Department of Energy (DECC).

Welcoming the new figures, Lang Banks, Director, WWF Scotland, said: “While the total may be small compared to wind energy, but reaching 100 Megawatts of installed solar capacity still represents a significant milestone on Scotland’s path toward generating only pollution-free electricity.

“Together these solar panels are helping to prevent thousands of tonnes of climate-damaging emissions being emitted every year. Every home and business with a suitable roof or space should seriously consider going solar.

“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.”

Dr Anne-Marie Fuller, Chairman, Scottish Solar Energy Group, said: “Scotland might seem like an unlikely place for solar, but if you look at a solar radiation map, Scotland receives about 80% – and in some parts 90% – of the solar energy of Germany, the world leader in solar deployment with about 35 gigawatts installed

“Solar power is an extremely versatile electricity generation technology that can provide many opportunities for Scotland.

“It can be used from watt scale to power personal electronic equipment to megawatt scale to transform brown field land into biodiverse sites that generate useful electricity for the local area, but its greatest advantage however is that it can be installed in the urban environment to provide power at the point of use.”

Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs, Solar Trade Association, added: “It’s fantastic that nearly half a million solar-powered homes have been achieved in three years. We want to achieve the next half a million homes in less than two years so that we can hit the big million in 2015.”

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