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Scotland’s Solar Power Capacity Grew 32% In 2014

A number of organisations based out of Scotland on Monday called for the Scottish Government to “do all it can to help encourage the roll-out [of] more solar power” in Scotland, following the publication of figures which showed Scotland’s solar capacity had increased by 32% during 2014.

Scotland Green Energy WWF Scotland published the figures from Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, which showed that Scotland’s solar capacity had reached 140 MW, a rise of 32% since 2013.

“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,” said WWF Scotland director Lang Banks. “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 complementary to wind and can share sites and grid connections.”

WWF Scotland called for the Scottish Government to do more to help solar energy in the country, along with Lightsource Renewable Energy and the Solar Trade Association.

“Alongside energy saving measures, renewable energy technologies like solar and wind will be important to enabling Scotland to meet its climate change targets,” Banks added. “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.”

According to the figures, over 35,000 homes and 600 business premises in Scotland now have solar PV arrays fitted — a phenomenal amount considering the relatively low importance solar has in the country when compared to its dominant wind energy industry.

“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,” Leonie Greene of the Solar Trade Association said. “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.”

While solar may provide the local and personal cost reductions unique to renewable energy, Scotland’s focus on wind energy has not been misplaced.

Twice, in both October and November, wind energy generated phenomenal amounts of electricity — 126% of all the needs of every home in Scotland in October, and 107% in November. On top of that, renewable energy generated more electricity in the first half of 2014 in Scotland than any other source (including nuclear, coal, and natural gas).

With these impressive achievements under its belt, Scotland’s solar industry is in comparably good hands.

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