The total installed capacity of solar panel systems in Scotland has reached 179 megawatts; an increase of 28% since last year.
According to figures from Ofgem published by WWF Scotland and the Solar Trade Association Scotland, more than 40,000 Scottish homes and 850 commercial premises now have solar panels.
The pace of solar uptake in Scotland is impressive, rising 8,850% since 2010. Residential solar power systems account for 159MW of the 179MW total.
“It’s fantastic to see so many homes and businesses embracing solar power,” said WWF Scotland director Lang Banks.
” Although the total installed solar capacity is small when compared to wind energy, we should remember that collectively these solar panels are helping to prevent thousands of tonnes of climate-damaging emissions being emitted every year.”
While new building regulations in Scotland are encouraging the growth of home solar, opportunities still exist to encourage uptake on current housing stock.
“Having found a way forward on new homes, we’d like to see the Scottish Government bring forward measures to encourage much greater uptake of solar power on the many more existing homes and buildings,” said Solar Trade Association Scotland’s John Forster.
Renewable energy is the single largest contributor to electricity generation in Scotland; accounting for 38 per cent of total output in 2014 and 49.7% of gross electricity consumption. This means Scotland’s 2015 50%
renewable electricity target was almost met one year ahead of schedule.
Scotland continued to be a net exporter of electricity in 2014, exporting 24% of its power generation. Renewable energy was also a major employer in Scotland, with 21,000 people employed directly in the low carbon and renewable energy economy last year.
By the end of third quarter this year, 7,504 MW of installed renewables-based electricity generation capacity was operational in Scotland, an increase of 4.6% over the year. Wind power generation in Q3 was up 27.1% year-over-year.
The Scottish Government has set a target of 100% renewable electricity generation (gross consumption) by 2020 – and based on its performance to date, it’s a target that will be achieved.