Skip to Navigation

Calls for Holyrood to back the key role of solar to achieve Scotland’s climate change targets.

9 Dec 2021

Solar Energy Scotland (SES) has welcomed the call made today for the Scottish Parliament to back the country’s solar energy industry, in a motion put forward by Fergus Ewing MSP highlighting the need to scale up solar energy deployment to meet the country’s net zero targets.

For years, the assumption has been, wrongly, that Scotland should benefit from other renewable energy sources over solar due to the perceived lack of suitability in the country’s weather conditions.

SES has long campaigned to debunk this myth. Its policy agenda recognises that solar has vast, untapped potential and can bolster the power of wind to make more effective use of the electricity grid and storage network.

Thomas McMillan, Chair of Solar Energy Scotland said:

“For too long, the potential of solar in Scotland has been overlooked. We hope this motion will help the technology receive the recognition it deserves in parliament and shine a light on the policy changes that the sector needs to accelerate solar deployment in Scotland so that we catch up with the rest of Europe”.

He adds: “Those that still doubt Solar’s potential in Scotland might be surprised to learn that enough solar energy hits the surface of the island of Hoy each year, to provide the entire country’s energy needs for power, heat and transport.”

Given that solar is now the cheapest form of electricity and can be deployed at all scales, we believe it has a central role in supporting an affordable energy mix and a just transition. Therefore, we call upon the Scottish government to address the urgent need to scale solar deployment to meet its ambitious net-zero targets.  

Fergus Ewing, MSP for Inverness and Nairn constituency stated:

 “Scotland’s solar energy can, and should, play a key role in providing electricity. Now is the time to make practical progress to that aim. I hope to bring this matter forward to the Scottish Parliament for debate soon.”

SES argues that Scotland must adopt the necessary policies to embrace this low cost, mature technology to help tackle climate change and provide investment and jobs in communities across the country. 

Click here to view the motion.

The key policy changes advocated by the trade body are:

  • Scottish domestic building regulations should include an affordability target for new homes and recognise the role of exported solar energy.
  • The government should empower commercial-scale rooftop projects through extending permit development rights, removing requirements for commercial properties to need building warrants to install solar and exemptions from non-domestic rates.
  • Scottish agriculture, infrastructure and land use policy should incorporate a presumption in favour of solar deployment.

The outlined policy changes show that Scotland’s delivery rate between 4 and 6GW is deliverable by 2030 – a major increase on its existing scale of approximately 380MW. Click here to download the full report, on Scotland’s Fair Share.

-Ends –

Solar Energy Scotland works to shape policy to realise the potential of solar and energy storage in Scotland, and to work with Government and all stakeholders to deliver on climate change obligations and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.