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Solar industry welcomes First Minister’s comments on solar target

Solar Energy Scotland
16 December 2022

Solar Energy Scotland has strongly welcomed comments by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the sector.

“Energy that is generated from solar can, without a shadow of a doubt, make a very significant contribution to both the decarbonisation of our energy supply and the just transition that we need to make to a net zero emissions society by 2045,” she said on the floor of the Scottish Parliament on 22 December.[1]

Her remarks were in response to a question on the forthcoming new energy strategy, posed by Fergus Ewing MSP. The strategy, due to be published shortly, is expected to include a solar target.

Sturgeon stopped short of committing to the 4-6 gigawatts of deployment by 2030 that the solar industry is seeking, described by Ewing as “a very clear, practical, deliverable and achievable target.” However, her comments that “stretching and deliverable” targets were important in driving deployment and in boosting the supply chain were received warmly.

Thomas McMillan, chair of Solar Energy Scotland said: “We welcome the comments today and look forward to engaging in the energy strategy consultation and providing the case and evidence for a strong target for solar deployment to 2030. 

“SES would also like to thank Fergus Ewing MSP and MSPs of all parties who have supported the efforts across the chamber to make the case for removing barriers and stepping up policy for solar in recent years. 2022 has seen major steps forward on accelerating permitted development rights, business rates incentives and positive measures in the new national planning framework.”[2,3,4]
“The existing targets for wind and other renewable technologies have rapidly driven decarbonisation and brought new jobs to rural and urban Scotland: a 2030 solar target is the missing piece of that jigsaw,” McMillan added. 

[1] Official Record, 22 December 2022 and video

[2] Scotland’s solar industry welcomes tax incentives

[3] Scotland set to reform planning rules for solar energy 

[4] Is Scotland’s National Planning Framework 4 radical enough for the climate crisis?

– ENDS​ – 

Editor’s notes:

Solar Energy Scotland is the trusted industry trade body for solar energy in Scotland. Alongside Solar Energy UK, we represent the entire solar and energy storage industry. Solar Energy UK and Solar Energy Scotland are funded largely by our membership and represent a thriving member-led community of over 300+ businesses and associates, of which over 50 are based in Scotland. Our members range from ambitious and innovative SMEs to global brands.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

George Baxter, vice-chair of SES on 07717 817 939 

or

Gareth Simkins, Senior Communications Adviser

[email protected]

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