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Scottish homes and businesses 'embracing solar power'

Scottish homes and businesses 'embracing solar power'

Scottish homes and businesses 'embracing solar power'

WWF Scotland and the Solar Trade Association (STA) have welcomed indications that Scottish homes and businesses are "embracing solar power", with figures showing that solar photovoltaic capacity has jumped by over a quarter in the past year.

Publishing data revealing a 28 per cent increase in capacity to 179 megawatts, the organisations said these positive steps would help to prevent thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere every year.

A typical domestic solar PV system could reduce carbon emissions by over one tonne per year, or more than 30 tonnes over its lifetime, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Since 2010, Scotland's solar PV capacity has soared by 177MW.

WWF Scotland and the STA's analysis of figures from Ofgem, the energy industry watchdog, also showed that 850 business premises and over 40,000 homes across Scotland now have solar arrays fitted.

Over the past year, total installed capacity on domestic properties alone passed the 150MW mark, reaching 159MW.

Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, said: "It's fantastic to see so many homes and businesses embracing solar power.

"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."

Mr Banks also commented on the recent UN climate talks in Paris, where 195 countries agreed to work towards goals including limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius.

He pointed out that, in addition to energy-saving measures, there will need to be more widespread adoption of solar and other renewable technologies in the UK and around the world in order to tackle the threat of climate change.

WWF Scotland is calling on the Scottish government to do everything it can to ensure the country "switches on to the full potential of solar power".

John Forster of the STA Scotland said: "It's great to see the use of solar power continue to grow.

"Scotland's new building regulations are a great example of where Scotland is leading the way, as they are helping to increase the uptake of solar on thousands of new homes every year."

However, he also stressed that new homes make up a "tiny fraction" of all housing stock and buildings, meaning there is a need for new measures to encourage uptake of solar power on existing properties.

In the wake of the Paris climate agreement, the STA called on the UK government - namely the chancellor and the energy secretary - to "put their commitments into practice" by showing more support for solar PV.

Leonie Greene, head of external affairs at the industry body, said the "critical importance" of solar power as a weapon in the fight against climate change came up "time and again" at the Paris conference.

She also pointed out that energy secretary Amber Rudd has identified solar PV as a technology that can drop substantially in cost, but this will be dependent on a mass market and "effective national policies".

 

Posted by William Rodriguez