Scotland counts on solar energy to achieve climate goals by 2030
The Scottish government has expressed its commitment to including solar energy in its new strategy to achieve climate goals, after the ruling Scottish National Party announced last Friday the signing of a power-sharing agreement in the country with the Green Party.
The document, issued by the two parties, highlighted the importance of expanding the field of solar energy, while wind remains the largest source of renewable energy in the country.
The Scottish National Party won the parliamentary elections in May, but did not obtain an absolute majority, which eluded it by only one seat, as it won 64 seats out of the 129 that make up the Scottish Parliament.
The role of solar energy
Scotland’s National Solar Trade Authority has welcomed the reference to solar cells in the draft common policy platform released by the two parties on Friday, PV Magazine reports.
“The solar industry in Scotland welcomes the clear recognition in the Cooperation Agreement of the important role solar energy can play in Scotland’s drive to meet our 2030 climate commitments,” said FTA Chairman Thomas Macmillan.
Macmillan noted solar energy as the cheapest and most deployable renewable technology, as well as providing great benefits to the economy by contributing to addressing fuel poverty.
Enabling renewable energy
The Chairman of the Solar Trade Authority said it was time to allow the sector to grow and thrive, noting that the opportunities for solar energy in Scotland could see a 15-fold increase in penetration by 2030.
Although the policy document briefly touched on electric power, the Scottish Solar Authority calls for 4-6 GW of solar cells to be installed within this decade.
The document raised the ambition ceiling to 8-10 GW of onshore wind farms by 2030, although this is still “subject to consultation”, along with the current target of 11 GW of offshore facilities.
The document highlighted the important role of solar energy in decarbonizing heat and electricity supplies, as part of the country’s plan to enable renewable energy by 2050.
Scottish authorities are aiming for renewables to meet 50 percent of the country’s energy needs through electricity, heating and transport by 2030.
Although hydropower saw the largest growth last year, wind remains the country’s largest source of renewable energy.