Lawmakers from five parties have pledged support for Scotland to reach between 4GW and 6GW of solar power-making capacity by 2030, up from 0.4 GW today.
“It is time to follow political will with concrete action,” write MSPs from the SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens & Conservatives today, urging the devolved government’s Net Zero minister Michael Matheson MSP to embrace a minimum tenfold increase on current deployment.
One MSP short an overall majority at Holyrood of 65 since elections in May 2021, the Scot Nats run the nation’s devolved powers in co-operation with the Scottish Green Party. Lorna Slater – pictured – and Patrick Harvie, two of the Greens’ seven MSPs, serve in Nicola Sturgeon’s cabinet.
Expanding Scotland’s solar capacity would complement the UK target of 70 GW by the end of this decade, say the industry advocates who organised the letter. Read it here.
Thomas McMillan, chair of Solar Energy Scotland said: “Such a goal would be consistent with the Scottish government’s existing targets for onshore and offshore wind, alongside the political consensus which exists at Holyrood that solar can deliver for the nation.
“As a signal of intent, it would also encourage investment in the burgeoning sector. Meeting the target would be instrumental not just in attaining reduction targets in climate emissions, but also help alleviate fuel poverty and reduce business running costs”.
The MSPs signing up for more PV on roofs, fields & glens are:
- Paul McLennan, SNP co-convener of Holyrood’s cross-party group on renewables & energy efficiency
- Brian Whittle, Scottish Conservative MSP, and shadow minister for environment, biodiversity and land reform
- Colin Smyth, Scottish Labour, Matheson’s shadow for Net Zero & energy
- Mark Ruskell, Scottish Green Party spokesperson on climate, energy & environment
- Scottish Liberal Democrats MSPs Liam McArthur & Willie Rennie
Solar is the “cheapest, quickest and easiest-to-deploy form of renewable energy available”. their MSPs assert to Matheson.
“We all agree that solar energy has a much bigger role to play in reducing running costs for households and businesses. We believe much more can be done to support consumers and businesses to reduce bills and take action on climate change,” the MSPs say.
The law-makers are “much heartened” by recent commitments by the SNP-Green administration to speed up moves to extend permitted development rights for rooftop solar panels.
“The forthcoming energy strategy is an opportunity to make solar an important part of Scotland’s future energy mix,” said McMillan.
Up to 9,000 jobs in solar installation & its supply chain could be created, Solar Energy Scotland calculates.
The lobbyists have stepped up campaigning since lockdown eased. Their policy recommendations in October 2021 cited Scotland’s continuing barriers to development, whose equivalent have been removed in the rest of the UK.