- Scotland plans to aim for up to 6 GW of installed solar energy capacity by 2030
- It is planned to be included in the country’s forthcoming Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan
- With this, the government has agreed to a target recommendation by local association Solar Energy Scotland
The Government of Scotland has announced plans to aim for a minimum of 4 GW solar PV capacity, and up to a maximum of 6 GW by 2030. The target will be part of the government’s forthcoming Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, according to the country’s Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, Lorna Slater.
The minister unveiled these plans at a conference of her political party Scottish Greens at the end of October 2023. This clear pathway, Slater was quoted as saying, will give the national solar industry the confidence to invest, create jobs and accelerate the transition to green energy.
The 6 GW target meets the demand of Solar Energy Scotland, according to Solar Energy UK with whom it operates in coordination. In an earlier report titled Scotland’s fair share Solar’s role in achieving net zero in Scotland, the association said the country can meet more than half of a 6 GW target from ground-mounted solar farms, with 3.5 GW. The remaining 1.5 GW can come from residential rooftops and 1 GW from commercial rooftops.
At the end of Q2/2023, Scotland’s renewable energy installed capacity had increased to 14.9 GW, up from 13.9 GW in December 2022, thanks mainly due to an increase in onshore wind capacity. It comprised around 522 MW solar PV capacity.
Of the 23 GW renewable energy capacity in the pipeline, solar PV technology represented a combined 1.16 GW as of June 2023, while onshore and offshore wind made up 12.7 GW and 8.2 GW respectively, according to the Scottish Energy Statistics.
“Setting a clear target for solar will benefit the industry, boosting investment and will ensure coherent action and direction across many policy areas, ranging from planning decisions on projects to creating green economic opportunities for people across Scotland,” said Chair of Solar Energy Scotland Thomas McMillan.