Scotland hits 100MW PV milestone

Scotland has crossed the 100MW threshold of installed PV capacity, but is still performing far below its potential for a country so heavily committed to renewables, according to a trade group.

Scotland has 106MW of installed PV capacity, according to the most recent figures published by UK energy regulator Ofgem.

Of that, some 26MW was added during past year. Nearly all of it has been added since 2010.

“The total may be small when compared to wind energy, but reaching 100MW of installed solar capacity still represents a significant milestone on Scotland’s path toward generating only pollution-free electricity,” says WWF Scotland director Lang Banks.

Scotland’s onshore wind capacity stood at around 4.3GW by mid-2013.

While the UK has emerged over the past few years as an important European market for PV, Scotland remains scarcely a blip on the industry’s radar.

But that need not be the case, says Anne-Marie Fuller, chairwoman of the Scottish Solar Energy Group.

Most of Scotland receives roughly 80% of the sunlight as Germany, the world leader in installed PV capacity.

“There is absolutely no reason we couldn’t be deploying significantly more solar if we really wanted to,” Fuller says.

The UK as a whole added about 900MW of PV during the first three quarters of 2013.