Date lodged: 29 November 2018
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the Solar Trade Association Scotland estimating that the sector can deliver over 8,000 new jobs in Scotland per year by 2030, how it plans to support the solar power industry.
Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 20 December 2018
The Scottish Government is committed to encouraging and promoting Solar in Scotland. We recognise that energy from solar, as part of a diverse energy mix, can contribute to our renewable targets, and support the future decarbonisation of Scotland’s energy market.
The investment conditions for new renewable developments have changed considerably as a result of precipitate changes by UK Ministers in the removal of financial support to solar projects but, for our part, we are committed to continuing our support by working with industry to provide as supportive a policy framework to aid the deployment of the technology.
While financial incentives are reserved to the UK Government, meaning we are not able to intervene directly to stimulate the take up of technology via any market interventions such as the Feed-in Tariff scheme or other instruments, the Scottish Government currently provides funding through a number of schemes that support renewable projects to facilitate the decarbonisation of our energy system:
- The Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) provides advice and funding support to community groups, organisations and rural small to medium enterprises (SME) looking to develop renewable energy projects. A total of £35 million has been made available to applicants since the scheme’s inception.
- The Resource Efficient Scotland programme offers loans up to the value of £100,000 for SMEs to undertake the installation of resource saving projects (which includes solar technologies). We have made up to £3 million available to eligible applicants throughout 2018-19.
- The Home Energy Scotland loan scheme, which helps home owners gain access to funds to allow them to undertake a range of home improvements. Applicants can apply for up to £17,500 worth of funding to install solar PV and solar water heating systems – helping to ensure there is also a domestic demand for the industry.