Scottish Government Commits to 4-6GW of Installed PV Capacity by 2023

Scottish Government Commits to 4-6GW of Installed PV Capacity by 2023

Nov 9,2023.

The Scottish government has said that it has committed to installing between 4GW and 6GW of PV systems by 2030, with the support of industry players. According to a document released by the Scottish government, this commitment is dependent on large-scale PV projects delivering appropriate levels of economic and community benefits.

Scottish Renewables, a leading renewable energy lobby group in Scotland, welcomed the news in a press release, and the target will be included in the Scottish government's upcoming energy strategy and just transition plan.

Helen Melone, senior policy manager at Scottish Renewables, said in her press release that this commitment from the Scottish government is a goal that the association has been calling for for a long time. But she added that the Scottish government must develop a clear plan with key milestones to show how it will achieve them.

This plan should cover targets for commercial rooftop PV systems, domestic rooftop PV systems, and ground-mounted utility-scale PV systems, and it must ensure that Scotland's public sector fully utilizes the PV generation potential of its buildings by 2030, she said.

In January, the Scottish Government published a draft Energy Strategy and a Just Transition Plan, which is the country's roadmap for realizing its "climate change ambitions". According to the draft plan, the final version is expected to be published in 2023. Industry media have asked the Scottish Government when the final plan will be published, but have not yet received a response.

The draft policy states that the Scottish Government wants to achieve a target of installing 20GW of low-cost renewable energy generation by 2030. However, unlike other renewables such as onshore wind, it does not include a specific PV installation target. The draft foreshadows a final version with these milestones specific to PV systems.

According to data published by Scottish Renewables, the cumulative installed onshore wind capacity in Scotland was 9GW as of the first quarter of 2023, accounting for more than half of the total cumulative installed renewable energy capacity of 14GW. This compares to the lowest installed capacity of photovoltaic systems installed at 522MW.

However, the Scottish Government's Draft Energy Strategy and Transformation Plan indicate a willingness to increase the installed capacity of PV systems.

In this draft, the Scottish Government states, "We see a strong role for photovoltaic (PV) systems and for domestic and commercial PV systems combined with battery storage systems, which has the potential to help reduce consumers' electricity bills."

The draft document states that the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan 2020 to 2025, published by the Scottish Government, establishes a framework for creating and supporting the PV industry workforce. The PV industry workforce reportedly has skills gaps in installation and maintenance. The draft also refers to the target it has set to provide incentives from April 2023 to March 2035 for equipment used in renewable energy generation facilities and energy storage systems.

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