Solar trade body announces Scotland branch

John Forster, chair of STA Scotland
The UK Solar Trade Association has launched STA Scotland.

It will advise and develop solar policy with the Scottish government and raise awareness of the benefits of solar energy. Prominent figures backing STA Scotland include Fergus Ewing, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism.

He said: "The launch of STA Scotland provides a valuable asset for Scotland as we work towards meeting our 2020 renewable energy target. STA Scotland will undoubtedly contribute to the Scottish Government's target to generate the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020. Supporting solar energy is hugely important as it supports our economic strategy to work towards further social equality and the reduction in fuel poverty for the people of Scotland."

There are 35,000 homes and 600 businesses in Scotland, currently benefitting from solar technology. Scottish STA member, Forster Energy, was involved in the 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village, with over 700 homes that have solar energy systems installed.

The Solar Trade Association estimates that there are 25,000 hectares of south-facing commercial rooftops in Scotland that could be put to use to generate clean, home-grown energy.

John Forster, chairman of Forster Energy, has been appointed as the chair of the new body. He has experience in the construction and solar energy industries. On his appointment he said: "I am thrilled to be leading STA Scotland. I currently sit on the STA UK Board and I am an active member of STA's New Build Working Group. Striving towards a more sustainable, green and energy efficient Scotland has been a passion of mine for a long time and I am delighted to be in a position to help make this happen.

"Scotland has been a great supporter of solar energy and the launch of STA Scotland is testament to this. I am proud to be working alongside the industry's finest, to deliver a future for Scotland that will be able to reap the benefits of solar energy."

The STA has already shown how solar could produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 18 million homes and support almost 50,000 jobs across the British solar supply chain by 2030.

STA analysis has shown that solar panels in Glasgow generate over 90% of the energy the same number of panels would produce in London.

Caroline Hayes

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