Power station closures in Fife and East Lothian, combined with rising interest in cheap, renewable energy has seen demand for solar PV soar in Scotland, property consultancy Galbraith has said.
According to the organisation, solar had been lagging behind its counterpart wind generation for many years in Scotland with many landowners opting for wind farms.
However, recent developments in the Scottish solar industry have seen it grow more popular in the nation. Galbraith said that “solar’s fast-evolving technology and reducing prices, combined with higher demand for renewable energy, have seen more landowners being approached by developers for new projects”.
The Scottish solar industry had been boosted via the local government’s new planning system, National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4), which outlined support for solar and renewable developments.
Policies under Part 2 – National Planning Policy of the NPF4 - include ensuring “significant weight” is given to the climate crisis when considering all development proposals and facilitating developments that “minimise emissions” and adapt to “the current and future impacts of climate change.”
As well as this, the Scottish Government stated late last year it had pledged to consult on lifting the need to obtain planning permission for larger solar installations on non-domestic buildings early next year, bringing it in line with planning rules in England.
This support from the Scottish Government has seen demand for solar technologies soar and could see the country bolster its installed capacity in the coming years. This is important as Scotland’s share of solar power generated is far lower than that of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Solar Energy UK stated.
“Negotiating the terms of any agreement for land or development is vital as the projects will be around for 30 years or more,” said Philippa Orr, a rural surveyor at Galbraith.
“We are actively advising a range of landowners and developers in reaching the best outcome for all.”
Along with this growing interest surrounding solar, Galbraith has also recognised some key factors in the development of projects in Scotland. Among the most critical factors to be considered is access to a suitable grid connection point.
Grid connectivity is a crucial factor for scaling the renewable generation capacity of the entire UK. However, various issues and delays on the TEC Register have caused various issues in grid connectivity.
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