Solar energy firms welcomed a boost in confidence for investors after the Scottish Government pledged to maintain levels of support for projects north of the border.
The Scottish Government said it will retain the “grandfathering” guarantee for investment in solar projects, contrary to what the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) has proposed for England and Wales, a trade body for the sector has said.
Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing cited the need for “clarity and certainty” for solar projects to attract funding.
This is in the context of the UK Government’s proposal to close the Renewables Obligation completely for large commercial solar rooftops and solar farms as of April of next year.
The Scottish Government has also announced it will not be reviewing the level of Renewables Obligation support for solar prior to the early closure of the scheme, as is being proposed in England and Wales in what is called a “banding review”.
John Forster, Chairman of Solar Trade Association Scotland (STA Scotland), said: “This shows that the Scottish Government is fully committed to solar providing as much as possible of its 100% renewables target for Scotland.
“Solar projects in Scotland now know what level of support they are going to get, and that they will get it for the full 20 years. It won’t be possible to cut support for Scottish projects down the line in, for example, year 15 of 20.”
Grandfathering is the guarantee that the level of support provided per unit of electricity will not change throughout the lifetime of a solar installation once it has been built and connected, and once the investment has been made.