SCOTLAND’s solar energy sector has been overlooked in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government published earlier this week, according to the industry body.

Members of the Solar Trade Association (STA) Scotland said it is “concerned” by its omission.

The programme included ambitions for rapid decarbonisation towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, but the solar industry said its “glaring omission” had left it “unsettled”.

STA Scotland said solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is vital for reducing emissions and is already delivering substantial benefits for Scottish households and communities. It is now seeking an urgent meeting with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to discuss the issue.

Chris Clark, its chair, said: “Our members really are concerned that solar PV, the technology that is set to dominate future power supply globally, is wholly absent from the 2019-2020 plan.

“This omission is particularly surprising when the Scottish Government has provided national leadership for solar through their new-build homes policies and on public-sector procurement.

“We are to keen meet with the First Minister to highlight the Scottish solar industry’s recent successes and to seek her reassurance that her government values our industry and will use its powers to ease barriers to deployment.”

The STA move came as the voice of the European wind industry, WindEurope, issued a five-point plan for the new European Commission (EC) to achieve climate goals.

It said net-zero carbon by 2050 was technically and economically feasible and the 2030 National Energy and Climate Plans should make clear progress towards the goal.

The EC should take a smart approach to electricity and gas, invest in infrastructure, along with research and innovation, as well as a low-carbon industrial policy with renewable energy as its backbone.

WindEurope CEO, Giles Dickson, said: “If the new European Commission is serious about decarbonising Europe’s economy, it needs to take decisive action to secure a zero-carbon target for 2050.

“Europe needs to start getting much more electricity into heating, transport and industry. It needs to invest in infrastructure for the energy transition.

“And it should put renewables at the heart of Europe’s research and innovation priorities and industrial strategy. If the commission can prioritise these points, Europe will reap the benefits in carbon reductions – and in jobs and investment.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said they were committed exploring how Scotland can maximise its solar potential.