A SCOTTISH Government commitment to increase solar energy generation by 2030 has been welcomed by the industry.

Lorna Slater MSP, co-leader of the Scottish Green Party, announced at the party’s conference in Dunfermline that the Scottish Government has made the commitment.

She said: “Today I’m pleased to announce that the Scottish Government’s forthcoming Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan will commit to a bold deployment ambition of at least four, but up to six, gigawatts of solar power by 2030. That’s 10 times our current solar generation capacity.

“This ambition will be contingent on the industry committing to an appropriate level of community benefit and ensuring biodiversity standards are met.”

Thomas McMillan, chairman of Solar Energy Scotland, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Scottish Government has committed to a level of ambition for deploying solar technology as part of Scotland’s energy mix.

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“For too long solar has been sitting in the shadows of the wind sector which has meant Scotland has lagged behind on solar deployment.

“A clear target and ambition for the technology will help to dispel the myth that solar is not a major resource in Scotland.

“With an area the size of the Isle of Hoy receiving enough sunlight to meet all of Scotland’s energy needs, the solar industry looks forward to working with the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders to deliver 4 to 6 GWs of solar by 2030.”

Mr McMillan said the move will not only reduce carbon emissions but will also create jobs and help tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

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He added: “Setting a clear target for solar will benefit the industry, boosting investment and will ensure coherent action and direction across many policy areas, ranging from planning decisions on projects to creating green economic opportunities for people across Scotland.

“The Scottish Government has listened and acted, and we applaud them for that.

“Vision, ambition, and action are the three essential ingredients that are required in political leadership to address the climate crisis.

“We look forward to working with the government and all stakeholders to make 6GWs of installed solar in Scotland by 2030 happen.

“We are ready and willing as an industry to deliver.”