Scotland and Renewable Energy
With slightly more than five million inhabitants, Scotland is the second most populated country inside the UK (after England). Despite Edinburgh being the capital of the country, Glasgow is the city with the largest population in Scotland. The seven cities of Scotland are Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling and Perth.
Renewable energy is gradually displacing the need to generate electricity from fossil fuels in Scotland. In line with the UK’s efforts of switching to greener sources of energy, Scotland has shown steady growth in renewable electricity capacity over the last few years. Capacity actually grew from around 2,600 megawatts in 2007 to over 6,600 MW in 2013. Wind energy accounts for more than 70% of the capacity and is followed by hydro energy. Solar energy technologies (solar panels and solar thermal) are playing an increasingly important role in Scotland's renewable energy market. Moreover, the industry of renewable energy employs more than 11,000 full-time people in Scotland and this number is expected to grow as there are numerous projects and additional capacity in development across the country. The Scottish Government has set a target of generating 500 MW from the community or locally owned renewables by 2020.
Solar Power in Scotland
Although solar power accounts for only a small fraction of the total green energy in Scotland, this technology is growing fast. Moreover, the good thing about solar energy is that it can be used not only for commercial but also for domestic purposes. This means that anyone who owns a house or building can help mitigate climate change by installing solar power on the property.
How efficient your system will strongly depend on the installation. Regardless the type of system you have (solar thermal or solar panels), if you live in North-East Scotland your panels should be facing somewhere between Southeast and Southwest direction at an angle of around 33 and 43 degrees. This will ensure the maximum performance of the system, and of course, you should also check that there is no tree shading over the panels. It is always important that before making any investment on renewable sources of energy you check if your house is properly insulated.
How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Scotland?
It is hard to give an exact price for a solar panel system since there are different types, qualities and sizes of systems you can choose from. If you need an exact number you can fill in the contact information on the top of our site and you will be contacted directly by our suppliers. They will provide you with the exact information for the solar system that best suits your needs.
However, just to have an idea, you can expect a number around £8,000-10,000 in this region, including installation and insurance costs. Remember that improving your home’s insulation will lead to maximising your energy usage and hence you will need a not-so-strong (and expensive) solar system to cover your energy needs. Moreover, the good news is that the prices of solar systems, both solar PV and solar thermal, have dropped considerably in the last 10 years and are expected to decrease even more as the technology gets more popular.
Are There Grants for Solar Energy in Scotland?
The Feed-in Tariff (FiT) has slowly displaced any other grant regarding green energy in Scotland. Under this scheme, solar panel owners are paid for the renewable energy they create. The government will pay you for every unit of electricity generated, regardless if you consume it or you sell it back to the grid. In the last case, you will get a bonus payment. For an average domestic household, it is estimated that you will save up to £391 a year.
There is also a scheme that applies not for solar panels but for solar thermal systems. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a long-term financial support program for renewable heat. There is Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI. The scheme gives money to participants that generate and use renewable energy to heat their buildings.
Moreover, you might have heard about the Green Deal. This innovative financing mechanism was launched in 2013 and lets people pay for energy-efficiency improvements through savings on energy bills. It also applies to the domestic and non-domestic sector.
Another initiative of the Scottish Government is The Warm Homes Fund. This is a £50 million initiative managed by the Energy Saving Trust that provides grants and loan funding for projects to support households in fuel poverty. Its aim is to improve energy efficiency and spark the development of domestic renewable energy solutions.
In 2011 the Scottish government has also established CARES (Community and Renewable Energy Scheme), which also helps communities and rural businesses with renewable energy related issues. This scheme supports the Scottish Government’s 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland. The scheme provides loans to high-risk, locally-owned renewable energy projects which have significant community engagement and benefits.
How Can I Find a Solar Supplier in Scotland?
Finding the right solar supplier can consume a lot of time. Moreover, since the required investment is quite significant, you want to make a good purchase which will make you happy during the entire lifespan of the solar system. Therefore, you should compare different suppliers and their respective options and make sure that you pick a reliable and certified supplier. GreenMatch.co.uk is here to help. You can fill the contact form at the top of this page and you will be contacted by up to four professional solar installers with their best offers to suit your particular needs. Our no obligation service is 100% free of charge!