Solar energy is by far the largest renewable energy source in the world and within around 10 years will cost less than grid electricity in Scotland. Solar is the only renewable energy source that works well in cities. It can provide electricity and heat, thus providing energy security and addressing fuel poverty. UK data show solar energy to be as large a practical resource as on-shore wind or tidal but no separate figures are available for Scotland; the Scottish Government’s 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy was ambitious however the absence of a strategy for how solar could help meet these targets was notable by its absence.
This programme brought together stakeholders from business, local and national government, Scottish economic development agencies (SE, SDI, HIE), the science community, international experts and experts from complementary renewables, to work collaboratively on probing ways solar energy can transform Scotland.
Building on the outcomes of a first workshop, a period of data analysis on the solar resource added solid numbers to the debate. The second workshop focused on delivering a Vision report to maximise the impact of solar in business opportunities, social change, renewables targets and intellectual property within Scotland.