Scottish Renewables calls for solar funding to be reinstated

Helen Melone, head of heat and solar at Scottish Renewables

Scotland’s solar sector and the Scottish government’s net zero targets are at risk if solar is not reinstated to the Home Energy Scotland (HES) grant and loan scheme, says trade body Scottish Renewables.

The Energy Saving Trust recently announced solar PV and energy storage systems will no longer be included in the Scottish government’s Home Energy Scotland (HES) grant and loan scheme.

From June 6 onwards, the scheme will no longer provide new referrals for solar PV and energy storage systems, including electric and heat batteries. HES is funded by the Scottish government and managed by Energy Saving Trust. 

Scottish Renewables says this undermines Scotland’s solar sector and removes any incentive for householders to invest in solar PV.  

The Scottish government has an ambition to increase solar deployment from 0.5GW of capacity to between 4GW-6GW by 2030. 

To help achieve these targets, Scottish Renewables, the trade body for the renewable energy industry in Scotland, has urged the Scottish Government to:

  • Increase funding available in the HES grant and loan scheme by £20m - reinstating solar PV and energy storage systems.
  • Continue to expand the size and scale of interest free loan and grant programmes for energy efficiency measures, including solar energy, and heat pump installations, particularly for smaller properties, rural and island fuel-poor households.

Helen Melone, head of heat and solar at Scottish Renewables, said: “The Scottish government’s decision to remove domestic rooftop solar from the HES grant and loan scheme strikes a blow to the future of Scotland’s solar sector. 

“The HES grant and loan scheme has been popular with Scotland’s solar supply chain helping to deliver the extensive pipeline of projects it is currently working through. 

“Domestic solar is hugely popular in Scotland and there is a long waiting list for installations. However, with no incentive for domestic rooftop solar, this work will inevitably dry up and leave these companies with uncertain futures.

“More than 60,000 households already have solar panels and we need more installed across the country on homes, businesses and public buildings to protect consumers from the high electricity prices the UK currently faces and to tackle climate change.

“It is therefore essential that limited public spending is invested where it can make the biggest impact on cutting carbon emissions. 

“We urge the Scottish government to reconsider its decision to remove domestic solar from its grant and loan scheme and instead increase investment to ensure all types of energy efficiency, clean heat, solar and energy storage systems are available to all households.”

HES said the changes had been made to "ensure that the scheme stays within its budget, while focusing funding on improvements that will maximise the decarbonisation of heating and the reduction of heat demand in homes".

The scheme remains open to applications for other improvements, including clean heating systems and energy efficiency improvements.

Click here for more information on the Home Energy Scotland gant and loan sheme. 


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