A number of leading members of the Solar Trade Association (STA) have launched a new branch in Scotland.
STA Scotland has been formed with the intention of becoming a leading voice in Scotland, advising and developing policy with the Scottish Government and raising awareness of the benefits of solar. The new branch has gained support from a number of prominent figures in the energy industry, including Fergus Ewing, minister for business, energy and tourism in the Scottish Government.
Mr. Ewing said: “The launch of STA Scotland provides a valuable asset for Scotland as we work towards meeting our 2020 renewable energy target. STA Scotland will undoubtedly contribute to the Scottish Government’s target to generate the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020.
“Supporting solar energy is hugely important as it supports our economic strategy to work towards further social equality and the reduction in fuel poverty for the people of Scotland.”
Scotland has an established track record of employing renewable energy, with 35,000 homes and 600 businesses currently benefiting from solar technology. In addition, STA estimates that there are 25,000 hectares of south-facing commercial rooftops in Scotland that could be put to use generating solar energy.
John Forster, chairman of Forster Energy, has been appointed as the chair of the new body due to his considerable experience in the construction and solar energy industries. His intention is to create a stable and sustainable future for domestic and business energy consumers in Scotland by making solar technologies more available.
Mr. Forster said: “I am thrilled to be leading STA Scotland. I currently sit on the STA UK Board and I am an active member of STA’s New Build Working Group. Striving towards a more sustainable, green and energy efficient Scotland has been a passion of mine for a long time and I am delighted to be in a position to help make this happen.
“Scotland has been a great supporter of solar energy and the launch of STA Scotland is testament to this. I am proud to be working alongside the industry’s finest, to deliver a future for Scotland that will be able to reap the benefits of solar energy.”
Paul Barwell, chief executive of the STA, who was present in Edinburgh for the first meeting of the body on March 20, said: “I’m delighted to launch STA Scotland, which has been set up to give our member companies north of the border the support and clout to drive the agenda forward for both solar PV and solar thermal hot water heating. This has been driven by our members over the last 18 months and I am delighted to say that the STA is now able to use its in-house policy, communications and analysis resources to support this new group.”
Other companies present at the meeting were AES Solar, Lark Energy, Lightsource, McDonald Engineers, Solar Kingdom and Sunamp.