STA Scotland

About

Launched in March 2015, STA Scotland has rapidly established itself as the leading voice for solar and storage in Scotland. STA Scotland has been recognised in the SNP Manifesto as the organisation to work with to advance proposals for expanding solar energy in Scotland. With the support of the national STA Secretariat and the expertise of STA’s specialist working groups and advisers, the branch is helping to shape policy decisions that will enable Scotland to fully realise its potential for solar applications within the electricity, heat and transport sectors.

STA Scotland holds Working Group meetings every quarter. To get involved with STA Scotland please see our membership information.

Leadership

 

  • Chair: Chris Clark, Emtec Energy

    Chris is currently the Chair of STA Scotland, taking on the role
    in November 2017. Embarking on his renewables journey
    some 8 years ago, Chris is Managing Director at Emtec
    Energy, specialising in commercial rooftop solar PV framework
    contracts, as well as delivering commercial contracts such as
    battery storage, EV Charging, Solar Thermal and Heat Pumps.

  • Vice Chair: Thomas Mcmillan, Savills

    Thomas is a Director at Savills and heads up the Energy
    Team in Scotland. He is a Chartered Environmentalist with 10+ years’ experience in renewable energy consultancy and
    works across a range of energy technologies undertaking
    feasibility studies for asset owners and due diligence
    reports for lenders. He has a specific interest in developing
    new business models that create low carbon solutions while delivering significant commercial value for clients.

Our Work

Deploying commercial rooftop solar PV aligns with Scottish Government’s climate objectives by reducing carbon emissions from the built environment, and making energy more affordable. However, incorrectly designed Business Rates are distorting the development of the commercial roof top solar market and run counter to the government’s aims of incentivising local energy management and energy efficiency programmes. STA Scotland believes that policies should look towards rewarding organisations that invest in decarbonising their energy supply, recognising that Scotland has huge potential to decarbonise the private, public and local government estate through Solar PV & Thermal.
Grid constraints are a key barrier to solar PV deployment in Scotland. Numerous projects face delays – and are periodically abandoned altogether – due to lengthy waiting times, aged infrastructure, and concerns about voltage rise.

STA Scotland is working closely with SPEN and SSEN to overcome these barriers to accelerate Scotland’s transition to a clean, flexible electricity network. Last year we successfully overturned a detrimental SPEN policy, which is enabling more commercial rooftop solar to connect to the grid and saving £10,000+ on some project costs. Read more here.

In 2015, Scotland demonstrated significant leadership in the building regulation space, consequently, the carbon emissions permitted for new homes built in Scotland are 22% lower than the same homes built in England. STA Scotland members now estimate that 80% of new build houses are built to include solar PV. Whilst the Scottish local authorities were assessed against England’s building standards to provide an STA Ranking, some Scottish authorities have gone above and beyond even the stronger Scottish national regulations.
The last Scottish Government planning advice for large-scale PV was updated in 2011, prior to when most of the solar capacity was installed across the UK. This guidance is outdated and sections pertaining to Visual Impact, Decomissioning, Ecological Impacts and Glint and Glare Impacts are inconsistent with those across the country and in some cases copied directly from onshore wind guidance.

STA Scotland is urging Scottigh Government to update planning policy and guidance for ground-mounted solar PV ahead of the fourth National Planning Framework and for it to provide a positive and consistent framework for deployment while protecting the environment, embracing the STA’s 10 Commitments for Solar Farms.

Permitted Development

Unlike England and Wales, Scotland has more restrictive permitted development (PD) rights for roof mounted solar arrays on non-domestic buildings. As defined in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) (Non-Domestic Microgeneration) Amendment Order 2011, PD rights are extended to the installation, alternation or replacement of solar PV or solar thermal equipment on a non-domestic building, subject to certain conditions and limitations e.g. installation within 3 km of the perimeter of an aerodrome or technical site is not permitted in Scotland or where the system would exceed 50 kW of electricity generated or 45 kW of thermal heat produced.

STA Scotland has been advocating to extend permitted development to all rooftop solar PV installations and for clear guidance to be distributed to each individual local authority building control department clarifying that Building Warrant is not required in the absence of any structural alteration to the roof, in line with the rest of the UK.

View all STA Scotland Resources

STA Scotland in the News

  • Future is bright if we harness potential of solar power. Read.
  • Building standards at Scottish local authorities continue to edge English counterparts. Read.
  • Building standards at East Renfrewshire Council above national requirements. Read.
  • Nicola Sturgeon urged to meet with Solar Trade Association Scotland. Read.
  • England’s housing industry urged to follow Scotland’s example on solar power. Read.
  • This is how much double-sided solar panels could be worth to Scots economy. Read.
  • SP Energy Networks relaxes solar restrictions following STA lobbying effort. Read.
  • Scotland’s largest solar farm approved in first for government. Read.

 

Meetings and Events

 

STA Scotland meets quarterly to discuss policy developments and review actions throughout the year. We also hold an annual conference each spring for all Stakeholders.

Images: Setting Sights on Scottish Solar, 2019 flagship conference

Please see below for all upcoming meetings

Sorry, there are currently no events available.