Garioch is the solar capital of Scotland!

New figures reveal that Inverurie's AB51 postcode has more solar panels than the rest of Scotland.
New figures reveal that Inverurie's AB51 postcode has more solar panels than the rest of Scotland.

New figures reveal that Inverurie is Scotland’s solar capital, with the town’s AB51 postcode boasting about 10,000 250W solar panels, more than any other region in Scotland.

And this is despite the fact that the sun has shone very rarely across the North-east of Scotland this summer!

The AB postcode region has more small-scale renewables capacity than any other, almost 20 per cent of Scotland’s total, including around 88,000 solar panels, 404 small wind projects and six hydro-electric schemes, new figures from industry body Scottish Renewables and Scotland’s Rural College show, and around 10,000 solar panels are located in Inverurie and surrounding area..

In total, around 42,000 solar schemes (made up of around 660,000 individual panels), 2,557 small wind projects, 204 hydro-electric schemes and three anaerobic digesters are powering Scotland’s homes, businesses and community buildings.

Small-scale electricity-generating renewables are generally defined as those eligible to claim the UK Government’s Feed-in Tariff.

They typically provide enough power for a home or business, but can be as large as 5MW, the equivalent of a hydroelectric scheme which can power around
3,400 homes.

The data also shows that:

The 2014 Commonwealth Games, which organisers said were “the greenest ever”, have made the G40 postcode in Glasgow’s East End the country’s top mainland spot for small-scale renewables.

Scotland has 23 per cent more small-scale renewables per capita than England and Wales, and has almost eight times as much small-scale wind.

The Isle of Jura, home to the one of the largest privately-owned hydro stations in the UK, has the highest amount of small-scale renewable energy capacity per capita of any postcode region.

Stephanie Clark, Policy Manager at Scottish Renewables, told how the Feed-in Tariff scheme already looks set to be slashed, and how an upcoming review could see huge cuts to support across all technologies, or remove support altogether.

She said, “Last month the industry heard major changes were planned for the FiT scheme, changes which would make many projects unviable.

“Wednesday (August 19) was the closing date for a consultation on the first stage of those changes, but within the next month we’re expecting further cost-cutting proposals to be announced.

“The figures released today demonstrate the extent of our love affair with small-scale renewables, but the current level of change and uncertainty is already punishing the sector.

“Without the FiT scheme thousands of homes and businesses would not have access to the affordable, clean electricity which has allowed them to stabilise their energy bills while reducing the amount of carbon emitted because of their energy use.

“Small-scale renewables can continue to thrive in the UK, but the sector urgently needs confirmation that it has the backing of the Government.”