Community groups get chance to develop solar energy through cooperative funding
FORSTER ENERGY based in Forfar, Angus, will ensure that local community groups get 100 per cent of funding for solar projects via a power purchase agreement with the company Renewable Energy Investments.
The agreement between the two businesses will allow Scottish companies, community groups and the public sector to fund clean energy generation projects and reduce their carbon emissions.
In return for leasing the “airspace above their roof”, community groups will get a discounted in their tariff on the electricity produced by the solar system for up to 25 years.
“This partnership will make solar more widely accessible, particularly for those with a high energy consumption and [for] whom funding has been a barrier to deployment.” Steve Scott
The managing director of Forster Energy, Steve Scott said: “This partnership will make solar more widely accessible, particularly for those with a high energy consumption and [for] whom funding has been a barrier to deployment.
“With over 5GW of on-shore wind and barely 200MW of installed solar it is clear that solar combined with a growing energy storage industry can provide the necessary balance to help meet the Scottish Government’s renewable electricity aspirations.”
Both companies have stressed that solar electricity is clean and self-generating but also “significantly reduces energy costs”. Forster also emphasised that they are fulfilling their legislative obligations under Section 63 of The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, which requires the owners of commercial buildings to undertake assessments for carbon and energy performance and physical improvements to the property to ensure carbon reducing targets are met.
Based on the electricity output of a 200 panel solar system, Forster claims a group, business or landlord could save £1,504 on their electricity bill after the first year, and £137,433 over the 25 years.
As part of any deal, a community group which has a solar system funded by Forester would gain total ownership after 25 years, allowing the purchaser to enjoy 100 per cent free solar electricity for the remaining lifetime of the system, typically 10 years.
As of December 2014 over 35,000 homes and 600 business premises in Scotland had solar arrays.
As of 2015, less than 2 per cent of renewable production came from solar power in Scotland, which was far below the installed capacity of countries like Germany. According to Ofgem, as of December 2014 over 35,000 homes and 600 business premises in Scotland had solar arrays fitted.
In 2014 overall, renewable energy accounted for approximately 31 percent of Germany’s electricity consumption. Solar power contributed about 6.9 percent.
A 2015 report from Deutsche Bank predicted that the cost of solar panels would fall by 80 per cent over the next six years, becoming competitive with electricity produced from fossil fuels. Additionally Deutsche Bank estimated that the cost of solar technology will fall by a further 40 per cent between 2015 and 2017.
Picture courtesy of Portland General Electric
Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is. Pledge your support today.