Scottish Government to retain “grandfathering” for solar PV projects

The Scottish Energy Minister has confirmed Holyrood will retain the “grandfathering” guarantee for solar energy.

In a letter published yesterday, Fergus Ewing said “grandfathering” whereby the level of financial support per unit of electricity is set throughout the lifetime of the solar installation, once it has been built and connected, will be retained in Scotland.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is currently planning to remove the guarantee in England and Wales, as one of a series of cost-cutting measures.

In his letter, Mr Ewing said the Scottish Government is “retaining the current policy on grandfathering and support levels for solar PV projects in Scotland”.

He also reiterated earlier criticisms that DECC did not consult the Scottish Government before announcing plans to close the Renewables Obligation to solar projects below 5MW early.

The chairman of the Solar Trade Association Scotland, John Forster, welcomed Mr Ewing’s announcement.

“This shows that the Scottish Government is fully committed to solar providing as much as possible of its 100% renewables target for Scotland,” said Mr Forster.

“Solar projects in Scotland now know what level of support they are going to get, and that they will get it for the full 20 years. It won’t be possible to cut support for Scottish projects down the line in, for example, year 15 of 20.”

“We particularly appreciate how Minister Ewing has moved as quickly as possible in making this decision, allowing solar businesses to plan ahead and focus their efforts on any Scottish projects in the pipeline,” he added.

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues