Install solar energy in Scotland? After the month we’ve just had?

solar map

‘Scotland has provisionally experienced its equal-wettest June on record (shared with 1938) with 156mm of rainfall, 75% above its average for the month….Many parts of southern and eastern Scotland have received over twice the normal June rainfall.’

I doubt many of us needed the metoffice to tell us this news yet according to the Scottish Institute for Solar Energy Research it is worth installing solar power generation in Scotland. See this:

‘Installing solar power in Scotland is beneficial even though it doesn’t receive as much solar irradiation as somewhere like Africa, India or Southern Europe. Looking at the solar irradiation map, we can see that the solar irradiance in the UK and Scotland is not too dissimilar to Germany – the largest photovoltaic (PV) market in the world, which had 24.7 GW of PV installed at the end of 2011 (European Photovoltaic Industry Association: EPIA Market Report 2011).’

See the map above for evidence of this. Further, see this pie chart below as evidence of just how significant an element solar power could be though this is for the UK as a whole so the ratio of solar to wind power would be a bit different. However, latitude is not the only factor and the report from Siser reveals that: ‘some installations in Scotland, like the ones in the Dundee/Aberdeen area, regularly perform just as well as installations down south. Interestingly in April and May installations on the west coast also performed as well as some in Cornwall.’


Also, the quality of the installation may be more significant than the actual amount of ‘solar irradiance.’ So a top quality installation in Dundee could generate more than a lower quality one in Essex.

I know, we’ve already got more wind, tidal and carbon-based resources than we could possibly use but we can sell the surplus.


4 thoughts on “Install solar energy in Scotland? After the month we’ve just had?

  1. Contrary July 4, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    Aye, apparently solar panels have become so advanced low light conditions are not a stumbling block. I have a solar powered watch in fact, haven’t changed the battery in the 10 years I’ve had it, just the face does the solar absorbing thing, so not a big area (not much power needed either, right enough).

    In that map Scotland looks distinctly blue compared to Germany though! Maybe our longer days in the summer help compensate? I am surprised that hydro is such a small proportion on the pie chart – too costly to set up and too disturbing to the ecosystem maybe?

    Renewable energy is definitely the way to go, particularly when we can become self sufficient and not rely on using resources that will one day run out – we need to start the change now before it is a crisis. (Which we are doing! Why doesn’t the rest of the U.K. see the benefits??).

    I think the transportation issue will be the biggest problem towards Scotland becoming carbon balanced. The ideal solution would be to invent an anti-gravity plate – think of hundreds of tons of freight being weightless, you could transport it from one end of the country to the other using very little power, not need for great big Diesel engines. You could probably pull it all by bicycle. We need lots of investment into research for that though.


    • Alasdair Macdonald September 21, 2017 / 11:09 am

      And, by recruiting all those cyclists to the freight industry, we can solve Scotland’s health crisis, too – earning money AND becoming fitter. What’s not to like?


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