SCOTLAND'S SOLAR energy sector may have got off to a slower start than some of the other renewable technologies, but its momentum has been building – and the newly refreshed leadership team of the Scottish Solar Trade Association have set themselves some ambitious targets.

Construction sector veteran Chris Clark has now taken the helm of STA Scotland, after founder John Forster stepped down as chairman. Mr Forster has been credited with raising awareness of the role solar can play in providing security of supply, alleviating fuel poverty, providing local assets for community ownership, and facilitating the uptake of smart grid technologies.

So much so, that last year, the STA was officially endorsed in the SNP Manifesto as the association to work with in order to expand solar in Scotland.

Now Mr Clark's appointment as chairman signifies fresh focus on increasing solar deployment in Scotland, with a commitment to growing the industry more than fifteen-fold, consistent with the target of deploying 6.6GWp by 2030 – should key barriers be reduced.

Also stepping up for this fresh push is renewables sector expert Thomas McMillan, who will now be STA Scotland's vice-chair.

"I am excited to step up as chair and to work alongside Thomas who is equally enthusiastic and dedicated to the success of Solar in Scotland," said Mr Clark. "The working group is full of very committed individuals so my intention is to draw on those wider skill sets to lobby hard for solar. One of my main objectives will be to try and ensure every new building in Scotland, both domestic and non-domestic has as much solar installed on the roof as is possible.

"STA Scotland wouldn’t have come to exist without John's dedication and expertise," added Mr Clark, echoing the abundant accolades for Mr Forster, who will remain on the STA board and play an active role in the future of the solar industry in Scotland.

Mr Forster commented: “With a tenure as chair that has encompassed two Scottish and three UK Governments, it has certainly been an interesting three years. I will openly admit to a sense of pride in what the team at STA Scotland and indeed the wider STA has achieved; we have truly become the voice of solar in Scotland.

"I am now delighted to be handing over the leadership of STA Scotland to the new chair Chris Clark and vice-chair Thomas McMillan. As key contributing members to the success story that is STA Scotland, they have both proved that they are committed and powerful advocates for this dynamic solar industry, and will ensure the bright future that the industry and Scotland as a whole deserves.”