SNP accused of 'hypocrisy' as just 22 per cent of Scottish Government buildings are fitted with solar panels

SNP Ministers have been accused of climate hypocrisy over their failure to install solar panels on a majority of Scottish Government buildings.

The SNP have been accused of hypocrisy after failing to install solar panels on Scottish Government buildings.
The SNP have been accused of hypocrisy after failing to install solar panels on Scottish Government buildings.

Just 22 per cent of the Scottish Government’s core estate has solar panels fitted, with the Scottish Conservatives saying the failure to fit more is “beyond belief”.

Solar power is viewed as a key route to net zero carbon emissions for Scotland, with many new housing developments having panels fitted onto the roof of properties.

However Ministers said several issues including the amount of roof space and the orientation of roofs have restricted their ability to fit them on government buildings.

The Scottish Conservative spokesperson for net zero, Liam Kerr, criticised the explanation, labelling it “hypocritical”.

He said: “All over Scotland housing developments are covered in solar panels, while constituents of mine are frequently asking how to go about getting these installed.

“Yet for some reason the Scottish Government isn’t bothered about getting their own house in order.

“It would be understandable if a small proportion of buildings couldn’t have solar panels installed - but for four in five Scottish Government-owned buildings to fall into this category is beyond belief.”

He added: “It’s the latest in a long line of hypocrisy by this SNP-Green administration which is happy to lecture people and businesses, but doesn’t want to do any of the hard work itself.

“These Ministers like to talk a good game on net zero, but far too much of the evidence points to a government which has no clue how to go about making a positive difference.”

The Scottish Government said solar panels are installed at Victoria Quay, St Andrew’s House, and at Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture in Edinburgh, alongside Cameron House in Oban.

Further solar panels are being installed in Thainstone and Tweedbank.

A spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government is working hard to reduce carbon emissions and waste, and to enhance biodiversity, on its estate. We have carried out feasibility studies on all 18 buildings we own.

"Where feasibility studies showed that solar panels offered the best way forward then that has been done, resulting in over 1,000 solar panels so far.

“It has not been possible to install solar panels on all owned buildings because of issues such as roof space, structure and shading.”

Want to hear more from The Scotsman's politics team? Check out the latest episode of our political podcast, The Steamie.

It's available wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.