Scottish Power, one of Britain’s biggest energy companies, has said it will invest in solar power as part of its move away from fossil fuels.

The big six firm sold off its last gas-fired power stations to Drax Group last week to focus exclusively on renewables, which today consists of onshore and offshore windfarms.

Keith Anderson, the company’s chief executive has decided to move into solar.

“The solar market – look at where the technology cost is getting to, and the possibilities of integrating it with wind … how it balances from season to season wind and solar output, and we see a good opportunity there for investment.”

Anderson said that Scottish Power had moved to 100% renewables because it was cheaper than other sources.

“We need to invest in the cheapest forms of energy – that’s onshore wind, offshore wind, it’s going to be solar – and that will help drive down the cost of energy,” he said.

The world needs to tackle climate change also made it clear that companies needed to embrace green energy wholeheartedly, he said.

“Look at the IPCC report last week. My absolute belief is that organisations need to be at the forefront of that change. We can’t be part of the problem, we have to be part of the solution.”

A poll this week found that two thirds of people living in rural Scottish communities, which are considered to have some of the best sites for prospective sites, support onshore windfarms.

But the prospect for new gas power stations – which companies including Drax and Germany’s RWE want to build – were bleak, Anderson said.

“Right now the commercial signals don’t exist to build a new gas plant in the UK. That might change in the future, but it’s not something we’ll get involved in.”

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