As the UK prepares for yet another election, following the dissolution of parliament in the early hours yesterday, pledges for increased solar power are notable in almost all the major party’s campaigns.
The Green Party has called of the country to make the election on the 12 December the climate election. Unsurprisingly therefore, they have promised increases in renewables going forwards including solar, as have the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties.
According to a recent poll, 54% of voters said that climate change policies would affect how they vote. So who has promised what so far?
To date, Labour is the only party that has published an extended plan for energy since the election was announced. It’s Warm Homes for All report includes the installation of solar PV at 1.75 million additional homes around the country by 2030, along with heat pumps and energy efficiency measures.
The plan would cost £250 billion according to the report, but lead to an annual saving of £11.54 billion across the UK by 2030. It would also create 250,000 skilled jobs, and help prevent deaths from cold and reduce cases of asthma.
The leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, said that such projects would help turn the threat of climate change into an opportunity.
“By investing on a massive scale, we will usher in a Green Industrial Revolution with good, clean jobs that will transform towns, cities and communities that have been held back and neglected for decades,” he said.
The plan has been heavily criticised by the Conservative Party, which said “Corbyn’s plans would wreck the economy, putting up bills for hardworking families – and preventing any real progress on climate change.”
Just a few days before the official announcement of the general election on the 29 October, the Labour party released its ‘Thirty by 2030’ report, which detail a fast-tracked decarbonisation plan. This included significantly ramping up of solar capacity to 35GW and suggesting that 90% of the UKs electricity should come from renewables by 2030.
At the end of the party’s conference, just over a month ago, Labour also pledged to increase the UK’s offshore wind capacity to 52GW within the next 10 years and invest billions in EV charging infrastructure.
In Boris Johnson’s campaign launch speak yesterday, much time was dedicated to attacking Corbyn, as well as announcing measures to increase the number of police and NHS funding, but energy and climate measures were practically ignored. In fact, the party’s disastrous start to campaigning has been noticeably devoid of strong investment pledges regarding renewables and energy efficiency.
Read more: Solar Power Portal