Top 10 regions for solar job losses
As David Cameron’s Government announces plans to effectively end support for rooftop solar, the solar sector is looking at huge job losses – from 3,000 in Scotland to 5,000 in the South East, and everywhere in between.
“Green energy can be a huge source of jobs, investment and technology … I am very personally committed to this agenda”.
Guess who said that in 2012?
Jeremy Corbyn? Caroline Lucas? Charlotte Church?
No. It was the Prime Minister. The Right Honourable David Cameron himself, speaking at the opening of a community solar project in Oxford. There was more.
He went on to say: “The brilliance of decentralised energy comes in several parts.
“First of all we’ve got to stop pumping so much carbon into the atmosphere if we care about climate change, and these local decentralised projects including solar power, anaerobic digestion and other things like that can help us to do that.”
Now, as David Cameron’s Government announces plans to effectively end support for rooftop solar, the brilliant, decentralised solar sector is looking at huge job losses – from 3,000 in Scotland to 5,000 in the South East, and everywhere in between.
In the rooftop solar industry alone it’s more than 20,000. In solar as a whole it’s even more: 27,000 according to new data from the consultancy TBR (the same lot who produced jobs figures for the Department of Business).
We’ve done a breakdown of the areas most affected.
The South East (which runs as far west as Southampton) comes first, followed closely by the North West, but every region will be hit hard.
|Region||Jobs at risk|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||
|East of England||
|Isle of Man||
Is this what the Prime Minister had in mind when he claimed to be a champion of green jobs?
Consider this too. The Treasury is planning to subsidise the new Hinkley nuclear power plant to the tune of around £35 billion over its lifetime, plus another few billion in loan guarantees.
Compare this to the measly £100 million the Government is planning to spend on household renewables.
And the tragedy is that renewables are cheaper. For the same amount of money you would get a lot more electricity from wind or solar than Hinkley will ever produce.
In a recent speech to the Conservative Party conference the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Chance said there is “no magic money tree”.
It seems that’s only true for renewables, and not the Chinese state companies building nuclear.
But we can change their minds. The Government is looking incredibly isolated on this – with everyone from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to Al Gore to Boris Johnson expressing their concerns.
There are lots of ways solar can be paid for as it heads towards being subsidy free – the Government just needs to be willing to listen. We can make them listen.
Join us in the campaign to save rooftop solar.
First published on 6 October 2015