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Solar energy shunned in UK party election

The December general election now just a few weeks away. It is mandatory for the winning party to acknowledge the current climate crisis and take radical action. So which, if any, party acknowledges the great importance of solar energy?

 

Spoiler: a quick search on the pages of the party manifestos, astonishingly, brings up little results!

With television debates, dictating newspaper headlines and social media slanging matches, it’s hard to know the genuine accomplishments of each party. For this reason, we’ve explored the online party manifestos from the Lib Dems, Conservatives, Labour and the Green Party, to provide you with some easy-to-digest key information.

Liberal Democrat Party

There were only two direct mentions of solar energy within the Liberal Democrat manifesto. These include:

– Accelerating the deployment of renewable power, providing more funding, removing the Conservatives’ restrictions on solar and wind and building more interconnectors to guarantee security of supply; we aim to reach at least 80% renewable electricity in the UK by 2030.
– Expanding community and decentralised energy, support councils to develop local electricity generation and require all new homes to be fitted with solar panels.

Labour Party

The Labour Party make equally little reference to solar energy. Nevertheless, their climate targets are more ambitious, with Jeremy Corbyn promising to create “create a million climate jobs in every region of the U.K” in his Leaders Debate speech. The manifesto states that Labour will:

– Install enough solar panels to cover 22,000 football pitches.
– Develop the recommendations of our ‘30 by 2030’ report to put the UK on track for a net-zero-carbon energy system within the 2030s.
– Deliver nearly 90% of electricity and 50% of heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030.

Conservative Party

A quick control + F (which searches the web page that you’re on) for the word ‘solar’, shamefully didn’t turn up one single result in the Conservative Party manifesto. On page 55/64 there is a mere nod towards renewable energy, stating:

– The party, if elected, will be “increasing our commitment to renewable energies”.

Green Party

They are not expected to be the outright winners in the forthcoming election – having taken 1.6% of the total vote last time round in 2017, but one would expect the Green Party to have a starring role amongst all parties with support for solar. Although the Green Party manifesto turned up the most results for solar, the points are vague:

– Introduce new support for solar, geothermal, tidal, hydro and other renewable energies to provide much of the remainder of the UK’s energy supply by 2030.
– Expand our short-term capacity for energy storage so that electricity from peak periods of renewable electricity generation can be effectively stored.
– Roll out solar panels and other forms of renewable domestic energy generation, giving 1 million households a year the means to generate a proportion of the energy they use. This will mean that 10 million homes are able to generate their own renewable energy by 2030.
Introduce new support for small scale family farms and for new entrants to farming, such as fitting solar panels on farm buildings and planting orchards and other woodland.

Who should you vote for?

This information is just a snippet of content from the manifestos. With so much to consider and petty slanging matches amongst party’s, it’s hard to believe that any of these people will be in charge of such important life-changing decisions.

We can’t tell you who to vote for, but just be sure to vote on December 12th. Your voice matters!

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