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Labour’s first year ‘critical’ for solar and energy storage sectors

Solar Energy UK
5 July 2024

Trade association Solar Energy UK expects Labour’s electoral victory to further accelerate the growth of the solar and energy storage industries.

One of the party’s five ‘missions’ is a commitment to make Britain “a clean energy superpower to cut bills, create jobs and deliver security with cheaper, zero-carbon electricity by 2030, accelerating to net zero.” [1]

To take the first steps towards this, we ask that the government publishes an ambitious Solar Roadmap, already drafted by the Solar Taskforce, and increases the budget for Contracts for Difference Allocation Round 6.[2] These actions would send a clear signal to the solar industry to unlock investment, create green jobs and generate cheaper electricity.

As part of its mission, Labour has pledged to work with the private sector to triple solar power by 2030, a goal that tallies with SEUK’s own manifesto demand for the UK to reach 50 gigawatts of solar generation capacity by the same date.[3,4] By the end of this year, the UK is expected to have around 20GW in place, supplemented with 8GW of battery energy storage. SEUK foresees the UK having 30GW of zero-carbon storage by the end of the decade.

We particularly welcome Labour’s commitment to tackle lengthy delays for grid connections. The manifesto describes the state of the electricity networks as, “the single biggest obstacle to the deployment of cheap, clean power generation and the electrification of industry,” a view shared by the industry.

The party has also promised to collaborate on delivering high-quality jobs and growing the domestic supply chain, “as Britain becomes a clean energy superpower”. Solar Energy has already laid the groundwork for delivering these goals through the Solar Taskforce.

“We are committed to helping the new Government’s national mission to deliver clean power by 2030. Labour’s first year in power is going to be a critical period for the solar and energy storage sectors – essential for future energy security, lowering energy bills and addressing the climate emergency. We have every confidence that the new Government will demonstrate a more positive attitude towards the industry and so bolster investor confidence,” said Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK.

“To meet Labour’s objective of decarbonising the grid by the end of the decade, it must hit the ground running. That means embracing solar by making swift ministerial decisions on nationally significant solar projects, mandating solar on new homes and revamping the Solar Taskforce’s draft Solar Roadmap to align with the ambitious goal of 50GW of solar capacity by 2030,” he added.

The roadmap will outline the practical measures to drive uptake of cost-effective and popular solar energy ever forward. We will work with the new Government to get it published within 100 days.

[1] Labour manifesto

[2] Solar Taskforce – Update on Progress

[3] Solar and energy storage manifesto

[4] Labour vows to treble solar power use during first term if elected

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Editor’s notes:

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Gareth Simkins, Senior Communications Adviser |