Dominic Little on the impact of rising energy bills on families
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As households in Britain reel from crippling energy bills brought about by a global fossil fuel energy crisis, the Government has looked to boost its energy security by investing in renewables like wind and solar. Now, a new report by the think tank Green Alliance notes that not only will this decision help the UK end the energy crisis by scaping the volatile oil and gas market, but it will also be a major boost for skilled jobs in the UK. The report found that solar power alone could potentially support five times more jobs in the UK than gas.
Currently, 80 percent of the jobs in the operating and maintenance of solar panels are highly skilled and well-paid.
Marion Statham Anderson, a solar salesperson who currently works for Dual Fuel Solutions told Express.co.uk: “The country voted Brexit to take back control, well surely this should be one of the Brexit benefits – the chance to become world-leaders in solar manufacture?
“After all, the world is going to need more and more solar for decades to come.
“I’ve seen the demand out there among the public. It’s real and it’s exciting.
“It’s a genuine growth industry and I’d like to see government investment in it.”
The report found that as expected, the sunniest regions of the country would benefit the most from a boost in solar power investment, with two-thirds of these jobs in the South of England and East Midlands regions.
The report noted that operation and maintenance roles in the solar industry support around 28,000 jobs, of which around 24,000 are highly skilled.
They added that if the UK ramps up its effort to decarbonise and get to net zero by 2035, it would lead to another 15,500 jobs, of which around 13,000 are highly skilled.
Having been involved in solar sales for almost a decade, Ms Anderson continued: “The jobs are well paid and you’re also doing something positive for the environment as well as giving your customers long-term energy independence.
“In my opinion, building up the UK’s solar industry should be one of the easiest decisions the government has to make.”
Given that solar energy is one of the cheapest sources of energy, boosting the country’s solar energy could significantly end the UK’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and lower energy bills.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Sam Alvis, head of economy at Green Alliance, said: “Reducing people’s bills is one way of helping people cope with the cost of living, getting people into better paid, more secure jobs is another. Backing cheap, homegrown solar power will do both.
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“But the government needs to do more to exploit solar’s potential in the UK by supporting businesses to grow and workers to get the skills they need.
“It should give tax relief to companies that invest in staff training and increase workers’ confidence to shift industry with loans and grants to move.
“Cutting planning red tape around solar installations will also help to accelerate the industry, which will bring energy bills down and create jobs across the country faster.”
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