The Labour Party has pledged to install solar power hubs on 2,000 buildings around the country if elected in December.
These hubs will be on public spaces like libraries, community centres and one stop shops, and form a key part of the party’s Green Industrial Revolution. It says that the hubs will be able to save £3,000 on their bills every year on average, as well as being able to export power to the grid, providing an estimated additional income of £1,080 a year.
Subsequently, the participating community hubs will be £8.2 million better off a year, the party has said.
Labour’s shadow BEIS secretary Rebecca Long Bailey said that the party wanted the Green Industrial Revolution to “benefit every community.”
“Solar panels will make our community spaces greener and cheaper to run. And dedicated outreach teams in every community will provide information on how people can benefit from home upgrades to make them warmer and cheaper to run, and how they can access the hundreds of thousands of new green jobs and training opportunities we are creating.”
The scheme will pay for itself in seven years, and within 15 years public facilities will have saved £90 million on their energy bills.
Labours shadow communities and local government secretary Andrew Gwynne said the installation will not just save the communities money, but also reduce emissions.
“Sharing information in our libraries, community centres and one stop shops on how residents can access Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution will reinvigorate our community buildings, making them hubs of the future.”
The Labour party has said that the Conservative’s cannot be trusted with solar power in the UK, highlighting the struggles seen in the industry since the feed-in tariff was scrapped earlier this year. In the second quarter of 2019, there were 98% fewer solar installations than the same period in 2015.
The community hubs will form part of Labour’s wider Green Industrial Revolution, which includes the installation of solar PV at 1.75 million additional homes around the country by 2030. This was detailed in the party’s Warm Homes for All project, released earlier this month that also promised grants for low income homes, and interest free loans for others established to improve energy domestic efficiency.
With the General Election campaigns underway, all the major political parties have begun to outline their plans for the energy sector. The Liberal Democrats have announced that they would double solar power in the UK, and the Green Party have pledged to invest £100 billion in climate action a year.
On Wednesday, the leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson gave his first speech of the campaign, promising investment in electric vehicles and an increase in the amount of offshore wind the country has. Plans for solar power were conspicuously absent from his speech.