By DARA BUTTERFIELD
The solar energy industry supports up to 14,000 jobs in the UK – according to the latest industry estimate from the National Solar Centre.
And – according to Amber Rudd, the junior UK climate-change minister – the industry has a bright future ahead of it.
Speaking at the Solar Energy conference recently, she said: “Solar PV is an important part of the UK’s energy mix and very much a renewables success story – overall deployment has surpassed expectations.
“Since 2010, from a starting point of almost zero, the industry has now exceeded 4GW of capacity. This is a fantastic achievement.
“It means that the UK now has enough solar to power more than 900,000 homes with over half a million households now benefiting from generating their own solar energy.
“That’s over half a million homes that are benefiting from a permanent reduction in their energy bills. And half a million homes that are benefiting from clean and secure renewables generation.
“But solar energy is not just good for helping to deliver affordable, clean and secure energy supplies, it is also a powerful engine for growth – driving small and medium sized businesses and creating thousands of jobs up and down the country.
“Indeed, earlier this year, the National Solar Centre estimated that the industry supported up to around 14,000 jobs. And the more the sector deploys, the more jobs it generates, especially in the building mounted sector, which attracts more jobs than solar farms.
“I believe that the solar industry is on the up, and between our incentives and your dynamism, we will see real progress towards putting control in the hands of energy consumers and turning our buildings into power stations.”