The UK takes to the polls tomorrow and by Friday morning the country will have a much clearer indication as to who, and which party, holds the biggest chance of leading it for at least the foreseeable future.

All the latest polls suggest the UK looks set for a hung parliament with Labour leader Ed Miliband the current, slim favourite to be the next prime minister but the bigger picture of where the power will lie is still very much in the balance.

Here we’ve wrapped up each of the five parties’ commitments to solar and renewable energies in general for you to bear in mind before you cast your ballot tomorrow.

The Conservatives

While the environment and commitment to renewable technologies has not been a central theme to David Cameron’s election strategy this year, the party’s manifesto and comments by MPs have looked to reassure the electorate that a Conservative-led government would look to build on its current renewables record.

But solar was omitted completely from the manifesto and the party is seeking to completely remove subsidies for onshore wind while also tightening planning controls. Financial support will be on offer, but only on promising renewable technologies that “clearly represent value for money”.

Should the Conservatives remain in power, one potential move could see Matt Hancock replace Ed Davey at the helm of the Department of Energy and Climate Change with Hancock understood to be well regarded within party ranks.


Labour leader Ed Miliband was crucial in the establishment of the Climate Change Act and his election manifesto suitably sought to honour this with a pledge to drastically decarbonise the UK’s energy sector by 2030 and make this a statutory target.

Miliband hopes this will be achieved by creating one million additional ‘green jobs’ and granting new powers to the Green Invest Bank to help finance new renewable energy projects, while a newly-established Energy Security Board would help plan the UK’s energy mix in advance.

Since the launch of the manifesto Miliband has also pledged to collaborate with the solar industry in order to ensure a stable policy environment remains to support the technology, and a number of other measures have been alluded to including allowing schools to crowdfund finance for rooftop solar installations.

The Liberal Democrats

The Lib Dems have used their strong track record with regards to environmental commitments and looked to take credit for the majority of the work done under the current government, with the party’s Ed Davey being instrumental as the head of DECC.

Crucially, Nick Clegg wants to stimulate more than £100 billion in private investment into the UK’s renewable energy sector and has set the UK the target of deriving a third of its energy from renewable sources by the end of the next parliament in 2020.

Energy policy was a central theme to the party’s give ‘green laws’ and the Lib Dems, like Labour, want to meet the Committee for Climate Change’s target of decarbonising power generation to 50-100g of CO2 per kWh by 2030.

The Green Party

The Green Party has, perhaps predictably, made the strongest commitments to renewable energy of the five mainstream parties and paid particular attention to solar, introducing a target of 25GW of solar capacity by 2020.

That figure – to be met through the promise of £35 billion of investment from the government over the course of five years – exceeds the Solar Trade Association’s best case scenario figure of 22GW.

Funding will be raised by granting the Green Investment Bank with full borrowing powers while Local Authorities will also be allowed to fund large- and medium-scale renewable energy projects themselves.

All fossil fuel subsidies and grants would be phased out and Natalie Bennett’s party want to instead promote long-term, stable fixed-price feed-in tariffs to help further stimulate solar uptake.


UKIP’s manifesto was not so much a pledge to renewable energy as a promise to take several steps to “level the playing field”. Nigel Farage outlined plans in his manifesto to scrap all subsidies for renewable energies, abolish DECC and repeal the Climate Change Act, removing the UK’s commitment to decarbonising the energy sector.

Farage has said scrapping the Climate Change Act would save the country £720 billion but did not rule out future support for renewable energy. The party has stated it would support investment in renewables but only when they can deliver electricity at competitive prices.

UKIP currently considers hydro to be the only technology to do so, claiming wind power in particular to be “hopelessly inefficient”.