Labour carbon-free energy pledge ‘a big ask’

An additional 100 million more solar panels would have to be installed over the next 15 years if Labour is to meet its election promise of carbon-free energy generation by 2030, renewable energy firm EvoEnergy has claimed.

Labour’s election manifesto yesterday pledged to remove carbon from the UK’s electricity supply by 2030 as part of a wider energy strategy which would include widening the Green Investment Bank’s remit and creating one million more “green energy jobs” in the UK.

However EvoEnergy has said that in order to meet this promise almost 700,000 new solar panels would need to be installed each year until 2030, requiring land with the equivalent size of up to 1,500 football pitches.

Up to 26GW of extra self-generation would be required, and EvoEnergy’s technical manager, Tim Hickman said Labour’s commitment is a “big ask” that would depend on political will.

“Of course in reality, meeting this target wouldn’t be achieved through solar alone, but whatever the mix of clean energy generation that’s chosen, the questions it raises about grid capacity, supply chain security and delivery should be considered now,” he said.

The general election is now almost three weeks away and this week sees the release of manifestos from all five of the main political parties. Labour’s manifesto launch yesterday has today been followed by both the Green Party and the Conservatives, with the Liberal Democrats and UKIP to follow later this week.