Labour plans to help schools fund solar projects

The Labour Party has revealed plans to help schools source funding for rooftop solar projects, lifting a current ban on them borrowing to do so.

The proposals will see the government help schools organise crowdfunding initiatives to cover the cost of installations, while civil servants would be made available to help facilitate the connecting of projects to the grid and dealing with payments.

The scheme is being backed by the Co-operative party, an independent political party affiliated with Labour that promotes the political interests of the UK co-operative movement.

Labour MP Gareth Thomas (pictured) told The Guardian that the proposal would free schools from reliance on UK energy firms and help “spread understanding” of sustainable energy.

Schools are currently prohibited from borrowing finance in order to pay for solar panel installations, however the proposals would see that ban removed in favour of a supportive framework.

Despite being seen as ideal estate for solar projects given their size and time of typical energy demand, schools in the UK have yet to embrace solar and a recent study found that just one in 15 schools within Greater London have a rooftop solar installation.

Last month environmental group Friends of the Earth echoed calls by the Green Party for London Mayor Boris Johnson to create a solar PV delivery unit which would allocate £210,000 of funding to help get solar projects in schools off the ground.