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New solar skills project launched by Solar Energy UK and Mayor of London

by Matt Downs

The UK’s solar industry association and the Mayor of London are working together to create green solar jobs in the capital.

Solar Energy UK and the Mayor of London have launched Solar Skills London, a project to provide training and support for people who want to pursue a career in the solar industry. 

The project has five intended objectives:

·         The development of a solar PV learner curriculum

·         A series of introductory workshops for potential new solar industry trainees

·         The creation of a placement programme for trainees with London solar businesses

·         The publication of an online solar training and careers hub for the Capital

·         A grants scheme to help London’s solar businesses provide training for their employees

At the launch, it was announced the project will support London’s contribution to clean energy in the UK. The Mayor of London is targeting 1GW of solar deployment by the end of the decade, which could provide enough power to run over half a million electric vehicles annually. New solutions have also been developed to make planning solar energy projects easier, including the London Solar Opportunity Map.

Solar Energy UK Chief Executive Chris Hewett said: “We are delighted to launch this project with the Mayor of London. Solar power is clean, affordable and straightforward to deploy. This project will help equip the next generation of skilled solar technicians and boost London’s hopes of delivering a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Solar Energy UK to invest in London’s solar workforce. This programme will provide training and apprenticeships in solar technologies and help create more green jobs in the renewable energy sector. The Mayor has ambitious plans for solar energy in London which will support his target of reaching net zero carbon by 2030 and support green jobs for Londoners, a key part of his Green New Deal mission for London’s recovery.”

Solar Energy UK is calling on the government to enable the deployment of 40 GW of solar energy in the UK by 2030 – triple today’s levels. This, the association says, is in line with independent analysis by the Climate Change Committee of the UK’s solar needs if it is to have a carbon net zero economy by 2050. 

The association says 14 GW of solar power has been deployed to date across all market sectors in the UK, and there is at least 17 GW in the pipeline as of May 2021. Solar Energy UK points out London is already host to innovative solar projects, which include Hackney Light and Power, a company launched by Hackney Council to provide renewable energy services, and Solar Together, the pioneering group-buying scheme which has seen wide take-up in the capital. 

The Association says Solar Skills London will respond to the need identified by its members in a recent ECA survey for more skilled electrical workers to join the solar industry, and both Solar Energy UK and the Mayor of London will work with a variety of industry and training partners on this project.


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