Solar power generation is hampered by a lack of workers with the right green skills and training, according to the Environmental Audit Committee – a cross-party group of MPs in the UK Parliament. IEMA's Digital Journalist Tom Pashby reports.

MPs who are members of the EAC wrote to Grant Shapps MP, the secretary of state for energy security and net zero, about the lack of progress made on the deployment of solar power, citing concerns about access to the electricity grid and capital costs.

Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said:

“There is potential for solar energy to have a bright future in the UK, but a dark cloud of delays for the industry hinders the ability to meet its full potential. Evidence to our Committee made clear that the UK has the potential to fulfil the UK’s ambition of 70GW of generating capacity from solar. But sticking points for households around access to finance and VAT being slapped on batteries remain."

In its letter, the MPs said they were concerned about “the availability of trained staff” to deliver solar capacity, and shared statements from witnesses to the committee who has said the industry is facing a labour shortage and a lack of skilled workers.

IEMA is currently engaged in a wide range of work to increase the supply of trained, skilled workers for the transition to a more sustainable economy.

The professional body, which represents more than 20,000 workers in the environment and sustainability sector, has recently announced plans to secure a commitment to green skills and training on the final cover text for the COP28 negotiations in the United Arab Emirates.

It also recently started a project called the Green Careers Hub, where participants in the sector and those interested in joining it can find information about how to gain the skills and training needed to contribute to the green economy.


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