To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of announcements on solar policy since May 2015 on (a) current and (b) future employment levels in that sector; and if she will make a statement.
A report by BIS, published in March 2015, suggested that in 2013 34,400 people were employed in the wider solar PV sector and its supply chain, although this is likely to include companies that have an involvement in the solar sector without solar being their core business. The BIS report can be found at:
Numbers on employment in the sector are not robust enough to show how many jobs are supported directly by either the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme or the renewables obligation (RO), and for this reason it has not been possible to quantify with a high degree of confidence the impact of proposed changes on employment levels in the sector or the wider economy. We have asked a question in the FIT review consultation about the wider impact of changes.
Deployment of solar at all levels has been more rapid and more extensive than predicted and this is why we have proposed changes to bring the incentive schemes under greater control and ensure that they provide value for money for electricity bill payers, whilst still supporting deployment.