25,000 Employed In UK Solar Power Sector

An analysis carried out by the UK’s Renewable Energy Association (REA) has found the UK solar sector now employs around 25,000 people – eight times the number since the country’s solar feed in tariff initiative was introduced.
    
According to REA director Stuart Pocock, 80% of the jobs created have been in solar power system installation services. The REA says the actual number of new employment opportunities may be more than its estimate and the 25,000 figure doesn’t include new manufacturing and supporting jobs. REA believe there could be as many as an additional 7,000 jobs created by April 2012. 
     
REA’s study of its  REAL Assurance Scheme membership data show there are now 4,000 solar companies registered with REAL in the UK, more than 60 companies working in the solar manufacturing supply chain and 6 solar manufacturing/assembly plants. 
   
“Not only can this technology deliver the jobs and green buildings we need today, but costs are falling faster than any other energy generation technology in the world. So by investing in UK solar jobs and companies today, UK companies can deliver a subsidy-free solar revolution to millions of consumers tomorrow,” said Mr. Pocock.
   
The Renewable Energy Association represents the UK’s renewable energy industry, covering all forms of renewable power, heat and fuels.
   
81,000 UK households are now benefiting from the nation’s solar feed in tariff scheme that pays solar homes and businesses with a rooftop array of less than 10kW capacity  37.8 – 43.3 pence per kilowatt hour for electricity generated; which converts to approximately 60 – 68c Australian. Participants also receive an extra 3 pence per kilowatt hour for any surplus electricity exported to the mains grid.
   
Last month, figures released by energy and environmental consultancy firm AEA show the feed in tariff program has seen solar energy capacity in the UK grow by  900% in just under 18 months.