The Shadow Climate Change Secretary said introducing new laws to ensure all new commercial buildings and homes built in the UK will have to be fitted with solar panels was something the party was “very interested in”.
“Watch this space,” the Shadow Energy Secretary said in response to a question about mandatory solar panels on new builds.
“We will say more about this. But I think there is a huge opportunity with solar rooftop technology. I think it’s a huge opportunity on commercial premises and a huge opportunity in the home as well.”
It came as the Labour frontbencher insisted that onshore wind farms were more popular among the public than “beer, pizza and the royal family” as he pledged local communities would “benefit” from new wind farms being built in their areas.
Labour has said it will overhaul the planning system to make it easier for net zero projects to be built, such as onshore windfarms and nuclear power stations, as part of its drive to reach net-zero power production by 2030.
Asked what would be in it for local communities to allow wind farms to be built in their areas, Mr Miliband said: “[We would] give local communities benefit.
“If it feels like someone is arriving from a big company and there’s nothing in it for local people, then then people are going to say we don’t want to be part of this. If you give people community benefit – I’ve seen this locally in my constituency – people have a very, very different view.”
Mr Miliband quoted Greg Jackson, the head of energy company Octopus, who claimed onshore wind was “really popular”.
“He said it’s more popular than pizza or beer. And I don’t know you would have to check whether that’s really true, he also said it was more popular than the royal family, but I don’t know whether I believe that.”
Labour are looking at options that include giving people lower energy bills in return for allowing wind farms to be built in their communities, source said.
The proposals form part of Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan, which is the party’s answer to the US government’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that is funnelling hundreds of billions of federal dollars into the green sector to boost growth.
Mr Miliband said Labour would borrow money for “prudent investment” in renewable technology and green energy in a bid to boost employment and grow the economy.
And he dismissed the Conservative government’s criticism of US President Joe Biden’s IRA, which he branded “sore loser syndrome”.
“As the US and Europe speed off into the distance in the global race for green industry, we are sitting back in the changing rooms moaning about the rules,” he said.
“We need to stop moaning about the Inflation Reduction Act and start matching its ambition,” he said.