Greens propose £13m investment in solar energy for City Council budget

Oxford’s Green Party Councillors are proposing a major amendment to the City Council budget which would see £13m invested in solar energy. The proposals will be voted on at a meeting of Oxford City Council on February 16.

Currently, the Labour-run City Council is proposing to invest £33m in commercial property over the next four years. If passed, the Greens’ amendments would replace the second tranche of that – totalling £13m – with direct investment in renewable energy.

Leader of the Green Group Chris Jarvis said, 

“The Council’s current plans are misguided. It’s completely unclear what the business, social or environmental case is for speculatively investing in commercial property, when there is little benefit to the residents of Oxford. 

“Instead, we should be utilising the Council’s resources to invest directly in the infrastructure we need for now and the future. That means we need to be investing in renewable energy. 

“Investing in solar will not only help the Council meet our clean energy needs, but it also provides a strong financial return – allowing more money to be put into vital public services in the long term.” 

In addition to investments in solar energy, the Greens’ budget amendment would also establish a £450,000 hardship relief fund to mitigate against the impact of the pandemic and the cost of living crisis. According to the Greens, this would allow the Council to flexibly respond to the needs of Oxford’s residents and provide a vital lifeline for those who are struggling financially. The hardship fund would be financed by increasing fees on park and ride in line with inflation.

Green Group leader Chris Jarvis said,

“We’re likely to feel the impact of the pandemic for years to come. And with the cost of living crisis biting, it’s crucial that the City Council does what it can to alleviate the hardship people across Oxford are facing. 

“Ultimately, what we need is proper funding of local councils by the Westminster government, and a proper economic strategy that prioritises the many, not the few. But even without change nationally, there’s more that can be done locally too. 

“That’s why we’re proposing the introduction of a substantial hardship relief fund in this year’s budget, so as to ensure pain being felt by our residents is reduced as much as it can be.”

Solar panels on house


What is Solar Energy?

Solar power is derived from sunlight that’s converted into electricity to power your home or business. The sun’s energy reaches the Earth in the form of solar radiation, which then heats the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. As this heat spreads out, it can be captured by a solar panel, typically fitted to the roof of a home or building. The solar panels are used to convert the sun’s radiation into usable electricity.

Why is Solar Energy Better?

There are many reasons why solar energy is better than traditional power sources. Here are just a few:

  • It’s clean energy. There are no greenhouse gas emissions or any type of air pollution from solar panels.
  • It’s renewable. The sun doesn’t stop shining, so the source of your energy will never run out.
  • It can last for decades, meaning you’ll have to spend less on maintenance over time.
  • Solar panels are easy to install and use.

The Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy is a great way to save money and help the environment. The benefits of solar power go beyond just reducing your bills. There are many reasons why you should invest in solar energy today.

  • By investing in solar power, you will save money on your utility bills as well as reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Solar panels don’t emit greenhouse gases like fossil fuels which cause climate change.
  • Solar panels can last 25+ years and, depending on where you live, the government may offer tax credits and other financial incentives to help offset the cost of installation.
  • Solar energy saves you from relying on traditional energy sources that emit greenhouse gases and harm the environment.