Solar panels and National Grid public ownership part of Labour's 'green industrial revolution'

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Ben Chapman

Jeremy Corbyn has launched his party’s plans for a ''green industrial revolution'' and revealed public ownership of the National Grid is on the cards.

The Labour leader said his policies would benefit the working class and are aimed at tackling climate change which he said is ''crucial''.

Mr Corbyn wants 1.75million properties to have solar panels which he said would result in lower heating and lower electricity bills for home owners.

Profits from the National Grid will be invested in renewable energy.

He unveiled his proposals as he visited a Greater Manchester housing estate where he viewed solar panels installed on social housing in Walkden, Salford.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to Salford. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

The Labour leader said: “We are announcing here a policy which is a response to the climate emergency that we got declared in Parliament.

''We are going to ensure that 1.75 million homes get solar panels and that the community benefits from that in lower heating bills for people in homes, lower electricity prices for them and also that we are going to take the National Grid into public ownership.”

Interest-free loans, grants and changes to regulations will help an additional 750,000 properties install solar panels under the Labour plan.

He said National Grid profits of £3 billion in the last year would be “much better spent” investing in renewable energy.

“It’s a win-win situation and it’s crucial we as a country do it,” he said.

“If we don’t reduce the amount of carbon we are putting out, and obviously every other country in the world, then the climate emergency doesn’t stay normal, it gets worse.”

Mr Corbyn was joined by shadow business secretary Rebecca Long Bailey to speak to Mark Lowe, from housing association ForHousing, and deputy mayor of Salford Paula Boshell about the work done on bungalows on Mereside Grove and homes in the surrounding area.

Ms Long Bailey said the plans would be the equivalent of taking four million cars off the roads.

Jeremy Corbyn and Rebecca Long Bailey in Salford Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

She said: “It will benefit consumers because where the solar panels are installed, that will take money off their electricity bill and any money that they potentially gain through that, particularly with the people who install solar panels who aren’t in social housing, they’ll be able to take the economic benefits of any electricity they export into the grid.”

Ms Long Bailey said solar panels on social housing would also generate electricity to go into the grid but money from that would go to local authorities, creating an estimated £66 million.

Labour claimed that installing solar panels on social and low-income homes could save bill payers an average of £117 a year, which could rise to £270 for retired households.

The party estimates its policy will create 16,900 jobs and save 7.1 million tonnes of CO2.

Solar Trade Association director of advocacy and new markets Leonie Greene said: “A solar homes push would give a tremendous boost to green jobs across the UK, which are good quality and local in nature.

“We are particularly pleased to see Labour’s focus on social housing, since solar can save households potentially hundreds of pounds off their energy bills.

“Current policies deter those who need solar the most from accessing it, which is a great shame.”