AN ENERGY expert claimed the Government needs to commit to helping the renewable energy industry grow as gas prices look set to soar.
Kirklees councillor Andrew Cooper is head of on-site renewables at industry-body The Renewable Energy Association.
He said more people would turn to renewable energy as a report warned that gas prices could increase by 70%.
He said the Government needed to help prepare the industry so it did not become overwhelmed.
Clr Cooper said: “What we need from the Government is a commitment to help the industry grow and move forward.
“What we don’t want to do is wait until prices are so high that everybody’s clamouring for renewable energy when the industry has not been well-developed and supported to grow.
“We really need support from the Government to enable us to get a mass market for renewables out there.”
Clr Cooper said renewable energy, such as solar panels, heat pumps and wood pellets, could help people combat the increase in living costs.
“Renewable energy is going to become more cost-effective compared to fossil fuels,” he said.
“If you look at solar energy, it costs 0.00p per KW hour and that price is guaranteed for a number of years to come. You can’t say that about the price of a barrel of oil.
“The more people start producing their own heat and power, the more they will feel they have control over the problem.
“We want to change people from simply being consumers of energy to being producers.”
But Mr Cooper said people needed help with the installation costs.
He said the installation of solar electricity panels cost in the region of £10,000, but suggested that Government grants to help spread this cost could help.