The City of London Mayor’s Office believes it must generate between £5-7bn in investment in decentralised energy in order to reduce the electricity distribution network issues that could impede the city’s progress.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is determined to achieve his target of generating 25 per cent of the city’s energy needs by decentralised energy by 2025 but the complexities involved in building up London’s electricity infrastructure have added impetus to clean energy ambitions.

Peter North, Sustainable Energy Programme Delivery Manager for the London Mayor’s office told COSPP online that the electricity infrastructure summit held earlier in November was all about engaging with industry to tackle the issues that are constraining development.

“The Mayor is concerned that London’s electricity distribution network maybe potentially holding back the city’s future property development.

The outcome (of the meeting) was that industry agreed to the proposition that a working group or steering group be set up to begin to look at the particular constraints and come up with various solutions and actions to take forward.”

In terms of the electricity distribution network there are a multitude of issues. One such recurring theme is development owners approaching distribution network operators to ask for cost of electrical connection.

“They may come back in a given number of weeks time and present a budget estimate and it will take a certain amount of time to come up with a firm estimate and the difference between both estimates could be of a completely different magnitude, which affects the viability of the development, for example,” said Mr North.

Mr North added that decentralised energy is one of Boris Johnson’s ‘core policies.’

“The mayor’s ambitions for decentralised energy can potentially ameliorate some of these electricity supply infrastructure issues so there is a happy coincidence between some of the mayor’s policies and some of the issues facing London

The sustainability chief said with regard to the just announced Energy Bill that if the city is generating locally it is a good fit for the bill’s objectives as “it reduced the need for capacity at a national level to a certain degree.”

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