London Mayor plans on-site solar expansion

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is has launched a new scheme to increase the amount of solar power and other clean energy technology in the city. The plan will entail financing of solar panel installations at community amenities throughout the city.

Renewable Energy Magazine reports that the Mayor is aiming for 1 GW of solar generated energy by 2030. Khan has already launched a Community Energy Fund to help local groups develop solar panel projects on schools, community halls and sports centres and he will also trial a solar purchase scheme to reduce the costs of solar panels for Londoners through bulk-buying later in the year.

Transport for London (TfL) are aiming to expand their solar power consumption and also install energy efficiency measures across a variety of TfL owned buildings, including bus stations and office buildings, in a new à‚£4.5 million refurbishment project. TfL will work with Engie on the programme, which once completed will have the combined potential to provide 1.1 MW of electricity, helping to the company’s CO2 emissions by around 480 tonnes per year.

The programme is part of Khan’s à‚£34 million Energy for Londoners scheme, launched on 31st January, in which Londoners struggling to pay their energy bills will be given a series of free home energy improvements, including boilers, heating controlsà‚ and insulation worth up to à‚£4,000. The overall aim of the programme is to make homes warmer, energy bills more affordable, workplaces more energy efficient and to supply London with cleaner and more local energy sources, in both homes and businesses.

The Mayor is also testing new and innovative ways to reduce energy bills to near zero through whole-house ‘eco-refurbishments’ as part of a new Energy Leap project. A pilot scheme will refurbish 10 homes, installing insulation, solar panels, heat pumps and other measures. This will begin from this summer and will be delivered with Sutton Housing Partnership, Genesis and Moat. The pilot will test whether such a project can be rolled out on a greater scale more widely across London.à‚  à‚ 

“It’s a sad fact that for many Londoners keeping their homes warm during the cold winter months is a luxury they simply cannot afford” Mr Khan said. “My Energy for Londoners scheme aims to help those most in need with grants for new boilers, windows and home insulation to help cut fuel bills. I’m also working on a number of ambitious projects to generate more local clean energy to power our homes, businesses and communities.”

Another pilot scheme launched by the Mayor will see City Hall buying locally-generated clean energy and using it to power TfL buildings. This went live in January and will use energy bought from Peabody Services and Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE Heat Networks), to helpà‚ power two Transport for London depots – Northfields in Ealing and Northumberland Park in Haringey. The Mayor is also helping both the public and the private sector to build larger-scale heat networks, including the use of local sources, like waste heat from the Tube, through a à‚£3.5m Decentralised Energy Enabling Project to help make London cleaner and smarter.

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