Today I announced that as Mayor, I will set up a new London Energy Company to ensure that Crossrail is powered by 100% clean electricity.
This will be the first step towards a renewable energy revolution in a city that could supply 20 percent of its electricity from solar power alone – compared with the present 1 per cent. By developing other renewable technologies and buying from wholesale markets, the company will help to deliver at least 30 percent of London’s energy needs from zero- or low-carbon sources by 2030.
I launched the plan with the help of local Green activists at Vauxhall bus station, which already has solar panels installed.
The new company will be a subsidiary of Transport for London. It will start by putting solar panels up across TfL’s own 5,700-acre estate of stations, depots, offices, other commercial units and brownfield sites. It will go on to put them on large commercial roof spaces across the capital and on solar farms on London’s fringe, and it will work with community groups, the public sector and businesses to generate low-cost renewable energy from a variety of sources across the capital.
By taking the lead in developing this company, TfL will reduce its energy costs, freeing up more money for investment in infrastructure and services – it currently spends £140 million per year on electricity, more than its entire cycling budget! – as well as reducing household energy bills.
There is huge potential in London for a wide range of low- and zero-carbon technologies to be used to generate heat and electricity from the sun, the wind, the ground and air using heat pumps, gas created from waste, and from London’s tides and river flows.
Unfortunately Boris Johnson hasn’t even bothered to push solar PV. That means London has missed out on the UK’s solar revolution, with cities in the north of England and even Scotland installing more panels per home than London, even though we get more sun in the south. Our London Energy Company will work to turn this situation around.
Transport for London is already becoming a property developer with its own land to shore up its finances. We believe it should also become an energy developer. As with the property development, a Green Mayor would ensure it balances revenue generation with wider social and environmental objectives – in this case, increasing renewable energy generation and supplying low-cost energy to Londoners.