Labour’s candidate for the London mayor position Sadiq Khan has unveiled plans to instigate a “clean energy revolution” in the city.
Khan’s plans focus around the establishment of ‘Energy for Londoners’, which he says will be a not-for-profit company whose aim will be to “take a lead” on renewable energy initiatives across the city.
“I want to be the greenest mayor London has ever had… Energy for Londoners will bring a renewed focus to our drive to make London a cleaner, greener city.
“It will expand the use of solar across the city, and support communities who want to set up their own green energy generation schemes. And it will roll out schemes like the Bunhill Energy Centre that take waste heat from the tube and make the most of buildings across the city to generate energy from solar,” Khan said.
Energy for Londoners is to establish a solar strategy for the capital and makes specific mention of requiring more solar on London’s rooftops, particularly on Transport for London land and buildings for generation.
TfL has also been targeted by Khan’s Conservative rival for the position Zac Goldsmith, who last month stated that under his mayoralty the transport body would be made to adopt solar and generate its own energy wherever possible.
According to the Mayor’s office TfL owns more than 680 sites within Greater London’s borders, including 70 car parks, but has said that there are limits as to what it can install solar on.
Khan’s plan also involves ensuring new developments incorporate solar and other low-carbon technologies, expanding on calls from Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson for the capital to retain the Zero Carbon Homes standard controversially cut by the Conservatives last year.
Khan also intends to issue green bonds and explore using other debt-based financial instruments to invest in green energy projects, while community energy projects will be supported by a “dating service” pairing potential investors with commercial premises interested in installing solar.
“Building a cleaner, greener city will only come about through leadership from the top. For eight years, London has lacked that leadership.
“We’ve gone from being a global leader on environmental issues to a middle-ranking global environmental city at best. The Tories have squandered a fantastic green legacy and I’m doubly determined to make London once again a beacon to the world,” Khan added.