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GOVERNMENT TO CONSULT ON INCREASING RENEWABLE ENERGY IN LONDON

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The government, in partnership with the Greater London Authority and the Association of London Government will cons...
The government, in partnership with the Greater London Authority and the Association of London Government will consult shortly on how to increase alternative energy sources in London. This follows publication of a technical assessment today which concludes that London could generate up to two percent of its electricity needs form renewable sources by 2010. This conclusion was described as disappointing by minister for London, Nick Raynsford, today.

Publishing the Renewable Energy Study for London jointly with the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, and the chair of the ALG, Robin Wales, Nick Raynsford said:

'Frankly, we are disappointed that the study saw such a limited scope for renewable energy in London. The study suggests that London could meet up to 2% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources within its boundary by 2010, whereas the national target is to generate 10% of electricity from renewables by that date.

'While we might all accept that the situation in London does genuinely make our task more challenging, there must be ways that London could do better than this. How can we make better use of renewable resources within London? We want a challenging target for the capital, but it has to be realistic. Moreover, it is the responsibility of all of us to deliver it. We have decided to publish this report in order to provoke discussion and, we hope, generate new ideas and innovation.

'While there are some innovative renewable energy schemes in London, for example the Peabody Trust/Bioregional BedZed development in Sutton and Sustainable Energy Action's Solar City London programme, there are genuine reasons why London will struggle to generate much of its energy needs from renewables by 2010. Firstly, the intensity and magnitude of energy use in London means that more renewable energy capacity along with more efficient use of energy is needed to meet the same target than in other regions. Secondly, those renewable energy technologies that are most economic, such as wind, are not so suited to London on a large scale (although the report does foresee a limited role for wind energy).

'However, London's urban density presents opportunities. Building-based technologies, such as photovoltaics, are ideal for London, but their costs are high right now. So that London can make significant contributions in the longer term, as building-based renewables become cheaper, it is important that we lay the necessary foundations now.'

Mr Raynsford said that the Government Office for London, in partnership with the GLA, and the ALG would shortly launch a consultation on how more of the capital's energy needs could be met from renewable sources.

Notes

The government has set a target that 5% of UK electricity requirements should be met from renewables by the end of 2003 and 10% by 2010. Within this approach, DETR (now DTLR) and DTI ministers agreed that a strategic approach to renewable energy provision needed to be developed at the regionallevel as a key mechanism for translating the targets into suitable development on the ground. The report by ETSU, 'Development of a Renewable Energy Assessment and Targets for London' which was commissioned by the Government Office for London and the GLA is one of a number of regional studies contributing to that process.

The ETSU report is available in hard copy from the Sustainable Development Unit, Government Office for London, 6th Floor, Riverwalk House, 157-161 Millbank, London SW1P 4RR. Telephone 020 7217 3544. It is also available on the GOL website.

On 14 February 2002, the Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU) published the 'Energy Review'. This report to government was commissioned by the prime minister to set out a vision and strategy for future energy policy to 2050 and to come forward with practical measures for achieving them.

The Energy Review is available in hard copy from PIU, 4th floor Admiralty Arch, The Mall, London, SW1A 2WH. Tel: 020 7276 1416, and is on the PIU website.

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