GLA: “London should generate more of its own power”

The UK currently produces about 70 per cent of the energy that it uses, leaving a significant energy gap. The capital uses 13 per cent of the UK’s electricity but only has two per cent of national generating capacity.

Plugging the Energy Gap, the report by the Assembly’s Environment Committee, says the government should work with regions like London to keep financial and environmental costs down as it works to substitute older and more polluting power stations and cut carbon emissions.

The report highlights how, in the past, the capital has missed out on energy efficiency works compared with other parts of the UK and so regional targets for a new scheme which is coming on board could help to address this.

 “We all assume that when we turn on a switch, the power we need to run our homes and businesses will be there,” said Murad Qureshi AM, Chair of the Environment Committee.

“But it will take huge investment to keep the lights on and, at the same time, we need to keep carbon emissions and household bills down.

 “The Government could more effectively address the country’s energy gap by supporting the capital to produce more of its own heat and power. The energy companies also haven’t put enough into energy efficiency works in London and we want to see the capital get its fair share in future.”

One of the proposed energy sources to be utilised by London are fuels derived from waste, including general waste that can be burnt or gasified for combustion, and food or other organic waste that can be digested by bacteria to produce combustible gas.

The GLA sees the potential for many small to medium schemes, adding up to about half the mayor’s renewable energy generation target. According to the report, on the mayor’s own calculations municipal waste could power a quarter of a million homes in London.

The report also calls for the proper exploitation of existing projects such as the London Array off-shore wind farm. The first phase of the wind farm is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2012.

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