London Mayor secures green power for Underground
This week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that the city's tube stations are to be powered by low and zero carbon generators thanks to a new eco-scheme.
Khan applied for a new junior electricity supply license, a so-called “license lite”, on Monday, which permits City Hall to purchase energy from low-or-no carbon generators and sell it directly to the public sector. The Mayor hopes to be able to grant the license within months.
"I want my daughters and every Londoner to grow up in a city that is cleaner and greener, in which people aren’t dying because the air is so filthy,” said Khan. “And I want London to be at the cutting edge of new green technologies, generating the growth and jobs of the future.”
The new scheme will see the Greater London Authority purchasing clean energy from a local generator panel which includes five London boroughs and utilities Vital Energy and Scottish & Southern Energy.
The energy will then be supplied to help power escalators and ventilation systems in tube stations, offices and other publicly-owned facilities.
Khan has recently been elected to the Steering Committee and Vice Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of megacities committed to combatting climate change.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.