It is designed to break down barriers such as a lack of information, concern over difficulties of installation and perceived high costs, which often hold back planners and developers from using renewable technologies.

The toolkit aims to show that renewable technologies are cost effective, easy to install and well suited to urban areas such as London. In addition it offers a series of free training sessions for planners and developers as well as examples of best practice and funding schemes for planners, developers, architects and others.

London’s Deputy Mayor Nicky Gavron said: “Planning policy in London now requires the use of renewables. The London Plan specifically requires major developments to include energy efficient and renewable technologies and design, and the Mayor’s Energy Strategy expects that 10% of a new development’s energy demands come from renewable energy on site.”

Ms Gavron pointed out that there was overwhelming support for the use of renewable energy in London, and an overwhelming demand if London is to meet its target of a 23% reduction in emissions by 2016.

“London uses a huge amount of energy resources and is expected to expand by the size of the city of Leeds by 2016. This will only increase our contribution to climate change unless we have a real sea change in the way we use energy and in the types of energy that we use. The world is urbanising very quickly and if we don’t solve sustainability in our existing cities, we won’t be able to tackle it anywhere,” she said.

The toolkit was jointly developed between the London Energy Partnership and London Renewables and has the backing of new energy minister, Mike O’Brien.

By David Hopkins

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