Mayor outlines London energy vision for Greenpeace

Ken Livingstone took his vision of a locally-powered London to a wider audience this week when he spoke to corporate leaders at the Greenpeace Business Lecture.

The mayor used the lecture to launch a new report Powering London into the 21st Century which outlines City Hall’s aspirations to use efficient, local power stations and renewable energy sources to meet demand in the capital.

Much of the report reiterates the hopes of the London Climate Change Agency to use a string of small-scale combined heat and power stations to fuel the city’s homes and workplaces, a covered in detail by edie news last week (see related story).

In light of the ongoing Energy Review Mr Livingstone also took the opportunity to stress his opposition to nuclear power, which he characterised as a dangerous and dirty source of energy.

“As this new study shows, we stand a far better chance of achieving Government targets on carbon reductions by investing in decentralised energy,” he said.

“Nuclear power is neither the cheapest, the safest, or the most reliable way to reduce greenhouse gases.

“We don’t have time to make mistakes in tackling climate change. The nuclear lobby is working overtime.

“Rather than spending taxpayers’ money on the failed technology of the past, I hope the Government will invest in the most efficient, proven solutions to combat global warming: greater energy efficiency, decentralised energy and renewable energy.”

Decentralised power supply has a proven track record in parts of Northern Europe, accounting for 50% of the total supply in Denmark and 40% in the Netherlands.

The inefficiencies of a centralised grid are colossal, with up to two thirds of the energy generated going to waste.

Stephen Tindale, executive director of Greenpeace, said: “The government says its Energy Review is about finding how we can best cut CO2 emissions and ensure a secure energy supply for the UK.

“If the government is genuinely concerned about climate change and fuel security then they need to start taking decentralised energy seriously and stop wasting their time considering the less effective, dangerous, dirty and expensive nuclear option.”

The London mirrors a national report carried out by Greenpeace, Decentralising UK Energy.

by Sam Bond

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