The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced £10 million towards a Green New Deal, aimed at helping create jobs in sectors including clean energy.
It will be focused on three key areas, the first of which is decarbonising the built environment. This will include programmes to make London’s homes more energy efficient, and ensure that they are supplied with green energy. District energy networks were highlighted, along with solar power, as particular areas of focus for achieving this.
London has some of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the country, with one in nine households unable to afford heating their homes, a level of inequality that has been laid particularly bare by the COVID-19 crisis. By funding energy efficiency projects, the living conditions of thousands of Londoners can be improved.
The project will fund the fourth phase of the London Community Energy Fund project, which is helping to provide solar panels and electric vehicle (EV) charge points to schools and community centres. It will include £500,000 for community groups to deliver projects, as well as a further £165,000 to develop further community energy projects.
It will also support two solar specific projects, the Old Oak and Park Royal Solar PV programme and Solar Together London. The first will see 10,000m2 of solar panels installed on ten Old Oak and Park Royal industrial estates over a three-year period. Solar Together London will receive up to £60,000 to support installers, boosting training and employment opportunities as it continues to install solar panels of London homes.
Secondly, green transport will be supported, including encouraging the use of EVs, along with walking and cycling though improving the access to green spaces, to tackle emissions from transport.
The project will provide investment for the design and delivery of power infrastructure at bus garages in London, with the goal of transitioning the city’s 9,000 buses into a ‘zero-tailpipe emission fleet.’ There are a number of projects looking at electrifying buses and bus garages in the capital already, including the world’s largest vehicle-to-grid project dubbed Bus2Grid.
Transport for London and the Mayor of London’s success in transitioning the capital to EVs was recently recognised at that EVIEs awards, run by Current± publisher Solar Media.
Finally, green foundations groups Advance London and Better Future, which are designed to support the growth of new and existing business in the green economy will be established will receive funding.
In particular, funding will go to green Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the capital, and especially support Black Asian Minority Ethnic and female-led enterprises. Support will also go to the London Living Wage paid internships in cleantech businesses.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I am delighted to be investing £10 million in projects that will create green collar jobs in London as part of our Green New Deal that will both support our economic recovery from COVID, and tackle inequalities faced in our city.
“The funding will directly help those most likely to experience cold and damp homes, and also support Londoners with limited access to green space. We must rebuild our city post COVID so that it’s cleaner, greener and fairer.”
Cumulatively, this phase of funding for the Green New Deal should help to create 1,000 jobs in the capital. The green economy in London already supports 5% of jobs and is worth £48 billion – putting it ahead of the construction and manufacturing sectors combined. It has grow exponentially over the last decade, with more than 161,000 new jobs created in the area since 2010.
The Mayor of London’s increased commitment will support the London Recovery Board’s goal of doubling the size of the green economy to £100 billion by 2030
“With just under a year to go until the UK hosts COP26, the government this week set out its ambition for meeting its climate targets, but this can only be achieved if the Government gives cities the power and funding they need to deliver,” continued Khan. “We have a proven track record that shows when cities are empowered to deliver, they are given the ability to deliver the transformation that we need to our economy and society.”
The funding comes in the same week that the City of London Corporation signed a first of its kind £40 million power purchase agreement Voltalia. The agreement will see a 49MW solar farm in Dorset power building such as the Corporation’s historic Guildhall headquarters, three wholesale markets and the Barbican arts centre in the square mile.