Greens call for clean energy from sunshine for London boroughs

Greens are calling on Mayor Ken Livingstone and local authorities to start vetoing planning applications for new developments that fail to make use of clean, green renewable energy sources. Darren will have with him a sample of a solar panel unit that could be used for new buildings.

Darren Johnson commented, “Mayor Livingstone’s Energy Strategy contains many radical and far-reaching proposals to tackle climate change and promote renewable energy. But this will only happen if the Mayor and local authorities use their planning powers to put words into practice. Tower Hamlets Council and Ken Livingstone should use their planning powers to enforce the use of solar powered energy, on all new buildings and major refurbishments.”

Greens believe that it is about time London woke up to the advantages of solar power technology in the drive to find environment friendly energy supplies. Under the draft proposals all planning applications referred to the Mayor will have to generate at least 10% of the power and heat they need from renewable energy and show that they are designed to meet better energy efficiency standards.

Darren Johnson concluded, “If you think that solar technology is only for sun-soaked countries, then think again. Solar power can be used as effectively in the Arctic as it can in the Equator. Installing a solar panels on a roof could prevent over 34 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions during its lifetime.”

“Solar technology is the optimal technology for London, supplying clean, green, zero-emission energy. This will reduce the impact of climate change and ensure that London will begin to meet its international obligations to reduce CO2 emissions. London currently uses more energy than many whole countries. We urgently need to get solar panels on as many roofs as possible.”


Notes for Editors:

1. The Mayor’s Draft Energy Strategy, “Green light to clean power” was launched 21 January 2003 and the deadline for comments is 22 April. The finalised version is expected in September. Copies of the Strategy, its “Highlights” document and the leaflet are available at public libraries and from the Public Liaison Unit at the GLA (020 7983 4100). They can also be downloaded from the GLA web site on

2. Solar panels also known as photovoltaics (PV), generated power could provide 10,000 times more energy than the world currently uses.

3. In Watford, the Building Research Establishment has a PV-clad façade that generates its annual lighting requirements. Similarly the advantages of solar energy have been used at the Bed Zed housing complex in Sutton and at the Ladbroke Green Peabody Trust development in Kensington and Chelsea.


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