By the end of the year, London’s famous Square Mile will source 100% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources, according to the City of London’s governing body.
In a move which continues to place London as one of the world’s leading climate and environmentally-friendly cities, the City of London Corporation, the governing body of the Square Mile (the colloquial nickname for the City of London), announced that it plans to source 100% renewable electricity from October 2018 onward. Famously no longer actually a square mile (boundary changes in 1994 expanded it closer to 1.12 square mile, but it was once closer to dead-on a square mile), the City of London will see an increase in solar panels on City Corporation buildings and will also invest in installations such as wind and solar farms.
Members of the City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee backed proposals that would see their own sites across London begin to generate their own electricity, and invest in off-site renewable energy projects, as well as buy renewable energy already available on the market. Included in the buildings under the auspices of the City Corporation are social housing across six London boroughs, 10 high-achieving academies, three wholesale markets, and 11,000 acres of green space including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest, giving the City a lot of room to develop clean energy for the city as a whole.
“Sourcing 100% renewable energy will make us cleaner and greener, reducing our grid reliance, and running some of our buildings on zero carbon electricity,” said Catherine McGuinness, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee. “We are always looking at the environmental impact of our work and hope that we can be a beacon to other organisations to follow suit.”
“By generating our own electricity and investing in renewables, we are doing our bit to help meet international and national energy targets,” McGuinness continued. “This is a big step for the City Corporation and it demonstrates our commitment to making us a more socially and environmentally responsible business.”
Of course, the Greater London area has been one of the leading forces for change in the world, implementing countless policy changes covering a broad range of issues such as electric vehicles, more green spaces, and clean energy. New electric taxi’s and buses are commonplace across the city and the city’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced last December his intention to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone to include London-wide buses, coaches, and lorries, as well as expanding the Zone to include North and South circular roads for all vehicles. Mayor Khan is also pioneering efforts to make London the world’s first National Park City with plans to increase the number of trees and green infrastructure around the city.