The City Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee has, today, set out a pathway to a net-zero energy system in the City by 2040, by approving the strategic direction set out in a new Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP).
Following the approval of the Climate Action Strategy, back in October 2020, the City Corporation committed to development of a LAEP which has now been formally endorsed by committee members.
It will see seven priority intervention areas targeted by the City Corporation, local businesses and other stakeholder organisations, in pursuing the new energy system pathway. The areas are:
- Maximising the energy-efficiency of buildings;
- Maximising rooftop PV;
- Decarbonising transport;
- Decarbonising heat;
- Implementing waste capture and exchange;
- Reinforcing the electricity distribution network; and
- Rolling out energy system flexibility.
With the commercial building sector responsible for around 65% of the Square Mile’s carbon footprint, the primary area of focus will be a blend of deep retrofit interventions applied to the City’s existing building stock, together with new and upgraded heat networks.
‘Retrofitting’ is considered a carbon friendly alternative to demolishing old buildings and instead refurbishing them, with new technology and more environmentally friendly materials. The City Corporation is already encouraging developers to seriously consider retrofitting, as opposed to demolition and redevelopment of sites as a matter of policy, through its ‘Carbon Options Guidance. Many retrofit projects have already been completed, with some being recently shortlisted at the New London Architecture Awards.
Chairman of the City of London’s Policy and Resources Committee, Chris Hayward, said, “The built environment is critical in supporting central London’s transition to a more sustainable economy and that is why I am delighted that the committee has endorsed this Local Area Energy Plan, effectively securing a route to a net zero Square Mile by 2040.
“With buildings accounting for the majority of the Square Mile’s carbon footprint, reducing emissions in the sector will be pivotal for addressing climate change, as well as maintaining the City’s status not just as a place of work, but also as a world-leading, seven-day-a-week leisure destination.”
Dr Alban Leiper, Whole Energy Systems Expert and Project Manager at Arup said, “We engaged with diverse stakeholders working across the energy system and within the City Corporation to understand the challenges and opportunities facing this unique area of London.
“The insights were coupled with deep technical analysis to produce a Local Area Energy Plan that addresses the whole energy system and sets out deliverable and measurable actions to enable the City Corporation to achieve their net zero goals.”