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Southwark Council to pilot groundbreaking energy projects

Southwark Council is to trial groundbreaking renewable energy technologies, such as wind turbines and fuel from used cooking oil, as part of the Mayor’s Energy Strategy, following an announcement last week.

Elephant and Castle and Aylesbury Estate have been selected to become Energy Action Areas, along with three other London locations. The areas will act as a showcase for low-carbon communities, delivering a range of sustainable energy techniques and technologies. The London Energy Partnership will oversee the project in their role as implementers of the Mayor’s strategic energy plan.

The Southwark programme will consider how a wide range of sustainable energy technologies can be incorporated into new-build mixed-tenure housing and existing private and social housing, as well as retail, commercial, leisure and educational uses.

Elephant and Castle is the focus of a £1.5 billion, ten-year regeneration programme. A cornerstone of the adopted planning guidance for the area is a futuristic energy strategy that will encompass all 5, 300 new homes and 75 000 m2 of new retail and leisure space. The main objective is that carbon emissions will not grow beyond their present levels when the development is complete. Initial studies undertaken as part of the redevelopment programme show that a basket of measures will be needed to achieve this, comprising:
• Best practice energy efficiency targets
• The installation of combined heat and power (CHP)
• A minimum 10% contribution from renewables

The Aylesbury Estate has also been identified by the Mayor as another Energy Action Area and this will be considered when Southwark Council reviews options for the estate’s future.

Richard Thomas, Southwark Council’s Executive Member for the Environment said:
‘Southwark Council is delighted to be selected to pilot this pioneering scheme. The large-scale regeneration taking place in Southwark presents us with huge opportunities to introduce environmental measures that will have a significant impact on London targets.’

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said:
‘We need to implement major energy projects on the ground to forge the way in producing more sustainable energy and cutting London’s contribution to climate change. The four successful areas announced today by the London Energy Partnership represent an exciting mix of projects offering a range of responses to meeting the challenging targets I set out in my Energy Strategy. The experience that we gain in these areas will be used in developments across London and will establish London as a world-class city, recognised globally as a leader in exemplar sustainable energy developments.’

The London Energy Partnership will support Southwark Council by helping to identify further funding opportunities, as well as acting as an advisory service and providing political endorsement.

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