As part of the SOAS Green Week in late February, the SOAS Green Group hosted a number of exciting environment-related events. Among the most high-profile was a speaker event by none other than London Mayoral Green Party Candidate, Sian Berry!
Sian kicked off the talk with a punchy intro to some of the key policies that make her stand out from the other London Mayor candidates. These include a capped transport fare across a single London zone, closing City Airport, a Renters union (which would also help tackle student rent prices!!), and stopping estate demolition, among other things.
The talk was then opened up to questions, and what followed was a friendly discussion between the attendees and a very personable Sian.
True to the nature of the Green Party, one of the most exciting policies that came up was the idea of setting up a London Green Energy Company. This would operate as a subsidiary of the UK’s Transport for London (TfL), and would aim to provide for London’s energy needs with locally produced renewable energy.
According to the Green Party website:
‘The proposal aims to reverse government attacks on solar power by setting out clear plans for a major expansion of renewable technology across London. The London Energy Company would help the city to source 20% of its electricity needs from solar power alone. By investing in other renewable technologies, the company is expected to deliver at least 30% of London's energy needs from zero or low-carbon sources by 2030. The clean electricity generated will be used to power Crossrails operations.’
Members of Solar SOAS were present in the audience of the discussion, and of course we wanted to know what impact this would have on community energy projects across London!
When asked about this, Sian said that the company would work to support and encourage community energy projects by partnering with them and potentially aiming to introduce a London-specific Feed-in Tariff. While the details and finer points have yet to be worked out, the idea is that the company will install solar panels across TfL’s 5,700-acre estate of stations, depots, offices, other commercial units and Brownfield sites, as well as on large commercial roof spaces across the capital and on solar farms on London's fringe.
Solar SOAS sends Sian our best wishes in the run-up to the election on May 5th!
Green power to the people!!