SSE chief outlines carbon hopes for London

The chief executive of Scottish & Southern Energy Ian Marchant has set an ambitious target of getting 500,000 solar roofs in London by 2020. Speaking at a conference dedicated to […]

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By Kelvin Ross at Base London

The chief executive of Scottish & Southern Energy Ian Marchant has set an ambitious target of getting 500,000 solar roofs in London by 2020.

Speaking at a conference dedicated to making the UK’s capital more energy efficient, Mr Marchant said that London “needs to be a green beacon to the UK and the rest of the world”.

He said the capital was perfect for the growth of electric vehicles. “Some 84% of journeys in London are less than 18 miles. They are ideally suited to electric cars. London needs to be at the heart of the adoption of electric vehicles.”

The built environment was the biggest challenge in making London a low-carbon capital, but added that if opportunities were seized, “that is where we can get the biggest bang for our buck”.

On renewables, he said: “There needs to be in London half a million solar roofs by 2020.” He also stated that the capital must tackle its heat output, explaining that “36% of London’s emissions come from heat”.

He said the answer to unlocking carbon-cutting potential would come from partnerships. “I hope the boundaries between the public, private and voluntary sectors merge.”

He was also upbeat about the new government. “I am positive about the new politics in this country.” He said the coalition’s energy policy was “better than all three individual manifestos”.

“Politicians have realised there is good in everybody’s manifesto. We are at an interesting political stage. I am optimistic that the process of government we are seeing in this country is sustainable.”