London must drive smart innovation and investment

London’s population will increase by another 700,000 people by 2020 to more than nine million and electricity demand is still rising between 1-4 percent a year. We must invest in the capital’s infrastructure to deliver more secure, cheaper and greener energy. The Mayor knows that securing London’s energy future is as vital as the current neo-Victorian investment in the capital’s transport infrastructure and delivering the hundreds of thousands of homes to house our burgeoning population.

The Mayor is driving smart innovation and investment to manage demand more efficiently with smart grids and have more of the capital’s energy generated locally, which deliver lower cost and lower carbon energy as well as taking pressure off the national grid.

Through the planning system and being the first to apply for a “junior electricity license,” which will allow smaller generators to sell their excess electricity at a much better rate, the Mayor is de-risking the investment in London’s energy infrastructure. He wants to attract £4-7 billion of investment to deliver his vision of 25 percent of London’s energy being generated locally.

London has a mix of new developments and older infrastructure to retrofit, which makes it the perfect laboratory for smart city innovation to deliver a more secure, more affordable and more environmental energy future. And what can be delivered in London can be scaled up and delivered anywhere in the UK and indeed the world.

This guest post was written by Matthew Pencharz, Environment & Political Advisor to the Mayor of London. Matthew Pencharz's blog post originally ran in excerpt for a piece published in The Sunday Telegraph, March 31, 2013.