Boris bids to make London an electricity supplier

London Mayor Boris Johnson has put in a bid to enable London’s small energy producers to sell energy back to the grid.

If successful, the move is expected to boost the capital’s small energy producers and help encourage low carbon electricity generation methods.

London is the first UK authority to apply for the Ofgen licence which was unveiled in 2009 but has so far not been taken up, likely due to feared legal liability, associated with the devolution of energy provision.

The Mayor has a target to produce 25% of London’s energy from local sources by 2025 and expects that the new license will allow the Greater London Authority to buy excess electricity produced by London boroughs and public bodies. This would then be sold on at cost price to other public sector bodies like the NHS.

If successful, the scheme would then be rolled out to private companies. It is estimated it could generate 850 jobs and £8bn worth of investment in green energies each year until 2025.

“We need to do everything we can to develop a more secure, cost-effective and sustainable energy supply for the capital,” Johnson said. “By pouring more investment into locally sourced energy supplies and reducing carbon emissions we will not only save money for Londoners but drive innovation, jobs and growth in this burgeoning sector.”

Twelve London boroughs already generate some kind of carbon-friendly electricity sources, to power local amenities such as swimming pools or town halls.

However, at present, because they are such small scale producers these borough electricity suppliers sell on their excess to the national grid at below market price. The GLA would rectify this imbalance by paying them near market rates, helping these small producers get between 20 to 30% more for their electricity, which would be sold on at market price.

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