Last week Transport for London (TfL) announced that it has opened for tendering for its first Power Purchase Agreement. This is the start of one of the major changes to one of the world’s biggest transport networks. It will facilitate up to 10% of TfL’s required electricity coming from new build renewable energy assets – but it’s just the start. This will build towards TfL’s overall aim for all its power to be provided by renewable sources by 2030. It will be a vast undertaking, but this plays a crucial part in the Mayor of London’s goal of Net Zero by 2030 and aims to tackle the challenges of air pollution and the climate emergency.
The launch of TfL’s Power Purchase Agreement is a great opportunity for a renewable energy provider. This contract offers renewable generators the potential to sell their energy to one of the most reliable, essential and attractive electricity customers in Britain. TfL is one of the largest electricity consumers in the UK, with a requirement for up to 1.6TWh per year, which is equivalent to the electricity consumed by around 420,000 homes or 12% of homes across London, and is the single biggest consumer in London. TfL is committed to doing what it can, to decarbonise London through clean, renewable energy. This tender is the first step to ensuring a new, reliable and well-established customer for renewable source electricity for the long term and so it will help increase demand for new solar and wind generation in the UK. By using a phased approach, TfL hopes to work with the energy industry to learn and adapt the most reliable way to transition our electricity.
With more than five million passenger journeys a day on the Tube alone, this is an ambitious plan to make London’s public transport network cleaner and greener. The Mayor is determined that London takes the bold action needed to tackle air pollution and the climate emergency, and cities have a responsibility to act and show what is possible. This is exactly what this power will do – demonstrating to cities around the world how we can commit to phasing out the use of fossil fuels. We welcome interest from those that agree with TfL and the Mayor that net zero by 2030 is an ambitious destination, but it’s a journey we can make together.
It was back in December 2018 that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, declared a Climate Emergency and so committed to making London Net Zero Carbon by 2030. As London’s strategic transport authority, TfL shares this goal as its own. As one of the world’s largest and most high-profile transport operators, as well as being one of London’s largest landowners, TfL has a unique and vital role to play in tackling the climate crisis. We are looking forward to finding the right partners to take TfL into being a renewable giant, ready to help London achieve its Net Zero ambition.
As one of the world’s largest and most high-profile transport operators, as well as being one of London’s largest landowners, TfL has a unique and vital role to play in tackling the climate crisis. Its Corporate Environment Plan, published in 2021, sets out how it will work to address the climate crisis and support London’s green and inclusive recovery so London can become an even more economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable place to live, work and travel in.
This means not just creating solutions that make our planet and capital a greener place to live, but collaborating with others to take action that also creates a better and more sustainable society as a whole – encouraging enterprise, enabling new job and educational opportunities, and supporting a green economy. As part of this, TfL has begun tendering for its first Power Purchase Agreement.
This contract is just one of many ways that TfL is working to seize opportunities to work with others to make an even larger impact to improve the environment. Across London, there are now more than 850 zero-emission buses, reducing emissions and helping to drive the wider take-up of electric buses across the UK.
TfL is committed to delivering a fully zero-emission bus fleet in London by 2034, as outlined in its Bus Action Plan, and is working with bus manufacturers to develop a vibrant and competitive zero-emission market, alongside work with stakeholders to ensure the necessary infrastructure is available to enable the transition.
Since January, all newly licensed private hire vehicles must be zero emission capable, and drivers now have 11,000 electric charging points to choose from across the capital. We are already seeing the impact of London’s pioneering approach, as there are more than 6,000 black cabs – more than 40% of those in London – that are now capable of not producing any emissions at their exhausts.
The cost of inaction to our economies, livelihoods, the environment and the health of Londoners far outweighs the cost to transition to Net Zero – and we simply don’t have time to waste. Everyone deserves to breathe clean air, and the Mayor and TfL are fully committed to delivering the change needed to build a cleaner, greener, fairer London for all.