Transport for London (TfL) has taken the first step towards sourcing all the Underground’s electricity from renewable energy.
TfL has publicly published its renewable energy requirements, called Power Purchase Agreements, which means companies can start bidding for the government body’s contracts.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the move was “a vital step towards my ambitions for TfL – and London – to be zero-carbon by 2030.”
TfL is London’s largest single consumer of electricity, and the Tube uses 1,701 GWh of the total, according to our research – meaning it releases 167 tonnes of CO2 per year.
A better future
The Mayor said that despite the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the globe, it was still vital to focus on tackling climate change by reducing carbon emissions.
“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact but as we recover we want to make sure that we build a better, greener and more equal city,” said Khan.
“This work to secure cost-effective and renewable energy for the rail network, with ambitions to include the wider GLA (Greater London Authority) group and beyond, will play a key role in London’s green recovery and accelerating action on the climate emergency.”
Eco Experts research shows that the UK’s CO2e emissions have dropped by 30.45 million tonnes during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Tube usage fell to 7.76% of its normal level during the COVID-19 lockdown
London alone has seen its emissions fall by 1.17 million tonnes.
Greenpeace UK’s Rebecca Newsom said this was an opportunity to ensure that London emerged from the tragedy and economic downturn caused by the virus with climate-friendly policies.
“Green, affordable public transport is crucial for delivering a successful recovery as we emerge from lockdown,” she said.
“These plans for renewable Power Purchase Agreements with TfL take an important step in the right direction.
“If they are rolled out at the right speed and scale, they will also help to boost renewables across the UK, supporting green jobs and progress towards meeting our national climate targets.”
In 2019, the UK government set a target of becoming net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.