London to Embrace Electric Heating and Cooling Amid Air Pollution Worries

Because of high levels of air pollution in London, mayor Sadiq Khan has announced the first of 50 air quality audits, all of which will take place at primary schools in the worst-polluted areas.

The work is to include an assessment of possibilities for incorporation of district heating and cooling schemes in order to curb emissions near schools in the UK capital. According to decentralized-energy.com, one aspect of the audits will be opportunities to reduce fossil fuel use. The site quoted Paddy Pope, associate with WSP, the firm handling the audits, as saying:

“For example, switching to all electric heating and cooling systems which would eliminate local emissions as well as helping to decarbonize heating and cooling. We would suggest this is a more effective option for improving air quality compared to decentralized energy – which will generally rely on combustion of gas or wood – and so local emissions and reduction in air quality. CHP (combined heat and power) systems also lock in carbon emissions, whilst an all-electric heating and cooling system will allow the associated emissions to fall as the grid decarbonizes.”

The audits are estimated to be completed by the end of this year, with reports finished by March 2018.

London began taking steps towards energy efficiency and reducing emissions in 2011 when “Energy for London” was created. The movement both tracks and supports initiatives being taken forward to help respond to the London’s huge demand for energy.

Just this month it was announced that Uber drivers in London will be required to use either hybrid or fully electric vehicles by 2020; today, just under half of London Uber drivers have cars that fit the bill. By 2025, 100% of the company’s cars in London must be fully electric or plug-in hybrids, which generally don’t switch to gasoline until the battery dies after about 40 miles, according to The Guardian. The city’s customers will pay a surcharge to help cover the cost.

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