Erratic oil prices, safety incidents at nuclear power plants and geopolitical issues have made large scale energy production increasingly challenging. Some national governments and local authorities have provided substantial incentives for small-scale, local power generation and improved energy efficiency.
Energy generation within urban population centres poses a significant challenge: with land prices at a premium, especially in cities like London, renewable power sources which require large amounts of space to generate electricity get priced out of the market. To overcome this some innovative thinking is needed.
One example of this is London’s Blackfriars Bridge, which spans the River Thames with over 4,400 solar panels. These provide over 50% of Blackfriars Station’s electricity needs and save over 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.