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Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2006, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
London: Energy gap
Zia Trench
Zia Trench
Politics Show London

Solar panels
Ok, we complain about the lack of sun - but at least harness what we get

Put simply, the amount of energy we are predicted to need is more than the non-renewable resources left to use.

And solving this dilemma is the subject of reviews, debates and strategies from local, national and international politicians.

A sleepy Surrey commuter town just 29 miles from the centre of London is the unlikely setting for some futuristic and expensive solutions.

In Woking town centre there are:

  • parking meters with onboard solar panels
  • photovoltaic cells on buildings
  • natural gas power station fuelling the council offices
  • and a car park testing street lights, powered by mini wind turbines

It is the way it is integrated, that sets Woking as a "pioneer" council apart from the others.

Man in mask
Air pollution is driving some to extreme action in self preservation

Moreover, the integrated system won Allan Jones, the man in charge of the Woking team, a reputation.

Mayoral pledge

Woking is 85% self-sufficient and 11% of this is from renewable resources.

It is testing what is achievable and is linked with Ken Livingstone's pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% in the capital by 2010 - on the way to making London the green capital of Europe.

So who better to get on board, that Allan Jones?

Ken Livingston brought him in to be London's CEO for the London Climate Change Agency, with tackling climate change and promoting sustainable and renewable energy on his agenda.

But do we need a climate change agency?

While it is a worthy cause, does the refusal of China and India to commit to green energy production mean we are swimming against the tide?

Should be looking at Air pollution instead?

Wind turbine
Wind turbines are becoming commonplace now

Alternatively, are all these hi-tech solutions just too much in their infancy, to provide the answer planners seek?

Green inequality

We examine the environmental inequalities in the capital and ask what can be done to ensure that the pound in your pocket is not the sole factor in determining the quality of the air you breathe or "greenness" of the space around you.

Among the guests, joining the programme to discuss the issue is Darren Johnson, London's most high profile spokesperson.

Also on the programme...

Living Roofs

We climb 166m in Canary Wharf to find out more about the green roof phenomenon sweeping the capital. Now, is that copper or grass - wait and see...

The Politics Show London

Join the Politics Show team on Sunday 22 October 2006 at 12:00 BST on BBC One.

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11 Sep 05 |  Politics Show

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