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Ken’s ray of sunshine

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The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, has installed photovoltaic panels on his home to promote his Draft Energy Strategy, which calls for the Capital's homebuilders, businesses and homeowners to use solar power.

The strategy, which comes into force next month, outlines targets of 10,000 domestic photovoltaic schemes and 100 installations on commercial and public buildings. Passive solar design must be included in all planning applications referred to the mayor.

Many house builders are dismayed at the enormous costs this will entail when constructing properties and some say the money would be better spent on improving the efficiency of old housing.

But the chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, Philip Sellwood, said: “Commitment from London developers and businesses, coupled with the mayor's personal and public interest in solar power, will boost the market for domestic solar installations across the country, improving the environment across Britain and globally.”

The panels on the mayor's home should prevent half a tonne of CO2 from being emitted each year.

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