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Solar energy projects on the tidal Thames and estuary could help the Port of London generate electricity. 

There are a lot of structures along the river -- port terminals, piers and wharves -- that have roof space to install panels to produce electricity, even to just power the navigational and operational lights on the sites, thereby reducing the amount taken from the grid or required from standby generators. 

The south east of England has the benefit of higher solar production, as the figure below shows. 

The cost of solar generation has started to equalise against traditional and fossil fuels (BEIS, 2020), reducing the cost per kw for the operator. If closer to demand this can be used when combined with battery storage when the grid providers raise costs a certain times of peak demand. Many operations can be asked to switch off during this demand peak if there are more essential services to supply. This is not as practical for port operations working to the tide, renewable options become viable to run ‘off-grid’ options during such constraints that may increase in the future. 

Page updated 18/2/2022