Monthly Archives: July 2011

London’s Power Stations

30 June 2011: DECC’s annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) has just been published providing a welcome summer reading challenge for all energy-geeks… DUKES is principally concerned with national level energy statistics, and hence does not provide regional breakdowns in most instances (those are usually set out in separate articles in DECC’s quarterly journal Energy Trends). However, there a few issues areas worth looking at. In the first instance, it’s useful to be aware of what power plants operate within London itself, which in total contribute only a small percentage of London’s total electricity demand. The following London schemes are listed in the ‘Power Stations in the UK’ table in Chapter 5 of DUKES, to which some additional information/links have been added to below:

  • Barking Power – a gas fired Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) of 1000 MW (megawatts) generation capacity, which first started operating in 1994
  • Citigen (London) UK Ltd  – based in Charterhouse Street in Smithfields and owned and operated by E.ON, this scheme is fuelled by  gas and gas oil, and is rated 31 MW and first started operating in 1995. The unit operates in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) mode providing heating, and also cooling (via chilled water) distributed by a district energy network to a number of customers in the City area.
  • Thames Valley Power – a joint venture between EDF Energy and ATCO Power, this  Gas/Gas oil 15MW CHP has been operating since 1995 at Heathrow Airport.
  • London Heat & Power Company –  a 9MW gas CHP based at Imperial College which started operation in 2009.
  • Barkantine Heat & Power Company – A 1MW gas fuelled CHP with district heating system based on the Barkantine Estate in Tower Hamlets
  • Taylors Lane – Taylor’s Lane Open Cycle Gas Turbine (OCGT) station, situated in Willesden is operated by E.ON and has two gas turbine units fired on natural gas with a total capacity of 132MW and began generating in 1979.
  • Enfield Power Station– E.ON owned and operated 400MW gas turbine scheme which began generating in 1999.
  • SELCHP – South East London Combined Heat & Power Ltd (SELCHP) 32 MW waste fired operated by Veolia Environmental Services began generating in 1994 – but only in power-only mode. Heat offtake opportunities (so the plant can finally operate in true-CHP mode) are currently being explored with Southwark Council.
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Energy Consumption in London’s Homes

29 July 2011: DECC’s latest Energy Consumption in the UK release includes data and factsheets on the use of energy in the  industrial, transport, domestic and service sectors. Some of the findings from the domestic sector factsheet include:

  • In 2010 domestic consumption was 32 per cent of total UK final energy consumption
  • The majority of energy consumed in the domestic sector is for spacing heating which in 2009 represented 61 per cent of total domestic consumption.
  • Water heating and lighting appliances accounted for a further 18 per cent each with cooking accounting for a further 3 per cent
  • Electricity consumption for lighting purposes represented 33 per cent of electricity consumption by household domestic appliances, followed by cooking (32 per cent) and cold appliances (14 per cent)

No other official data providing a breakdown to this level of energy consumption in homes exists. No regional breakdown is provided or breakdown by dwelling type, hence this is the best available dataset to use in relation to energy consumption in Londoners’ homes. See the following Ofgem factsheet for information on typical total domestic energy consumption.


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Recycling Cooking Oil in London

July 2011: The Committee on Climate Change are currently undertaking a review of bioenergy and took a trip to have a look at the work of Uptown Oil who  collect used cooking oil from about a thousand sources in London – including Young’s pubs, Selfridges and Hackney Borough Council – to produce biodiesel.
Business Green article published last week highlighted that Carluccio’s Restaurant chain – which has around 20 cafes in London – announced that it has signed a deal with biofuel firm Convert2Green to be converted into biofuel.  Other biofuel suppliers in London include:
Uptown Oil based in Borough
Pure Fuels based in Edmonton
Proper Oils who work with a  Croydon Council collection scheme
Uptown have also been selected to supply biofuel to PWC’s new HQ whose energy will be partially supplied by a trigeneration scheme (combined heat and power with cooling) – one of London’s only biofuelled CHP schemes.
Figures for the amount of cooking oil collected in London and be turned into biofuel do not appear to be available, however, a study reported on by the London Assembly in 2009 indicated that 37,000 tonnes of used cooking oil is available in London and the DfT’s latest biofuel statistics state that the “largest single feedstock for UK biofuel was used cooking oil (314m litres, 26% of total biofuel supplied)“. London’s Draft Waste Municipal Waste Strategy commits that the “Mayor will, through his Food to Fuel Alliance, aim to catalyse at least five exemplar food waste projects in London…the Alliance will support food waste projects that generate renewable heat and power (including transport fuel), and compost material for local use.”

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Nuclear Trains Stopped for Olympics

28 July 2011: An interesting issue which hasn’t been raised for some time: “Trains carrying highly radioactive nuclear waste which normally pass through the Olympic Park are to be suspended for the duration of the Olympics. The operator of the trains, Direct Rail Services – a company wholly owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority – has claimed the the suspension is not security-related but to free up track space. The spent nuclear fuel rods, sent from the Sizewell B plant in Suffolk to Sellafield are routed across the North London Line of the London Overground, passing through Stratford, Hackney, Islington and Camden on their way to the West Coast Main Line at Willesden Junction.Read the full article here.

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First Accredited Passivhaus In London

July 2011: A timber framed, two bedroom house in Camden has become the first certified Passivhaus in London, setting a benchmark for energy efficient design for the city. Read the full Green Building Press article here.

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‘Smart’ London street lights to save power

27 July 2011Street lights that can be dimmed to conserve power are to be used across central London to cut energy bills and lower carbon emissions. More than 14,000 lights will be converted as part of Westminster City Council’s Smart Lights project.

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Royal Marsden CHP

27 July 2011:  The Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton has announced that it will be installing a Combined Heat and Power plant (CHP) on site. The capacity of the gas-fired CHP unit isn’t given, but further information on the project is provided on the following press release from MITIE, the engineering company leading the development.

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Indirect emissions from UK households

July 2011: New Economics Foundation research paper-  The distribution of total greenhouse gas emissions by households in the UK, and some implications for social policy which looks at – for the first time – indirect household greenhouse emissions embodied in the consumption of food, consumer goods and services, including imports. No regional breakdown emissions outputs for London, but still useful analysis on an area which will be increasingly studied.

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London Plan Energy & Climate Policies

26 July 2011: After close to two years of consultation, London’s new spatial strategy has been published by the Mayor. The London Plan  forms part of the development plan for Greater London and London boroughs’ local plans need to be in general conformity with the London Plan. Its policies guide decisions on planning applications for new developments and strategies by councils and the Mayor. Chapter 5 of the strategy focuses on London’s response to climate change and building on previous versions of the London Plan (2004 and 2008), which achieved a significant impact on the carbon efficiency of new development, the new London Plan sets out a number of requirements. These include:

  • CO2 savings of 25 per cent more than national building requirements at a minimum on all new developments
  • As previously, all major development should provide detailed energy assessments on how these emission savings are to be made
  • In contrast to the Government’s recent climb-down in its definition of ‘zero carbon’, London Plan Policy 5.2Da requires energy assessments to include separate details of unregulated emissions and proposals for how these emissions are to be reduced
  • When preparing LDFs boroughs should identify opportunities for reducing CO2 emissions from the existing building stock, and also identify and establish decentralised energy network opportunities.
  • With the aid of the London Heat Map, boroughs should develop energy master plans for specific decentralised energy opportunities.

Further policy requirements for decentralised energy systems, renewable and innovative energy technologies and the overheating and cooling of buildings are also set out in the Plan.

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The 10 Pillars of Local Energy Security

July 2011: A new paper from the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) which, in the light of the Government’s recent announcements on electricity market reform, proposes that the main responsibility for leaders in councils now is local energy security. Communities, businesses and the council itself need energy to function and the supply should be reliable and sustainable. The right energy in the right place, now and in the future.

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New National Planning Policy Framework

26 July 2011: As written about previously, Government yesterday released a draft of its new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This, the Government says, presents a “new, simpler framework for the planning system that safeguards the environment while meeting the need for sustainable growth… replacing the current suite of national Planning Policy Statements, Planning Policy Guidance notes and some circulars …to just 52 pages of policy…and  is a key part of reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, and to promote sustainable growth.”

The Government’s previous detailed guidance document has now been replaced by two paras (152 and 153). The NPPF states that: “… local planning authorities should …recognise the responsibility on all communities to contribute to energy generation from renewable or low-carbon sources… consider identifying suitable areas for renewable and low-carbon energy sources, and supporting infrastructure, where this would help secure the development of such sources… identify opportunities where development can draw its energy supply from decentralised, renewable or low carbon energy supply systems and for co-locating potential heat customers and suppliers. “

This is a draft NPPF, and a series of questions on the proposals set out in it are in the accompanying consultation document, including six specific questions on energy (14c-f,  and QB 4,5). The deadline for responses is 17 October 2011.  A consultation workshop in London is to be held on 7 September 2011. Further details are in:
CLG’s press release, a NPPF summary, the Draft NPPF, and the
NPPF Consultation document, and finally the
NPPF Impact assessment.

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The Big Switch

25 July 2011: London Assembly member Mike Tuffrey outlines his new initiative launched today to convert London’s buses, taxis and light goods vehicles to electric power by 2020.

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