Monthly Archives: July 2013

Further Funding for London Sustainable Industries Park

July 2013: The Mayor has approved further funding for the development of the London Sustainable Industries Park (LSIP) with the provision of £2.989m to go towards investment in “essential infrastructure”. The new approval form sets out that this spend will include £1 million to bring a gas connection to the London Sustainable Industries Park . The Mayor had previously announced £30m going to LSIP in September 2012, which is based in Dagenham and which will include a new anaerobic digestion plant along with a planned decentralised heat network.

The approval form also provides some background to the development:  “LSIP will create a landmark cleantech business park, concentrating leading environmental industries and technologies. By co-locating businesses that share resources and exchange by-products, the LSIP encourages synergies that can deliver cost savings and competitive advantages through industrial symbiosis. The UK cleantech sector has continued to grow throughout the recent economic downturn and investment in the new infrastructure at the LSIP represents an opportunity to access a market estimated to be worth over £23 billion in London alone and to support up to 750 jobs in clean tech/energy businesses and up to 500 construction jobs.

More on LSIP on their website Further information on the project can be viewed on an earlier post here.

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BG commit to increasing ECO funding in London

July 2013: Claire Williams, MD of BG New Energy, provided a useful summary at BASELondon of key considerations by British Gas in complying with the delivery of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) target, and its relevancy to London.

The shortfall in funding to London’s under previous energy efficiency schemes (the Government’s EEC and CERT programmes) was highlighted and Ms Williams set out that Londoners should get a ‘fair share’ of the estimated £85 per year that all households pay to fund the ECO. Other points raised included:

  • London’s housing stock was relatively old, with a higher proportion than the rest of the country of solid wall homes. Funding for insulation measures in solid wall homes had not been addressed by previous energy efficiency obligations
  • The logistics around delivering services remains a challenge in London: there are problems associated with parking, the congestion charge, suitable storage areas and secure deports.
  • The GLA and boroughs are supporting through the provision of housing stock analysis and helping speed up procurement.
  • The ECO timetable is tight: the programme operates for 27 months – but may initiatives funded may take a year to deliver – often three months along to get through planning

Importantly, Ms Williams went onto say that BG are committed to deploying a large proportion of their national ECO spend in London – at least 20% – with investment already going ahead with £16m targeted at 600 homes in Southwark over the next two years and discussions also going ahead with Lambeth.

The Mayor is currently working on establishing a Memorandum of Understanding with energy companies to help ensure that a larger proportion of energy efficiency funds come to London. Further information on the following post.

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Southwark Heat Network Update

July 2013: Deborah Collins, Strategic Director of Environment and Leisure of Southwark Council provided a useful update of the Southwark Heat Network project at the recent BASELondon show.

1,200 Southwark properties will benefit from the district heating network, which will be fed from currently wasted heat from the SELCHP waste to energy plant, based in neighbouring Lewisham. Work has been ongoing on installing the heat mains for the scheme and it is anticipated that this month will see the completion of all remaining pipes being installed and final boiler room modifications. Testing and calibration of the scheme will run over August and September with October being the target month for heat delivery to residents.

Further information can be viewed on the following presentation.

Southwark will also see further decentralised energy systems in the borough, with CHP and PV systems being installed on the new Elephant and Castle leisure centre and also biomass and PV used in Camberwell at the new Sacred Heart school development.

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Greenhauses for Hammersmith

July 2013: Interesting news that a development of 8 homes in Hammersmith, built by Octavia Living, the not-for-profit housing development arm of Octavia Housing, have been built to passivhaus standards. Hammersmith Today states that the development is based in Sulgrave Gardens, off Shepherd’s Bush Road in the north of Hammersmith, and the passivhaus homes have been branded Greenhauses. There are six town houses and two mews houses, of which only two town houses are still for sale. The Greenhauses website states that these are a “first for London, the scheme will provide homes that cut heating bills by up to 90%.”

Camden had approved back in 2011 the build of a larger – 53 home – passivhaus development in Highgate through their Community Investment Programme. The latest report on the council’s website states that “building work at Chester Balmore is scheduled to complete this summer – with this scheme set to be the largest residential Passivhaus development in the UK.” Further information on this scheme can be read on Rick Mather Architect’s website and in the following article from the Camden New Journal. A useful note on passivhaus standards is on Wilmott Dixon’s website here (Wilmott Dixon are the builder of the Camden site).

Further passivhaus activities in London can be viewed on the following posts.

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London & the Green Deal: An initial assessment

July 2013: DECC issued the first set of detailed quarterly Green Deal Statistics last week which provide include some limited regional results on the roll-out of the Government’s flagship energy efficiency programme. Hence, a picture of the activity in London to date is beginning to emerge. A number of information releases were published simultaneously on June 27  and are set out below, along with points to note for the capital:

  • The data provided is for the Q1 2013 and hence only covers activity up to 31 March 2013. By that time, 9,294 Green Deal assessments had been undertaken in England. The press release issued on June 27 advises that the latest number of assessments carried out is 38,259.
  • 10% of these 9,294 assessments were undertaken in London (set out in Table 1 on p12 of the statistical news release)
  • An accompanying data spreadsheet provides a local authority breakdown of assessments undertaken. Southwark and Haringey observed the highest level of assessments  in London over the first quarter, with 105 and 100 assessments respectively. Kensington & Chelsea, and the City of London the lowest with 1 and zero respectively. A ‘league table’ of London boroughs is provided below
  • London boroughs (including the GLA) was awarded a total of £925,000 under DECC’s Green Deal Pioneer Places programme earlier this year. See earlier post for details. Consequently, a number of local authorities were providing Green Deal assessments to their residents free of charge. These offers ran up to May for some local authorities, hence assessment numbers for Q1 and Q2 will be boosted by the fact that homeowners are broadly having these services provided free over this period.
  • The DECC data spreadsheet also provides detail on houses assessed (type of home, energy efficiency rating of home) and the measures recommended in the assessment. Though useful, this data does not provide any real indication of how many homes will be eventually install energy efficiency measures. DECC’s press release has Minister Greg Barker stating that “78 per cent of people who have received a Green Deal Advice Report, following a Green Deal assessment, said they had, were getting or would get energy saving measures installed.”
  • In the run-up to the launch of the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), Government recognised that London had not received its fair share of funding from the energy supplier obligations in the past, however, they decided not to establish a  London-specific ECO target as they were of the view that London should benefit under ECO as the programme is strongly focussed on the installation of solid wall insulation (SWI) and London has a large percentage of such homes. A real measure of success in the future will hence be the number of SWI installs in the capital. The latest Green Deal & ECO monthly statistics – issued alongside the quarterly statistics – highlight that 1,565 SWI installs were completed over the first quarter of 2013 across the UK. This is at a far lower rate than previous quarters in previous years (see quarterly progress of SWI in Table 1 of DECC Estimates of Home Insulation Levels in Great Britain – released alongside the GD/ECO statistics). Unfortunately, neither the monthly or quarterly statistics provide a regional breakdown of where these installations took place. This is something DECC will need to provide to help better understand if the ECO is being delivered in London.
  • The Green Deal Cash Back offer, an initial ‘sweetener’ offered by Government on a first come – first served basis, has a pot of £125m. The quarterly statistics for vouchers issued by Government actually go beyond the first quarter – to 16 June 2013 – and show that £263k has so far been awarded. Unfortunately, no regional breakdown has been provided of where these vouchers have been awarded.

So, early days as yet for both the Green Deal and the ECO. More detailed data would be helpful to determine the progress of the programmes in London and elsewhere. It will be interesting to see the Mayor’s response to the Green Deal after an assessment is completed for his own home.

Green Deal assessments by borough are provided below and have been re-ordered from that provided in the quarterly spreadsheet into a ‘league table’ order.

Continue reading…

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Interim Funding for London Energy Efficiency Programme

July 2013: The Mayor has approved further interim funding for his domestic energy efficiency funding programme RE:NEW. The approval form MD1199 states that an allocation of £150,000 will be provided to a new interim Programme Delivery Unit (PDU) which is to be part of a programme to “stimulate a step change in the level of domestic retrofit activity in London” . Other actions include:

  • An early delivery programme through DECC’s award of over £5 million funding for fuel poverty, Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) projects in 18 boroughs.
  • A project to help boroughs remove barriers that can be overcome using local powers, such as planning and parking, which currently inhibit retrofit activity in London.
  • Development of a social housing retrofit programme: the GLA is working with social housing providers, boroughs, ALMOs and large private landlords to develop a pipeline of ECO projects that can be contracted through the RE:NEW framework. This pipeline now has over £87 million capital value of energy efficiency projects being reviewed.
  • Development of a RE:NEW delivery model that can best maximise Green Deal and ECO, as well as being adaptable to new funding schemes and sources. The model that has been identified is providing a Programme Delivery Unit to manage the analysis, tendering, delivery and tracking of delivery in social housing, private rented sector and owner occupier sectors across London for both Green Deal and ECO.

However, the approval document goes on to say “While the development of the ECO social housing pipeline has been successful, the resource will not be in place to deliver the projects through to the RE:NEW framework until the full business case has been finalised and funding sought. To avoid a slowdown in delivery during this period, we intend to procure interim support to help manage the early pipeline of projects that have been developed through our work with social housing landlords.”

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Bringing DSR and Planning Together?

1 July 2013: Discussions from the latest (third) meeting of the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group – which took place on 18 June –  have recently been published. The papers can be downloaded here [see details of previous meetings here]. Points of interest include:

  • GLA “officers are currently in the process of setting up a mechanism to provide UKPN regularly with up to date data from the GLA’s London Development Database in particular about planning permission.” Provision of this data will allow UKPN a better understanding of where future developments are likely to come forward, and foresight on where future energy demand – and potential future new decentralised energy generation capacity connected to the distribution network – is likely to be introduced.
  • The minutes also inform that “The GLA and UKPN have also established a sub-group with respective experts to discuss identified Decentralised Energy and demand side response [DSR] issues and develop a joint strategy initially covering UKPN’s demand site [minor typo here in minutes – this should read ‘demand side’] response initiatives and connection cost barrier for Decentralised Energy. The subgroup met on 3 May for the first time and will meet again twice this year.”
  • The minutes also capture the following interesting point: “It was also mentioned that demand side response measures work best in new developments. GLA officers confirmed that development could be encouraged to be ‘demand-side-response ready’ through the London Plan. This will be considered as part of the Further Alterations to the London Plan.” The discussions do not go on to explain how this could be done, but energy management systems on site could potentially reduce the load of a building during times of peak grid system demand (ie reduce lighting or electrical heating/cooling uses, restrict lift use) or potentially looking to onsite decentralised energy systems exporting more of their output (or conversely when there is a lot of wind or perhaps PV output on the grid, onsite DE systems such as CHP could switch off).

UK Power Networks (UKPN) – under their Low Carbon London Programme – are already undertaking trials of such demand response activities – see the following press release.

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London in the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan

1 July 2013: The Department for the Environment have today released  ‘The National Adaptation Programme: Making the country resilient to a changing climate’ which makes a number of interesting references to work being undertaken in the capital responding to future threats that may arise due to climate change. These include:

  • The London Heat Thresholds Project [p27] – further details here
  • Transport for plans to carry out an extensive flood risk review for the London Underground network [p40]
  • The  GLA and London Climate Change Partnership is undertaking a scoping study to understand the adaptation economy in London to meet future local, national and international demand. [p87]
  • The ‘adaptation and resilience’ sub-sector (which also includes activities not specifically addressing climate change) generated £12 billion in the UK in 2011/12.In the same period this sub-sector generated sales of £2.5 billion in 2011-12 in London. In the same period, the climate change element of this sub-sector in London had a turnover of £431 million and employed nearly 4,000 people, demonstrating the potential for growth. [p87]
  • Details of a National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Cities Commitment to be taken forward by the Core Cities group along with London Councils and the Greater London Authority [p 102-104]

An accompanying paper also published today by Defra –  ‘Economics of the national adaptation programme‘  – estimates the growth of energy use in London as a result of increased demand for cooling services.

  • Climate change could lead to increased uptake and use of air cooling systems in buildings.
    • If the uptake of air conditioning systems continues at today’s rate by 2050, so that around 1% of households in those areas have cooling (compared with 0.6% in 2010), energy demand for cooling could triple between 2010 and 2050 in London.
    • If in 2050 half of the households in London had air conditioning, energy demand for cooling could be around 37 times higher in 2050 compared to no climate change and current air conditioning take-up trends. [p14]

The Mayor’s London Climate Change Adaptation Plan was published in 2011 and can be viewed here. See an earlier post on challenges faced by London as a result of potential increasing future temperatures.

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