Monthly Archives: September 2013

Shoreditch Heat Network Nominated for Green Award

September 2013: Hackney Homes has been nominated for an Inside Housing Green Performance Award for its recent refurbishment of the Shoreditch Heat Network. Further details on this scheme are provided on the following Vital Energi case study which describes how the company went about “replacing their ageing, inefficient and expensive gas and oil fired boilers with the London Borough of Hackney’s first council-owned Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant and heat network. Further details are also in the following article in the Hackney Post.

Hackney Homes set out that the network installed is “More energy efficient than traditional methods of generation, the combined heat and power engine burns natural gas to generate electricity and uses the heat generated to supply heating and hot water.
Residents will receive individual heat metering prepayment cards, giving them the freedom to manage and budget for their own heating; reducing the financial burden on households whose energy consumption is low.”

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New VNEB District Heating Feasibility Study released

September 2013: Building on the November 2012 Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea (VNEB) Energy Masterplan (7.8MB) (also see a previous post here on the earlier Opportunity Area Planning Framework for VNEB), a more detailed  District Heating Feasibility Study has now been prepared for Wandsworth borough council and has been published online on the London Heat Map website.

The Nov 2012 study set out that the “Vauxhall Nine Elms Battersea Opportunity Area (VNEB OA) includes some of the highest density, large-scale development anywhere in London. As such, it offers huge potential for the development of a coherent, low carbon energy supply system.”

Key recommendations at the time included:

  • To implement kick-start networks based around early loads in three locations, with routes identified as i. Lambeth ii. Central iii Battersea
  • To continue dialogue with the new US Embassy development to show that a district energy network could be developed with benefits for the area and the Embassy.
  • To open discussions to reinstate the hydraulic link to the Pimlico District Heating Undertaking Energy Centre – this is referring to a tunnel under the Thames which originally supplied waste heat from Battersea Power Station to the Pimlico District Heating system on the north side of the river (see more on this here and here).

Building on this the new 2013 District Heating Feasibility Study seeks to demonstrate the “commercial case both for individual developers and a centralised operator of a district heating network” examining opportunities for two potential heat network options “the developers’ non-networked approach (as expressed in individual site energy strategy documents)… Heat prices are then set to offer a fixed level of whole life cost benefit to developers connecting to the system. Second, the economic performance of heat delivery for the central scheme operator is demonstrated based on the heat prices identified from the developer perspective.”

Phasing of the build-out of the networks is considered alongwith an investment analysis of the different network options.  Key to the recommendations sets out on page of the report is identifying a “project champion’ within the delivery vehicle to provide impetus and encouragement to the private sector to participate in the scheme”.

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Green Deal by London Parliamentary Constituencies

September 2013: New Green Deal data released by DECC last week (see earlier post for full details) provides for the first time Green Deal assessments undertaken in each parliamentary constituency. It turns out that constituency with the highest number of assessments  was a London one – Poplar and Limehouse. Table 1b of the dataset records assessments over the period January to June 30 2013 for each of the 573 UK constituencies. Poplar and Limehouse reports the highest number with 462 assessments: however another London constituency also records the lowest number – ‘Cities of London & Westminster‘ with only 3. To put these numbers in context, from the dataset it can be calculated that the average number of assessments undertaken to per constituency date is 75.

A full list of London parliamentary constituencies and number of Green Deal assessments taken – from highest to lowest – is provided below.  Continue reading…

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Southwark Heat Network to go ‘live’ in next few months

September 2013: Detailed interview in Inside Housing on the new SELCHP district heating project. “Southwark Council is one of the few landlords with ‘pipes in the ground’ for a new district heating system. One of the scheme’s masterminds is councillor Barrie Hargrove.” Points raised include:

  • The scheme is “looking at connecting before the winter period – October or November at the latest.”
  • The captured waste heat from SELCHP will go through a heat network to an five existing Southwark housing district heating network replacing heat produced from existing gas boilers. “It’s cheaper for the tenants and residents living in 2,500 homes as well, particularly for the council leaseholders because they’ll be paying 10 per cent less than the price of gas.”
  • The scheme “cost £7 million – Veolia have put the capital in, there’s no capital cost to the council. Council tenants and leaseholders pay Veolia for their heating bills. There will be a profit share between the council and Veolia.”

Read the full interview here.

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London seminar on measuring city GHG emissions

September 2013: C40 Cities and Siemens’ Infrastructure & Cities sector held a breakfast seminar in London earlier this month on methods to help improve the measurement of city greenhouse gas emissions. A C40 blog sets out discussions held on the day, which focussed around the Pilot Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Further information on work taken to date on this initiative with 33 cities is posted at the World Resources Initiative (WRI) and full detail on the design of the tool is on the the GHG protocol website.

London has had an inventory in place for around a decade. The latest London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI) was updated for 2011 data just over a month ago and is posted on the London Datastore – details of which are in an earlier post here.

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Green Deal & ECO in London – six months in

September 2013: Following the publication of the first quarterly set of detailed Green Deal and ECO (Energy Company Obligation) data back in July (details of which are outlined in the following post here) DECC has now published the much anticipated second quarter’s data set on 19 September 2013 (press release here).

In contrast to the regular monthly DECC datasets, the quarterly data provides a regional breakdown of  i.Green Deal assessments undertaken ii. ECO measures installed and data on iii. Green Deal cashback vouchers offered, allowing some idea of how the Government’s new energy efficiency regime is progressing in London.

Continue reading…

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Mayor’s concerns over London’s future electricity supply – correspondence with Ed Davey

September 2013:  The Mayor’s concerns over “uncertainties of our energy supply and growing chances of supply disruption in the coming years” have been highlighted in correspondence between Boris Johnson and Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey,  released this week.

The Mayor writes that his “priority is delivering the jobs and growth that will ensure London remains the best big city in the world in which we live, work and invest, and having a secure energy supply will be absolutely crucial to achieving this… I am adamant that we must do everything in our power now to ensure that the lights will stay on in the future.”

The Mayor calls for major changes to the regulatory control framework rules for distribution network operators (DNOs). As these are predominantly monopoly businesses, the operating framework is set by energy regulator Ofgem. DNOs are the companies operating the local electricity grid (as opposed to the higher voltage ‘national transmission grid’) and in London the majority of the distribution network is managed by UK Power Networks and parts of west London by Scottish & Southern Energy. The Mayor letter calls for a “urgent review of the currently regulatory regime to ensure that DNOs are able to invest in energy infrastructure and install capacity ahead of need”.

The Mayor highlights problems with current legislation and – interestinglypoints to “the way Ofgem interprets and exercises its regulatory functions [which] are not fit for purpose” and finally calls upon the Secretary of State for ideas on how to give “DNOs in London substantially more scope and flexibility to reduce the level of network stress and improve strategic investment in London’s electricity infrastructure.”

In response to the tightening of electricity supply capacity over the next few years Ed Davey refers to possible extensions to existing balancing services operated by National Grid and in the “medium term …steps to ensure sufficient investment in capacity via the Capacity Market, with the first auction taking place in 2014 for 2018/19 delivery.”

On the issue often brought up by businesses – the speed of installing electricity connections to new users – the Minster’s letter touches upon current Ofgem work to set the new electricity distribution price control (called RIIO ED1) and sets out that “the existing framework provides the flexibility to drive efficiency outcomes in the vast majority of cases.”

The Mayor’s correspondence with Ed Davey is set out in Appendix 6a of the following GLA document.

The Mayor has established a ‘High Level Electricity Working Group’ to look at many of the issues raised above and minutes and papers from the three meetings that have taken place to date of this group can be found here. A further recent paper looking at London’s electricity infrastructure  by the London Infrastructure Group can be viewed here.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

September 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

How the Mayor’s programmes will respond to the forthcoming IPCC’s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 5th Assessment Report; the Mayor’s “climate sceptic views“; London’s growing energy demand; £145k spend on climate change adaptation;  the amount of energy generated from waste incineration; the number of GLA officers working on energy efficiency retrofit; the amount of ECO funding that could be directed to London; the operation of the RE:FIT schools energy efficiency programme in Harrow; the RE:FIT schools programme in Brent; Government’s proposed changes to building regulations and its potential impact on London Plan energy requirements; the Mayor’s response to DECC’s Community Energy – Call for Evidence; the Mayor’s support for community energy schemes in London – such as Brixton Energy; publication of the latest London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI); the cost of producing Using Local Powers to Maximise Energy Efficiency Retrofit – How to’ materials for London’? (report here); the terms of loans provided by the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF); extending LEEF loans to the private sector; details of the LEEF Advisory Committee; consultancy companies working on LEEF; the amount spent by LEEF; the number of loans given out by LEEF; rollover energy contracts for SMEs; Londoners energy bills; the amount of renewable electricity provided by Source London electric vehicle charging points; funds previously spent on adding energy efficiency measures to Metropolitan Police buildings currently for sale; developing a Fuel Poverty Action Plan for London; the supply of electricity to London’s electric vehicle charging points; the supply of electricity to London Underground; London Green Deal targets; a London Green Roofs map; the Mayor’s Green Deal assessment on his home; stimulating Green Deal finance packages; spend of the Green Bus Fund; funding received from the Green Bus Fund; identifying brownfield land in London suitable for sustainable energy projects; CO2 savings achieved by the Mayor’s climate change programmes; potential for the London Pension Fund Authority to invest in low carbon energy projects; when the next update to the Mayor’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy is to be published; how climate change will affect London’s summer temperatures; new anaerobic digestion plant in Surrey; the level of waste being directed to the Beddington incinerator; the London Plan’s policies on incineration; the Mayor’s approval of the Beddington incinerator; if the Mayor had pressed for the Beddington project to develop as a anaerobic digestion plant; if the Beddington incinerator can operate in combined heat and power (CHP) mode; heat network around the Beddington incinerator; the growth of waste incineration in London to 2016; the role for future incineration in London; local planning controls and fracking; the fracking potential in London; details of the new RE:NEW domestic energy efficiency programme; targets for the new RE:NEW programme; the choice of the Capita Group to manage the new RE:NEW programme; GLA buildings that have been treated by the RE:FIT programme; whether the Mayor’s Environment advisor had visited the Kings Cross CHP and district heating scheme.

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“The Mayor’s promise of clean and cheap energy from fracking is ‘fool’s gold’”

16 September 2013: News release from London Assembly member, Jenny Jones of the Green Party, in response to the Mayor’s article in The Sun this weekend, which called on  Government to accelerate the use of new nuclear power and exploiting shale gas resources via fracking. Ms Jones release ‘The Mayor’s promise of clean and cheap energy from fracking is ‘fool’s gold'” states:

“Instead of putting enough resources into measures such as home insulation that will cut our energy demand, and into renewables such as wind turbines, the Mayor is gambling our future by backing risky technologies such as nuclear and fracking.”

A further response has been posted by online news journal Carbon Brief. Echoing comments in the earlier post on this site on the timeframe to bring in new nuclear and fracking sites, Carbon Brief provides a detailed response to the Mayor’s vision setting out that Boris’s energy policy quick fix will take a decade to kick in“.

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Boris sets out his support for both nuclear & fracking

15 September 2013: The Mayor has decided to set forth his views on UK energy policy in the national press once again. After writing to The Times back in July (see below), Boris has now penned a piece for The Sun (behind paywall…but fortunately reported elsewhere), where he states that: “the country needs to ‘grow some collective cojones and launch the nuclear energy programme that this country has too long delayed… Next, we must stop pussy-footing around, and get fracking. Even if we have 100s of fracking pads, they are nothing like as ugly as windmills, and they can be dismantled as soon as the gas is extracted.”

The Mayor continues in a similar vein in the article (also reported here ‘Boris on our ‘pathetic apology’ for an energy policy‘) railing against wind turbines – echoing views from a radio interview he undertook on LBC earlier this year (Wind farms couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding, says Boris Johnson).

Boris has previously used his weekly Daily Telegraph column to champion gas fracking (Ignore the doom merchants, Britain should get fracking) and much of the commentary for The Sun article was previously set out in a letter the Mayor sent to the The Times a few months ago:

” Sir, Many people have not yet woken up to the reality that the population of London is now growing faster than any city in Europe. As I make clear in our 2020 Vision, this demographic explosion is placing huge demands on our infrastructure — including power generation. It is a tragic comment on Labour’s failure to plan ahead that in only two years our electricity capacity headroom (the difference between demand and supply) will be down to 2 per cent. We will have to ask some of our more energy-intensive industries not to operate at peak times, the kind of policy we last saw in the 1970s. It is time for maximum boldness in energy supply. I fully support the Government’s drive for nuclear power, and if reserves of shale can be exploited in London we should leave no stone unturned, or unfracked, in the cause of keeping the lights on.
Boris Johnson Mayor of London” July 2 2013

That letter was a response to energy regulator Ofgem’s capacity report which set out that “electricity supplies are set to tighten faster than previously expected in the middle of this decade”. Energy security appears to have become a greater concern to the Mayor since raised by London businesses, and has led to the establishment of a London ‘High Level Electricity Working Group‘ coordinated by the GLA.

Whilst security of energy supply issues are a real concern, the Mayor’s choice of solutions are of no real help at all. Nuclear negotiations have stalled over the past year, and even if agreement were reached today, the first power produced by a new nuclear plant is the best part of a decade away – well after the 2015 capacity concerns. Discussions around shale gas have become increasingly polarised: whatever the final outcome, it is unlikely that fracked gas will have any significant role to play in the nation’s energy mix for some time.

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Mayor’s Energy Advisor Visits Brixton Energy

September 2013: It seems the Brixton Energy Solar (BES) projects are the place to be seen! Following visits from Labour Shadow Energy Minister Luciana Berger back in 2012, and a joint visit by the Secretary of State for Energy and the Minister for Energy (Ed Davey MP and Greg Barker MP respectively) earlier this summer, where the Government’s Community Energy Call for Evidence paper was launched, the Mayor’s Energy & Environment Advisor Matthew Pencharz paid a visit to the team and project in August.

Flagging Matthew on the left and right are BES Directors Agamemnon Otero and Andre Pinho.

PS … And good to see Labour Shadow Secretary of State for Business – and Streatham MP – Chuka Umuna visiting the Brixton site on 13 September alongside Imogen Walker, Lambeth’s cabinet member for Environment & Sustainability & Labour councillor for Stockwell. It will be interesting to see what – if anything! – these high profile visitors can do to help support the growth of community-led energy schemes in London…

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London’s Zero Carbon Energy Resource

September 2013: Detailed GLA-commissioned study looking at “two particular categories of heat, both of which can be termed ‘secondary sources’: waste heat arising as a by-product of industrial and commercial activities; and the heat that exists naturally within the environment (air, ground, water).

Details of the full report here (direct links below) the findings of which include:

  • For most secondary heat sources, their temperature is too low for direct use. It is therefore necessary to ‘upgrade’ them to a useful temperature using heat pumps. Heat pump efficiency is important for secondary heat source utilisation as it affects the cost and carbon intensity of the heat delivered and will impact London’s electrical infrastructure.
  • Analysis shows that by using heat pumps to deliver heat at 70°C, the total heat that could be delivered from secondary sources in London is of the order of 71 TWh/yr which is more than the city’s total estimated heat demand of 66 TWh/yr in 2010.
  • The proportion of London’s heating demand that could be met by district heating networks operating at 70°C could rise to 30 TWh/yr by 2050, assuming ambitious retrofit programmes were implemented over that period.

Secondary Heat Study – Summary Report
Secondary Heat Study – Phase 1
Secondary Heat Study – Phase 2
Datasets for the study are available on the London Datastore

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