Monthly Archives: May 2014

London Smart Grid Projects

May 2014: A new study on smart grid projects being undertaken across the EU also provides an excellent Smart Grids Project Map, and highlights a number of projects going forward in London.

Brief details are provided on 30 smart grid projects in the capital including:

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Barts links energy saving to patient care and saves £105,000 in first year

May 2014: Guardian article on how St Bartholomew’s (Barts) and the Royal London Hospital in London wanted to cut a £12m annual energy bill. “The trust involved three external partners: behavioural change experts Global Action Plan, technology pioneers GE and facilities management specialists Skanska. Each has sustainability at the heart of its rationale and they set about involving employees in two of the trust’s six hospitals in behavioural changes. By concentrating less on the energy message and more on the provision of care, the campaign won the support of staff and saved more than £100,000 and the equivalent of 800 tonnes of CO2 in its first year.

Further details are set out on Global Action Plan’s website here and here.

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Retrofit London project announced

May 2014: News that the Greater London Authority has approved funding, through the European Development Regeneration Fund (ERDF) to award “£525,000  to LB Enfield for the Retrofit London project, to deliver business support to Small and Medium Enterprises in London”.

The approval document sets out that “The ‘Retrofit London’ project is led by LB Enfield, working in partnership with LB Haringey, LB Waltham Forest, LB Lewisham, Enterprise Enfield (EE) and North London Chamber of Commerce (NLCofC).
Retrofit London aims to support 175 SMEs based in Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest and Lewisham, to access new market opportunities, particularly market opportunities driven by the carbon reduction and energy saving agenda.

The approval document also provides some background to the ERDF and sets out that the total project cost is £1.05m as a result of match funding from the partners involved:

LB Enfield (Procurement team): £42,000
Enfield Council: £130,405
LB Haringey: £100,000
LB Lewisham: £75,000
LB Waltham Forest (Procurement team):£42,000
LB Waltham Forest (Economic Development team): £38,000
North London Chamber of Commerce: £47,595
Enterprise Enfield: £50,000

A tender was issued for a Project Manager for the programme, the deadline for which was earlier this week. The project is to set to run until December 2015.

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Rethinking Green Infrastructure

May 2014: A new Arup study Cities Alive – rethinking green infrastructure“shows how the creation of a linked ‘city ecosystem’ that encompasses parks and open spaces; urban trees, streets, squares; woodland and waterways can help create healthier, safer and more prosperous cities. To realise this vision, green infrastructure has to now take a more influential role in the planning and design of cities and urban environments.”

A number of London green infrastructure initiatives are touched on including:

The report also looks at how green infrastructure can help cities adapt to increasing temperatures as a result of climate change. All in all an interesting read!

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Cities of Opportunity

May 2014: A new PWC study “analyzes the trajectory of 30 cities, all capitals of finance, commerce, and culture—and, through their current performance, seeks to open a window on what makes cities function best”. Looking at the ‘Sustainability and natural environment‘ criteria – London came around midway.

Page 42 of the report provides some detail behind this sustainability criteira and the ranking of the cities, with London scoring 79 points – and Stockholm coming first with a total score of 121 points – against categories surveyed which included ‘thermal comfort’, ‘recycled waste’, ‘air pollution’, ‘public park waste’ and …’natural disaster risk’.

The study also reports that across all sectors surveyed, which include areas such as innovation, technology, and transportation and infrastructure, London has the highest overall score by “a good margin”.. which is nice!

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An invitation to the UK’s most Energy Efficient School Building

May 2014: Interesting news that the UK’s most energy efficiency school building is in Barnet, and was recently awarded winner in the ‘Non Domestic’ building category at the 2014 GreenBuild awards. Grasvenor Avenue Infant School is based on a modular building Schoolhaus design by UK Energy Partners (UKEP), which – as this ENDS case study sets out – was inspired by the James Review, which recommended standardised design and modern off-site building methods for schools. A standardised off-site construction processes enables big cuts in embodied carbon emissions in the production and supply chain and delivers a combined energy use and cost savings of 80% compared with traditional school buildings with a passive index-linked revenue from the integrated solar PV roof.

UKEP are organising a tour of the building on 29 and 30 May. Full details on how to register for a tour on UKEP’s website here.

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“inner-city areas are often the most heat-energy efficient”

21 May 2014“New research shows that the compact, taller buildings typical of inner-city areas are often the most heat-energy efficient – research by LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and the European Institute for Energy Research looked specifically at the role building design can play at the impact of the basic configurations of residential buildings (“urban morphology”) on energy demand. This impact is a result of two principal determinants of the thermal performance of buildings: the level of exposure to sunlight, which allows buildings to absorb passive solar heat; and the relative amount of external walls, which lead to heat losses” – read full Guardian article here.

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Heatwave Plan for England

14 May 2014: A new Heatwave Plan for England has been published today by the Public Health England. With respect to London, the Plan mentions:

  • Extreme temperatures on the London Underground network could lead to a range of health and safety challenges.London Underground network operations monitor Met Office weather forecasts, and if temperatures are forecast not to fall below 24°C for three days running they will get ready to implement plans to deploy hot weather notices and bottled water supply, as well as measures to prevent track buckling.
  • On a critical issue for London which is air pollution, the Plan states that – smogs typically accompany heatwaves as these often occur during periods of limited dispersion and /or easterly continental air masses arriving in the UK. As a result pollutants are less well spread or added to a higher background concentration which can lead to high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. Heatwave conditions often lead to increased ozone levels following interactions of other pollutants with sunlight.

The Heatwave Plan also mentions a number factors which are likely to put increasing pressure on the supply of electricity – something which is likely to become more important as climate change impacts grow:

  • At a time when energy companies traditionally maintain power stations for the winter by standing units down over the summer, rising temperatures increase the demand for supply due to the use of air-conditioning units and reduce the power-carrying capacity of the system, as it is harder to cool conductors – this will restrict the ‘maintenance window’ available and could ultimately require greater redundancy on the system to permit maintenance.
  • Rising temperatures cause cooling problems for power stations as they are unable to cool components. This effect has been experienced in France, but not yet to a serious extent in the UK.
  • High air temperatures are more of a problem and nuclear reactors can trip out at above 40°C, although this has never yet been reached at any site (38°C being the record).
  • Rising temperatures lower power station efficiency. This effect is of lower concern than the two effects above.
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