Monthly Archives: November 2020

BEIS green light for biggest battery in the UK

30 November 2020: Outside of London, but relevant to managing the supply of offshore wind electricity supplies into the city. “Scottish company InterGen has been granted consent by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to build the country’s largest battery energy storage facility on the banks of the Thames River in Essex, England. The 320MW/640 megawatt-hour DP World London Gateway project could ultimately deliver 1.3GWh of power, the company said. It added that, when fully charged, the battery could power up to 300,000 homes for two hours. However, it will mostly be used to support and stabilise existing electricity supplies. Construction is likely to start in 2022, with the battery plant becoming operational in 2024.” Read the full story on Renews here.

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Open Data: UK Power Networks

November 2020: An interesting new initiative from London’s (main) distribution network operator UK Power Networks (UKPN) providing “data for the first time, covering three themes: facilitating Net Zero, improving the network and informing strategy.” The initiative responds to the Energy Data Taskforce recommendations made in their 2019 report which highlighted that the energy transition is being impeded by often poor quality, inaccurate, or missing data, while valuable data is often restricted or hard to find.

There’s a lot here – a few quick points of interest to me:

  • UK Power Network set out their pathway for opening up data in their Digital Strategy paper from December 2019 – available here
  • Under the ‘Network Data’ tab an Embedded Capacity Register is available providing information on generation and storage resources (>1MW) that are connected, or accepted to connect to UKPN’s network. The spreadsheet does not mention the capacity of the asset connected – just the network characteristic the asset is connected to. The address search facility does allow for filtering just for London (UKPN covers the south-east and eastern regions in addition to London) – but does not seem to allow for London borough searches (at least not for all London boroughs). And as the register only lists those assets above 1MW, much of the distribution generation capacity in London isn’t captured here as it is below this level (they can be found through other tools however including the London Heat Map, Ofgem’s CHP register and also Feed in Tariff (FIT) datasets (here and here);
  • The ‘Facilitating Net Zero’ tab includes data on: Connecting Distributed Generation; Electric Vehicle Connections in London; Electric Vehicle – Network Capacity and Electric Vehicle Future Constraint Map.
  • And an interesting study undertaken by Element Energy for UKPN setting out Distribution Future Network Scenarios along with a large number of interesting forecast datasets of assets that could be connected to the network over the period to 2050.

Much more to explore here – and an important input for London boroughs working on their climate emergency plans. Great to see UKPN make this data available, and I hope they will continue to work with London local authorities to ensure that the datasets work for them.

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City of London Wants to Clean Up the World

20 November 2020: With reference to the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan announcement earlier this week – which included a goal to make the “City of London the global centre of green finance” a Bloomberg Opinion piece on how Britain is aiming to be a hub for carbon credit and green derivatives trading. “London… has a history in cutting-edge finance, a deep talent pool and a strong lead in the trillion-dollar swaps market. It’s a logical place to base the trading of carbon credits, and the derivative-like contracts that companies’ would want to tailor for their individual needs, were the worldwide carbon credit market to take off.” Read the full article here.

Unfortunately, it’s far from certain that it will.

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Net zero is not enough

18 November 2020: Another recorded London Climate Action Week (LCAW) event that can be viewed online – this time held by think tank Future of London. ‘Net Zero is not Enough‘ “discussed the roles of green infrastructure and regenerative architecture, the importance of tackling both health inequalities and environmental inequalities, and how we can better involve local communities and collaborate across sectors.

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Mayor invests £10m in Green New Deal to secure thousands of green jobs

19 November 2020: The Mayor today announced some of the first outputs from his Green New Deal for London mission which has operating over the past few months. This is one of nine missions established as part of the Mayor’s London wide Recovery programme, with the Green New Deal seeking to tackle “the climate and ecological emergencies and improve air quality by doubling the size of London’s green economy by 2030 to accelerate job creation for all.

Today’s statement announced a total of £10m of funding commitments by the Mayor to large number of programmes, some of which are summarised below (see the press release for full details and list) :

  • North London District Energy, which will fund the extension of the planned heat network planned from the Edmonton Energy Recovery Centre from Enfield into Hackney and Haringey (for further information on this funding – see following from Energetik, Enfield Council’s district heating company)
  • Support for a new fourth round of the London Community Energy Fund (LCEF4). I’m of course pleased with this being the Chair of Community Energy London (CEL), and that in addition to the feasibility/development funding provided for projects, as the three previous rounds of LCEF have done, this new round will also include £500,000 of capital support.
  • A new round of, Solar Together London, which “uses a group-buying model to unlock significant savings from suppliers (up to 35 per cent in previous rounds) which makes solar more affordable for Londoners. This round of funding will drive a London-wide programme which will also include up to £60,000 to support installers to boost their training and employment opportunities and grow the supply chain.”

Many more projects announced including a solar programme at Old Oak and Park Royal, a Future Neighbourhoods retrofit programme, and further funding for bus electrification and electric vehicle charging.

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82% of Londoners are concerned about climate change

19 November 2020: London Councils have published the results of a survey to to gauge Londoners’ understanding of climate change and the effect it has on their lives. The poll findings were launched at London Climate Action Week (14 – 20 November) and follow the adoption of net zero emission targets for the majority of London boroughs.

Some headline results below:

  • 82% of Londoners are concerned about climate change, with 40% describing themselves as very concerned.
  • 57% of Londoners say their level of concern has increased in the last 12 months
  • Climate denial is close to non-existent. 2% of Londoners don’t believe in climate change.
  • 87% of Londoners are motivated to help prevent climate change
  • 59% of Londoners said climate change affects their decision making
  • Almost half of Londoners (46%) consider the climate when making day-to-day purchases

Some really interesting results and should give pause for thoughts for many organisations, from local authorities to the private sector, in their decision-making processes. Much more info in the news release on the London Councils website.

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Is London up to the 2030 net-zero carbon challenge?

19 November 2020: “During London Climate Action Week, Associate Architect, Michela Ravaglia, outlines London’s response to the Climate Emergency and questions whether enough is being done to achieve the city’s ambitious 2030 net zero carbon target.” Really helpful summary of new policy, reports and initiatives underway in London (and there is a going on at the moment!) with respect to planning and the development of zero carbon buildings – see the following article.

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London’s businesses and mayoral candidates must work together to combat climate change

17 November 2020: Ahead of May 2021’s London Mayoral election, excellent to see the following initiative by Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive of London First and Rachel Skinner, Executive Director of WSP who “have written to all London Mayor candidates on behalf of over 50 of the capital’s leading employers, urging them to make climate action a central plank of their campaigns. This means setting out a clear pathway to achieve London’s net zero goals by convening all parts of government, creating the right regulatory environment to promote investment in net zero, and supporting Londoners to make better, greener choices.” Read the full story at onlondon.

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Arsenal joins with UN to tackle climate change

16 November 2020: The signatories to the UN’sSports for Climate Action initiative aim to support these ambitions by adhering to the following five principles:

  • Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility
  • Reduce overall climate impact
  • Educate on climate action
  • Promote sustainable and responsible consumption
  • Advocate for climate action through communication

More on Arsenal’s press release here. There’s clearly more that London sport’s organisations to do to support the climate emergency and wider environmental agenda. The British Association of Sustainable Sport (BASIS) a really good source of information and in addition to Arsenal, also provides a case study on action undertaken by All England Tennis club in Wimbledon.

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