Major London Renewable Energy Study Published

January 2012: As part of a series of DECC-funded regional renewable energy (RE) assessments, the GLA have just published a detailed study on the potential for renewable and low carbon energy in Greater London.

The report sets out results using DECC’s standardised renewable energy assessment methodology but has also developed second  tailored methodology to take into account the highly urbanised nature of  London, looking at opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions utilising low-carbon decentralised energy (DE) systems such as gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) and the use of waste heat from power stations. The tailored methodology also gives significantly greater estimates of the technical potential for certain types of RE than the DECC methodology, such as commercial scale wind turbines and photovoltaics but – importantly – the greater use of DE displaces “80% of the thermal microgeneration RE sources… based on the assumption that policies which strongly favour DE over other energy sources are required to reach high levels of heat network deployment.”

The results of this study suggest that:

  • Under the DECC methodology, up to 12% and 57% of London’s consumption of electricity and heating respectively can technically be met by RE sources from within Greater London
  • However the tailored methodology- for reasons detailed above –  estimates RE sources can technically supply up to 34% and 49% of electricity and heating respectively (the lower RE heating figure arising out the increased use of low carbon DE heat displacing some RE heating technologies in the ‘tailored’ methodology).
  • The combined technical potential for RE and DE is up to 53% and 44% of London’s consumption of electricity and heating respectively.
  • The technical potential of DE using large-scale heat networks is 20% of London’s energy supply
  • It is estimated that around 450MW of waste heat capacity is available from existing power stations and energy from waste (EfW) plants in the London area

The London Decentralised Energy Capacity Study can be downloaded here and comprises three reports:

  • Phase 1: Technical Assessment
  • Phase 2: Deployment Potential
  • Phase 3: Roadmap to Deployment

Some significant datasets lie behind the study and can be downloaded from the London Datastore here.

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