Search Results for: lite

Energy & Climate Questions to the Mayor

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

whether the Mayor had signed up to the London Big Energy Switch; whether the Mayor had signed up to the Green Deal; making Greenwich Power station a low-carbon generator;  the London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI); discussions with DECC over increasing levels of fuel poverty in London; the Mayor’s response to the Government’s consultation on a new definition for fuel poverty – (link to actual response document here); the growth of fuel poverty in London’s private rented sector; a new power station for London; energy and climate issues in Transport for London’s business plan; decentralised energy and the London Infrastructure Group; meetings with energy supplier companies on the ECO in London; the impact of rising energy prices on London’s economy; the poor uptake of photovoltaics in London; renewable energy supply to London Underground; the use of recycled cooking oil in London’s bus fleet; the number of job losses in the insulation industry in London; how the London Enterprise Panel’s Skills & Employment Working Group will promote green jobs; the number of ‘green’ double decker buses in London; the number ‘green’ single decker buses in London’; emissions related to the ‘New bus for London’; the Shoreditch Heat Network; the Citigen CHP scheme; Guidance on Low Carbon Cooling systems; zero carbon heating at the Tate modern; minutes of the High Level Electricity Working Group; future changes in London’s weather; climate change in the national curriculum; petition to remove climate change from the national curriculum; carbon emissions and projects supported under the Growing Places Fund the RE:NEW evaluation report and an update on the Mayor’s electricity ‘license lite’ application.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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The Future of Heating in London

March 2013: The Government’s Future of Heating policy paper released yesterday gives prominent coverage to activities underway in London to promote the use of decentralised energy systems through the use of district heating and high efficiency Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. The paper includes the following:

  • A case study of The Shard CHP heat network [p41]
  • How Islington Council, the GLA  and UK Power Networks are working together on “a proposed extension of the existing Bunhill heat network that will capture and use identified sources of waste heat produced within the area, such as from a nearby electricity sub-station. This project will help London and its boroughs to identify, capture and make use of urban sources of waste heat and play an important part in developing their lower carbon, lower temperature heat networks ofthe future” [p43] Continue reading…
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Solar sector hails innovative move as even more significant than EMR

15 March 2013: A BusinessGreen story today reports on some industry reaction to the Mayor of London’s proposal to enter into the electricity trading market  (details of which are set out here).

“Leonie Greene of the Solar Trade Association said London was taking a “pioneering” step that could encourage other towns, cities, and communities to follow suit. London is the first to apply for a Licence Lite.“We’re much more excited about this than anything else in the Electricity Market Reforms process going through Westminster,” she told BusinessGreen. “People who live near renewable projects often say they want a way of buying the electricity directly, and through this kind of licence they can.”She added that the licence would allow independent generators to sell their electricity at a retail price via the GLA, rather than having to sell it much more cheaply on the wholesale market.”

DECC’s Secretary of State Ed Davey (also the London MP for Kingston) also welcomed the initiative stating: “This is a hugely encouraging development and I welcome the London Mayor’s announcement today and fully support councils such as Haringey with this project.  Opening up our energy market to smaller companies is good news for competition and therefore good news for consumers.  This is a welcome initiative that will make better use of energy produced locally and help Londoners get the best bang for their buck.”

The Electricity Market Reforms – or EMR – refer to the proposals currently going through Parliament in the Energy Bill. These include the introduction of Contracts for Differences (CfDs) for low carbon generators – guaranteed market prices which will be paid for the production of power. The new system proposed has been widely criticised as being overly complex and a significant barrier to smaller power generators (see the following post for more detail).

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FT: ‘London seeks energy supply licence’

14 March 2013: The GLA has recently approved a process to secure a junior – or ‘lite’ – electricity supply licence – the benefits of which are set out in an earlier post here.

The Mayor recently updated progress on this work stating that:

“Technical assessments of the services to be procured from the electricity market and regulatory matters needing to be addressed have been made. The GLA met Ofgem (the electricity regulator) at the beginning of February 2013 to enable a formal application for a licence.”

And the FT has today reported on this work stating: “The GLA is the first public authority to apply for a so-called Licence Lite, an electricity supply permit that would allow it to buy excess electricity from London’s boroughs and sell it back at cost price to other public bodies in the capital, such as the police or NHS hospitals.” The GLA press release is available here.

The report goes that:

“Several London boroughs run generators to power public buildings, such as Islington’s Bunhill Heat and Power project, which uses a gas-fired generator to heat homes and local swimming pools. Westminster operates two gas-fired generators in Pimlico that heat homes, businesses and three schools. Excess energy produced at these sites is returned to the National Grid through a mainstream supplier at a variable wholesale rate of about 5 pence per kWh. The GLA would offer 20 to 30 per cent more for the boroughs’ excess as a way of encouraging growth in the low-carbon energy infrastructure. Ofgem, the energy regulator, brought in Licence Lite in 2009 but no permit has yet been issued. Some blame uncertainty over the legal obligations a new supplier would face, as well as lack of interest from existing industry suppliers. Licence Lite holders are required to contract with a mainstream supplier to provide regulatory and operational support.”

A dozen London boroughs, which together are capable of producing 76MW, could benefit from the scheme, which is intended for launch in 2014, the GLA said. If the measure is a success it would also be considered for private sector energy producers in London. By raising the returns on the energy produced by small suppliers, the GLA said, the move could help attract more than £8bn of investment in electricity infrastructure in the capital up to 2025.

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Government Policy on generation of electricity by local authorities

17 December 2012: John Pugh, MP for Southport, has asked a useful parliamentary question around what the Government’s position is on promoting the generation of electricity by local authorities. Apparently it has one.

Col 534W: John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his policy is on the generation of electricity by local authorities; and if he will make a statement.

Gregory Barker:  In 2010, we gave local authorities the power to sell electricity generated from renewable sources. It is therefore up to local authorities to generate and sell electricity if they wish and we are encouraging them to do so where this is appropriate. We have also facilitated this through ‘lite’ electricity supply licence, which would allow a local authority district heating operator to sell electricity at retail rates to consumers.

We are also supporting community ownership of localised renewable energy projects through the Feed-in-Tariffs scheme. Local projects engage neighbourhoods and communities in becoming involved with generating local heat and power e.g. Combined Heat and Power with District Heating (CHP-DH) networks in Woking, Southampton, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Local authorities also have a role in encouraging energy efficiency take up, including the Green Deal, and looking after consumer interests, for example, through the pioneer places and core cities initiatives and through supporting or running collective switching schemes.

Some points on this:

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GLA to apply for a ‘junior’ electricity supply licence

29 October 2012: The GLA are apply to the energy regulator Ofgem for a ‘junior or sometimes known as  ‘lite ‘ electricity supply licence. This allows for smaller electricity generators to sell their electricity at market value. The approval form sets out that “the application to Ofgem  [is] for a licence lite licence so the GLA can buy the electricity produced by London boroughs and other public sector decentralised energy generators in London and sell it at proper market rates”. This project builds on an earlier GLA project (details here).

The background to this issue is actually quite simple but solutions complex! Luckily some helpful commentaries are posted on the web by Carbon Limited and also law firm Nabarros. At the heart of the argument is that smaller generators are often in poor bargaining positions with the electricity retail market when wanting to sell their electricity. The true value of the electricity generated by a decentralised CHP, or PV array, could be realised by selling the electricity direct to consumers (very roughly say, around 12-14 pence per unit) rather than the wholesale market (again roughly, but say 4-6 pence per unit).

However, to do this, an electricity supply licence (for generators exporting more that 2.5 MW) is, in most instances required, and holding such a licence places a number of very complex and costly requirements on the licence holder, effectively creating a barrier to entry for smaller generators in this market. Recognising this situation, Ofgem introduced arrangements for a new ‘lite supply licence’ which – in theory  – would allow the holder to sell their electricity more widely but provided exemptions to these smaller generators from the requirement to be involved in a number of complex electricity market processes, as would normally be required under a ‘full’ supply licence conditions (see the ‘Final Proposals document by Ofgem posted here for more on this).

In practice however, though a project with a number of London boroughs looked at this issue earlier this year, no participants have applied to hold such a licence. Hence, with this action, the GLA is looking to test Ofgem’s process and apply for this new licence and support the development and production of decentralised energy supply in London.

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Plans for a Future London Riverside heat network set out

January 2012: A draft  London Riverside Opportunity Area Planning Framework (LROAPF) has just been published by the GLA, working with the London boroughs of Newham, Barking and Dagenham and Havering.

The LROAPF area covers over 3,000 hectares of east London, encompassing parts of each of the three boroughs.  The draft states that “Sustainability is an important theme that runs through the document. London Riverside is already part of a wider Green Enterprise District and home to a more concentrated Sustainable Industries District. Energy, waste and water are dealt with in some detail and the way they are inter-connected is brought out.”

The OAPF technical appendices include an energy strategy identifying a number of key opportunities for decentralised energy production in the region. The development of these satellite district-heating networks, which could  interconnect over time, and hence  supply London Riverside with locally produced low to zero carbon and waste energy sources. The OAPF suggests that “In the longer term, the aspiration is to develop a district heating network across London Riverside to supply the heating requirements of existing and future development. (illustrated below)

The concept of an East London heat network follows from work carried out by the London Development Agency (LDA) in relation to the development of the London Thames Gateway Heat Network (LTGHN).

Plans for the decentralised energy network are set out in the main LROAPF consultation draft and also in the Energy Strategy contained in Technical Appendix 5. The closing dates for comments is 10 February 2012.

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Introducing a ‘junior electricity supply licence’ for boroughs

January 2012: The GLA have approved to fund a project to explore opportunities to introduce a junior electricity supply licensing system for smaller electricity generators, thus enabling London boroughs and their energy services companies to supply electricity they generate retail to their housing tenants and others. Further details on work to be commissioned here. This work will follow on from analysis already undertaken for Haringey – looking at how the council could have greater flexibility in relation to selling electricity from local CHP plants.

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Haringey DE and retrofit studies

December 2011: As part of the work undertaken for the EST Local Carbon Framework’s pilot, Haringey – one of the 9 pilot areas (the only one in London however) – has developed five areas of study of interest to the borough looking at:

  1. Housing retrofit potential in North London – a detailed report for which can be downloaded here .
  2. Solar Power on Council buildings the outputs of which include:
  3. Green enterprise in the Upper Lee Valley – which produced the Upper Lee Valley low carbon economy report (PDF 6.2MB)
  4. Selling electricity from Combined Heat and Power Schemes – which looks at Haringey potentially acquiring a “Lite Supply Licence” which would allow a district heating operator to sell electricity at retail rates to consumers with fewer risks and complexities (report here)
  5. Producing guidance for Decentralised Energy Schemes – the purpose of which was to gain an understanding of the potential for district heating networks in the borough based on heat loads and likely capital costs and cash flows, and set up organisational structures to oversee a strategic approach to delivering DE networks.
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Renewable Energy Roadmap

July 2011: Alongside the publication of the White Paper on Tuesday [see story below], the Government also published a ‘Renewable Energy Roadmap‘ which “outlines a plan of action to accelerate renewable energy deployment – to meet the target of 15% of all energy by 2020 ” – now said to be a four-fold increase over current levels of renewable energy consumption.

Government has highlighted before the importance of local authorities in helping support the growth of renewable energy and has also recently changed legislation to ensure that local authorities can themselves play their part as renewable energy developers (see letter from Chris Huhne to all leaders and chief executives of local authorities) .

The 100 page Roadmap is, however, incredibly ‘lite’ on the contribution that local authorities can play, pointing only to the work funded by DECC to produce nine regional studies to help “identify and maximise opportunities for the deployment of renewable and low carbon energy technologies in their area.” The Roadmap goes on to state that “Local Authorities and communities will be able to use the results of these assessments to inform development of their local and neighbourhood development plans.” [page 24]

and that:

“While the focus of the project has been to present the results at sub-regional and sub-national scales, much of the original data can be interrogated down to Local Authority level. This original data is available to Local Authorities to undertake their own analysis.” [page 25]

DECC goes on to say that one of their priority actions will be to:

” …Reform the local planning system in England to ensure that it supports economic growth, give communities a greater say and stake in development, and help local authorities and communities to identify opportunities for the deployment of renewables using analysis from regional studies.” [page 30]

Seven of the nine assessments for England are now available through the DECC web siteLondon’s renewable energy assessment study is awaiting publication, anticipated to be sometime later this year.

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Reviewing the evidence on carbon emissions from rail and air travel

8 March 2010: GLA Economics Current Issues Note 24 – this paper analyses the existing literature on calculating the carbon emissions from high-speed rail and short-haul aviation.

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