Tag Archives: Barking and Dagenham

The Role of Carbon Pricing

June 2020: A consortium of five London boroughs, Barking and Dagenham, Ealing, Greenwich, Haringey, and Westminster have commissioned and recently published the following study: “Towards Net Zero Carbon Achieving greater carbon reductions on site: The role of carbon pricing“. This report seeks to review the current planning guidance from the GLA on Carbon Offsetting, and in particular the carbon offset price recommended in that guidance. This new study presents the rationale for this work as follows: “the current carbon offset price (£60-£95/tCO2) and requirement of a minimum 35% carbon reduction do not incentivise sufficient savings on site. This means that new buildings have substantially higher carbon emissions that they should.” The GLA’s 2018 guidance document sets out that “Currently, the GLA’s recommended price for offsetting carbon is £60 per tonne. This is a nationally recognised non-traded price of carbon and is also the Zero Carbon Hub price.” However, the guidance also recognises the need to review this offset price level and states “To assess whether this price continues to be appropriate the GLA commissioned AECOM to carry out a study of possible carbon offset prices, considering both published carbon prices and the cost of undertaking various carbon reduction projects in London… The new draft London Plan includes a new recommended carbon offset price of £95 per tonne which was tested as part of the viability assessment. This is intended to be the price (Local Planning Authorities) LPAs adopt, unless LPAs have set their own local price. The recommended GLA carbon offset price will be reviewed regularly.” (the new London Plan reference to £95/tonne is referenced as footnote 155 on page 384 of the London Plan 2020). Note – the option is available to boroughs to set their own offset price – but there needs to be some evidence to support any such price being set.

This new study by the London boroughs is an attempt to do this – and sets out the following: “We have undertaken extensive energy modelling on several typologies of buildings. Our calculations demonstrate that the decarbonisation of the electricity grid means that, for the same specifications, a greater improvement over Part L is achieved with no extra effort/cost (‘60% is the new 35%’). On this basis, and given the consensus on the need and benefit of a ‘fabric first’ approach and low carbon heat, our recommendations are:

  • To incentivise on-site savings by adopting a high first tier price of £1,000/tCO2 for those easily avoidable and unnecessary residual emissions not met on-site, which fall short of a 60% improvement threshold (measured over Part L1A) for domestic and a 50% improvement threshold (measured over Part L2A) for non-domestic developments.
  • To incentive PV with the introduction of a medium carbon price second tier of £300/tCO2.
  • Finally, and only for residential applications for which it is easier to achieve this high level of performance than for nonresidential applications, we recommend a low carbon price
  • third tier of £100/tCO2 as a positive signal.

The report concludes with some further opportunities to ensure that zero carbon buildings take into account their full environmental impact.

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London Riverside decentralised energy plans develop

26 October 2015: Plans for the development of the London Riverside Opportunity Area have been progressing for some years now (see post here). Following a consultation earlier this year, final plans were adopted by the Mayor of London on 23 September 2015 as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to the London Plan and published online and launched at a public event at the NLA on 22 October 2015.

London Riverside is one for 4 Opportunity Areas (OA) covering a wide scale development in the East of London comprising London Bridge, Canada Water, Deptford Creek/Greenwich Riverside, Isle of Dogs, Lower Lee Valley, Upper Lee Valley, Ilford, Greenwich Peninsula, Charlton Riverside, Woolwich, London Riverside, Bexley Riverside and Abbey Wood and Thamesmead. The planning frameworks across they areas are at at different stages of development: further information on them can be found here.

The London Riverside OA covers some 2,500 hectares encompassing parts of Barking and Dagenham and Havering, adjoining the borough boundary with Newham in the west, and forms part of the Thames Gateway growth area.

The planning framework has always discussed proposals for an area wide district heating initiative and the revised set of Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) documents includes a ‘Decentralised Energy‘ chapter which identifies “opportunities for decentralised energy production and the development of a satellite district-heating networks across the OA that interconnect over time to supply locally produced low to zero carbon energy“.

The chapter also captures the significant amount of work going on in relation to decentralised energy across the region: “Havering Council, with the support of the DECC and the GLA has produced an Energy Masterplan focussing on a Rainham and Beam Park district heat network delivering low carbon heat. It also sets out therole of satellite district-heat networks across theopportunity area that could interconnect over timeto supply locally produced low to zero carbon andwaste energy sources. The Rainham and Beam Park Energy Masterplan should be taken into consideration alongside this framework.”

There are number of planned and existing decentralised energy schemes within the London Riverside area (as shown in graphic above) which the planning document considers as part of the area’s energy strategy, .

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Barking Power Station in east London to close within two years

July 2014: News that Barking Power Station’s owners have begun “negotiations over the facility’s closure due to poor market conditions…The proposal to close the power station and embark on these consultations is taken in the context of the current adverse market conditions for gas-fired power generation,” the facility’s owner Barking Power Ltd  said in a statement on Tuesday. If implemented, the full closure of the station is expected to be completed within two years”.

Despite concerns over falling levels of electricity system supply margins (see latest Ofgem Electricity Capacity Assessment report here), due in part to the closure of coal-fired power stations, the news report states that “because gas prices have been high relative to wholesale electricity, which power generators sell into the grid, aging power stations such as Barking with relatively low efficiency grades struggle to make a profit.” An earlier news report highlighted how part of the plant had been previously mothballed in 2013.

Barking Power Station was completed in 1995 and has a capacity of 1,000 megawatt (MW), enough to supply over half a million homes with electricity. Further information on the power plant can be read in its Wikipedia entry, a profile by the plant’s operator, and – going back a bit further – details of the original coal power station that was opened on the site in 1925!

Barking Power Station was to be lie at the heart of a major Mayoral district heat system in east London – the London Thames Gateway Heat Network. The project was however suspended in 2012.

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Barking & Dagenham most energy efficient local authority in UK

November 2013: A news release from Imperial College highlights a recent study examining the energy consumption of all 198 urban local authorities in the UK, including 33 boroughs in London.  Dr James Keirstead has developed a “new method that draws on three different measures of energy efficiency, currently used by city planners, to create the ranking. The aim was to find the fairest methodology for determining energy efficiency that could give planners an improved way of spotting best practice, leading to more energy efficient and sustainable policies in the future.”

“The London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Hackney topped the league table of all UK urban areas analysed in the study…This may be because both are low income areas, equating to lower energy usage. Residents of those areas are also more reliant on public transport and these boroughs lack energy-intensive manufacturing and commerce, which may also be other factors that explain why consumption is lower.”

The news report is a very short summary of a detailed research paper published by Dr Keirstead in technical journal Energy Policy (which unfortunately has a price tag associated with downloading the paper). The table from the paper providing a ranking of UK local authorities by average energy efficiency score is reproduced below:

Other London boroughs within the top 10 are Hackney, Merton, Redbridge and Kingston. Oddly, the top two ranked London councils are both within inner London, however, the remaining three in the 10 are all suburban local authorities.

Local authorities in England have now reported to Government on energy efficiency activities in their area in HECA update reports – for more of which, see here.

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Further Funding for London Sustainable Industries Park

July 2013: The Mayor has approved further funding for the development of the London Sustainable Industries Park (LSIP) with the provision of £2.989m to go towards investment in “essential infrastructure”. The new approval form sets out that this spend will include £1 million to bring a gas connection to the London Sustainable Industries Park . The Mayor had previously announced £30m going to LSIP in September 2012, which is based in Dagenham and which will include a new anaerobic digestion plant along with a planned decentralised heat network.

The approval form also provides some background to the development:  “LSIP will create a landmark cleantech business park, concentrating leading environmental industries and technologies. By co-locating businesses that share resources and exchange by-products, the LSIP encourages synergies that can deliver cost savings and competitive advantages through industrial symbiosis. The UK cleantech sector has continued to grow throughout the recent economic downturn and investment in the new infrastructure at the LSIP represents an opportunity to access a market estimated to be worth over £23 billion in London alone and to support up to 750 jobs in clean tech/energy businesses and up to 500 construction jobs.

More on LSIP on their website www.londonsip.com. Further information on the project can be viewed on an earlier post here.

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Barking Collective Energy Switching Scheme

17 December 2012: Barking and Dagenham news release  highlighting how the council is developing a collective purchasing (or switching scheme)  which, from 2013 will allow: “Residents  to sign up to the scheme for free in January. In February a broker will negotiate a special tariff direct with the major energy companies. Because a number of customers are buying at the same time, the price negotiated will be lower than most tariffs available on the market place.” Full details here. DECC have supported such schemes including a £5m ‘Cheaper Energy Together’ competition launched last month.

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Construction of Dagenham AD plant begins

23 November 2012: A news article announcing that construction of central London’s first anaerobic digestion (AD) plant is underway.  The plant will generate approximately 1.4MW of electricity, sufficient to power approximately 2,000 homes and is based in the Dagenham Dock Sustainable Industries Park. The developer, the TEG Group, state that completion is planned for the first quarter of 2014. The scheme was recently awarded funding from the Mayor’s London Waste and Recycling Board (LWaRB) – a press note for that funding can be viewed here. Two other London AD schemes are currently being considered for support by LWaRB. Development of AD plant has been going slower than anticipated (the Mayor had initially hoped that two schemes would in fact be under construction by May 2012) an issue picked up in a recent article by London Assembly Green Party member Jenny Jones.

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Funding for the London Sustainable Industries Park

June 2012: Details around additional funding being directed by the Mayor into the London Sustainable Industries Park (LSIP) has been released. It states that the “delivery of the LSIP will also be a significant milestone for the Mayor’s London Green Fund which has approved investment of £9 million into an Anaerobic Digestion Facility to be delivered on the LSIP.” LSIP – based around Barking and Dagenham –  is being developed on 60 acres of land owned by the GLA  and is at the heart of the Mayor’s Green Enterprise District. Additional information is set out in the London Riverside Opportunity Area Planning Framework.

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Heat and the City – Financing District Heating

June 2012: A one-day workshop was held at the Building Centre in London earlier this year – organised by the ‘Heat and City’ initiative –  bringing together leading municipal energy practitioners (including 21 local authorities and a housing association), UK and Scottish Governments, and a range of commercial industry representatives to discuss strategies for financing district heating initiatives.

Amongst the presentations made at the conference – which are now available download – a number were made in relation to projects going ahead in London including:

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Evaluating RE:CONNECT

February 2012: Paper presented at the most recent GLA Investment and Performance Board evaluating the progress of the Mayor’s RE:CONNECT programme which established 10 ‘Low Carbon Zones’ across London.

The ten zones are in: Barking Town Centre (LBBD), Muswell Hill (Haringey),Archway (Islington), Brixton (Lambeth), Lewisham Town Centre (Lewisham), WandleValley (Merton), Ham & Petersham (Richmond), Peckham (Southwark), Hackbridge(Sutton), Queens Park (Westminster). The largest zone is in Archway with around 3,000 buildings; the smallest is in Hackbridge with around 300 buildings.

The programme is essentially a series of local scale demonstration projects that seek to deliver a 20% CO2 saving across the buildingsin a neighbourhood over a three year period (September 2009 – September 2012) and to provide an understanding of the factors that are required to deliver high coverage of energy efficiency measures and more efficient energy usage at a local scale.

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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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London smart meter trial launched

18 November 2011: As part of the ‘Low Carbon London’ project, 5,000 smart meters are to be installed in homes and businesses across London.  EDF Energy customers in the pilot zones, Lewisham, Perry Vale, Canning Town, Archway, Barking, Muswell Hill and Peckham, are being offered the first 500 smart meters, extending to EDF Energy customers in the ten low carbon zones and the Green Enterprise District later next year. Read full details on the following press release from London’s electricity distribution network operator, UK Power Networks.

Further information on the ‘Low Carbon London’ project – which is funded through Ofgem’s Low Carbon Network Fund – can be seen here and here.

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