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Tag Archives: Carbon Emissions
April 2013: Thames Water recently submitted its 50,000 page (!) planning application for the development of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. It’s not surprisingly a big project …requiring the construction of a 15 mile tunnel to run 75 metres beneath the Thames riverbed through central London and would capture storm sewage from overflow points along the river. An online video on the project’s website can be viewed here.
The Tunnel has been designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and as such its application must be submitted to the National Infrastructure Planning Inspectorate. And it is on their website that an Energy and Carbon Footprint Report for the project can be found ( here – and directly downloadable here).
This report sets out an energy and carbon footprint assessment for the Thames Tideway Tunnel considering the CO2 equivalent emissions (CO2e) for both the construction and operation of the tunnel. The results are presented within Section 5 of the report, which provides details on the CO2e associated with construction materials, transport and logistics, worksite construction activities and operational energy demand. The assumptions which underpin the assessment, and the raw data which informs it, is also provided within the appendices of the report.
The report sets out that “the total carbon footprint, in the decarbonised scenario, of some 840,000 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)the principal impact from the project is the GHG emissions caused by construction of the infrastructure, in particular embodied carbon in materials, being approximately 84% of the total emissions, with emissions from construction plant and machinery (construction worksite activities eg tunnel boring and emissions from plant and machinery) being around 10%of the total emissions. Emissions during the 120 year operational life of the tunnel represent approximately 2.5% of the total GHG emissions. The transport of excavated material and construction materials represents approximately 3.5% of the total carbon footprint of the project.” Much is placed on overall future electricity grid decarbonisation to help reduce the CO2 footprint of the project.
April 2013: One of the many interesting things being developed by Islington – as set out in their recently launched Energy Strategy 2013-2016 – is the creation of a new ‘Carbon Offset Fund’. The Energy Strategy sets out that:
“A Carbon offset policy will be implemented in 2013 which will generate funding for investment in energy efficiency of existing social housing. As part of the Energy Statement building applicants will need to demonstrate how a scheme meets the relevant on site carbon emissions reduction targets by following the energy hierarchy:
- Maximise energy efficiency
- Supply energy efficiently using low carbon heating and cooling systems
- Incorporate renewable energy
- Offset remaining carbon emissions.
The council will look to use the carbon offset fund to mitigate emissions from existing stock by targeting specific projects that lower carbon emissions such as cavity wall and solid wall insulation , boiler replacements, improvements to communal heating systems and decentralised energy project work. In relation to DE, the energy strategy states that Islington has identified 14 heat network opportunities across the borough, which it intends to implement between 2013 and 2018. The total cost is estimated to be £42M with a funding gap of £20M expected to be filled by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Islington’s recently adopted Environmental Design Supplementary Planning document (SPD) highlights (para2.02) that “implementation of the carbon offset mechanism (part of policy CS10) will generate significant funding for investment in the energy efficiency of housing, including existing social housing – given that around 75% of the current building stock is likely to be still standing in 2050, this mechanism will be crucial to addressing fuel poverty.”
Importantly , the SPD sets out the offset costs:
“ For all major developments the financial contribution shall be calculated based on an established price per tonne of CO2 for Islington. The price per annual tonne of carbon is currently set at £920, based on analysis of the costs and carbon savings of retrofit measure suitable for properties in Islington. The calculation of the amount of CO2 to be offset,and the resulting financial contribution, shall be specified in the submitted Energy Statement. The spending of carbon offset payments and monitoring of CO2 savings delivered will be managed by the council.”
Minor developments are to be treated differently: “As minor schemes are not required to produce Energy Statements to the same level of detail as major developments the process for carbon offsetting has been simplified. The cost of the offset contribution is a flat fee based on the development type as follows: Houses – £1500 per house; Flats – £1000 per flat. “
The rationale behind these cost charges is set out in some research undertaken for Islington – see AECOM Davis Langdon report Promoting Zero Carbon
January 2013: The Mayor’s Environment Advisor, Matthew Pencharz, contributes a column to the C40cities ‘Expert Voices Blog’ on how ‘London’s sustainable Games will leave lasting benefits’
“The achievements have been impressive. No other Games had predicted its carbon footprint, so a new methodology had to be designed and delivered, one that included all the emissions from winning the bid to the end of the Games.
As a direct result emissions have been reduced by 400 ktCO2e equivalent to approximately 9% of the annual CO2 emissions from cars in London. The majority of this figure was achieved through reducing the impact of construction and the staging of the event. This ground-breaking methodology is available for use by future organisers of major events enabling carbon reduction on a significant scale.”
The excellent ‘Learning Legacy’ website has done a great job in compiling the knowledge gained by organisers in delivering the Olympics, on a wide array of key issues, including sustainability. Some energy and carbon outputs from this work includes:
Insulation from renewable sources and healthy to install
Combining photovoltaic panels and a living roof on the Main Press Centre
Achieving the Part L target at the Aquatics Centre
The Velodrome, the most energy efficient venue on the Olympic Park
Managing energy consumption during the Games
Carbon reduction in transport management
The Olympic Park Energy Strategy
Reducing embodied carbon through efficient design
Reducing and compensating the Games carbon footprint
Previous posts on energy issues related to the London 2012 Olympics can be viewed here.
Finally, the BBC programme ‘twenty twelve’ had an interesting take on the Olympics ‘ethically designed electric vehicle charging points’ and the ‘Olympic Park wind turbine’.
6 December 2012: Ahead of the start of Phase III of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS), which starts on 1 January 2013, DECC has today introduced new legislation which looks to simplify the rules around the CO2 ‘cap and trade’ scheme.
The EUETS covers around 1,100 energy-intensive industrial installations in the UK such as power stations, refineries and large manufacturing plants. Not surprisingly, not many of these participants are located at London, however, there are a few at the very lowest end of the EUETS requirements, and it is these sites which are addressed in the changes made today. DECC’s press release states that these ‘small emitters’, many of which are hospitals, have been given the opportunity to “‘opt-out’ of the EU ETS from 2013 into a lighter touch alternative scheme, which will address the disproportionately higher administrative costs faced by these installations.”
The ‘opt out’ list includes the following schemes in London:
- Bloomsbury Heat & Power
- The Natural History Museum Boilerhouse
- St. Thomas’ Hospital
- Guys Hospital
- Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust
- Chelsea and Westminister Hospital
- Royal Free Hospital Hampstead
- St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust
- Pimlico District Heating Undertaking (PDHU) Pump House
Other sites include the Hammersmith Hospital Energy Centre and the University College London Hospital.
Common to many of these installations is that they had chosen to utilise Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems to provide greater energy resilience on site, access more affordable heat and power, and reduce the site’s overall environmental impact related to energy consumption. However, by choosing to install more energy efficient generation directly on site, rather than importing electricity from the grid, they also passed the threshold on energy consumption for inclusion under the EUETS rules (20MW thermal input). This brought these relatively modest generation sites under the complex EUETS rules, hence, this new action by Government to simplify the rules under their operation under the trading scheme is to be welcomed.
November 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to: the way the supplier obligation support for energy efficiency works and its shortfalls in terms of London; promotion of anaerobic digestion plants through the London Plan; how the GLA’s asset strategy can promote the low carbon economy; compensating for unavoidable carbon emissions during the Olympic Games; the Mayor’s view on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS) and the international response to aviation being included in the EUETS.
Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.
May 2012: The ODA have established a learning legacy website which “has the aim to ” sharing the knowledge and the lessons learned from the construction of the Olympic Park, to help raise the bar within the sector “. Included amongst the material posted there is a number of documents relating to the energy initiatives undertaken on site at the Olympics:
Energy In Use Implementation Guidance for Project Teams sets out the ODA’s requirements and the standard tools, templates and methodologies for demonstrating compliance with the carbon objectives detailed in the ODA’s Sustainable Development Strategy.
The environmental impact of the thermal insulation used at the Olympic Park, where several contractors sourced and installed insulation materials which were considered to be healthier for the operative installing the product (and potentially future maintainers) and which came from natural sources, such as plant matter or recycled material.
Reducing embodied carbon through efficient design - As the operational carbon emissions from buildings are reduced through energy efficiency measures, the embodied carbon emissions in construction materials become more significant. Two key strategies were used at the Park to reduce the embodied carbon of venues and infrastructure.
Achieving the Part L target at the Aquatics Centre – the ODA target to exceed 2006 Part L Building Regulations by 15 per cent was not included in the Aquatics Centre’s original design brief, but was instructed by RIBA - the design team successfully incorporated the requirements by focusing on the building systems and fabric improvements.
The Velodrome, the most energy efficient venue on the Olympic Park – which has a designed energy efficiency improvement of 31 per cent over 2006 building regulations.
Carbon reduction in transport management- reviews the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA’s) approach to reducing the carbon impact of its transport arrangements and associated lessons learned.
20 March 2012: ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group released today a draft edition of the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions(community protocol) to help cities around the world measure and report GHG emissions using a more consistent protocol.
The full document and accompanying fact sheet are now available for review. Comments on the full document should be submitted through the feedback form template. The deadline for feedback is 20 April 2012. Feedback should be sent directly to GPC@iclei.org
ICLEI and C40 will be hosting two public webinars, with dedicated outreach to ICLEI and C40 member cities, onTuesday 3 April 2012 from 7:00am – 8:00am UTC (GMT) and Wednesday 4 April 2012 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm UTC (GMT).
To register or for receive further details on these upcoming events please contact GPC@iclei.org
Full details on the following news release.
March 2012: The Mayor has just published the latest London Plan Annual Monitoring Report (AMR), which monitors a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) set in London’s spatial strategy, the London Plan. This is the first AMR to be published since the new London Plan was published in July 2011.
Two KPIs are of particular interest are:
KPI 20 Reduce carbon dioxide emissions through new development
KPI 21 Increase in energy generated from renewable sources
In terms of KPI 21, London has recently set a revised target for renewable energy which is for 8,550 GWh of energy from renewable sources by 2026 (London’s current total non-transport energy use is approximately 115,000 GWh – see London’s 2011 energy strategy for further information). The target was an output of a significant piece of analysis undertaken in 2011, and published earlier this year – the London Decentralised Energy Capacity Study. The AMR reproduces a table from that study setting out an estimate of renewable energy capacity and output in London in 2010:
The total output for 2010 of 858 GWh highlights that London has considerable way to go – a ten-fold increase – to achieve the 2026 target. DECC also produce regional renewable energy statistics – but only report on renewable electricity output (which is hard to compare to that reported above, as the largest GWh component in the table – for biomass - has added the heat and power output components together).
Additional monitoring of the London Plan’s carbon and energy policies are reported here.
March 2012: London2012 announced a few months ago that ticketholders to the games would be able to participate in the Olympics carbon offsetting programme, BP Target Neutral, for free. The initiative states that the “more people who sign up, the more Target Neutral can support low-carbon development projects worldwide.” Further information about the offsetting programme, and how to sign up, can be viewed at bptargetneutral.com and spectatorneutral.bp.com.