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Tag Archives: Electric Vehicles
17 December 2020: UK Power Networks (UKPN) press release announcing that they have worked with bus operator Stagecoach to install new electricity infrastructure at West Ham bus garage which will allow for “80kW charge points that will power a new fleet of fully electric zero emission buses. The buses will serve route 323 from Canning Town to Mile End….Philip Heathcote, head of markets at UK Power Networks Services, said: “This project is another signal of the capital’s intent for all buses to be zero-emission by 2037. We are delighted to play a key role in ensuring electric buses can take to the road and provide the area with a clean and sustainable mode of public transport.” Read the full press release here. On London’s plans for zero emissions buses, see TfL website here. Further information is also set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy for London.
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.
17 August 2020: Press release from Amber Infrastructure, fund manager of the Mayor’s Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF) of an announcement of a loan to Zenobe Energy to install a charging infrastructure solution at a bus depot operated by Abellio London, in Walworth to install charging infrastructure to serve the single decker P5 and new C10 bus routes.
5 September 2019: A Transport for London (TfL) press release announced today that “routes 43 and 134 will become the UK’s first bus routes to use only electric double-deck buses this autumn” and that London now has “more than 200 electric buses, making it Europe’s largest electric bus fleet, and this will grow significantly next year as Transport for London (TfL) has awarded contracts to operators for a further 78 electric double-deck buses”. The majority of electric buses presently on London’s streets are single-deck buses, but following a pilot programme testing out new electric double deck buses (see here, here and here) these are now coming on.
This news suggests that some 300 or so electric buses will be operating in the capital in 2020 – out of a total of 9,000 London buses currently in operation (a detailed breakdown of which is provided below).
The Mayor has committed to making all buses within the M25 zero emission by 2037 (as set out in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy – see timetable below) at the very latest, and this press release sets out that the Mayor has asked TfL to look at the feasibility of bringing this date forward. Further information on the Mayor’s ‘Cleaner Bus’ programme is available here.
April 2016: A further contribution of potential actions for an incoming Mayor – this time by Arup – in report just published ‘New Ideas in London‘. In the report Arup identify “five areas that the new Mayor should focus on during their first term in office.” Amongst these are a couple considering energy and climate issues – a summary of which follow below:
Driving down corporate carbon emissions
- The Mayor has the authority to help adjust London’s procurement protocols to include corporate carbon performance.
- The new Mayor could immediately commission a consultation led by the GLA’s Head of Legal and Procurement to investigate legislative options.
Electric bus battery switch scheme
- Could London work with existing suppliers to design buses that allow their batteries to be switched out quickly and smoothly without disrupting operations? This could take place at optimum points on the network and could ensure that operations are not penalised by the time it takes to charge bus batteries.
Other areas of interest include ‘A London Blue Grid’ and ‘Walking in a Green London’.
8 April 2016: The Evening Standard reports that “Hundreds more Londoners are buying electric cars as the scale of the capital’s air pollution problem is laid bare, official figures reveal today. They show a jump of more than 22 per cent in electric cars, including hybrids, registered in the city in the first three months of the year, nearly 800, compared with 650 in the first quarter of 2015. In the South-East, the rise was a huge 84.9 per cent, from 1,632 to 3,019.” EV sales data is available on the SMMT’s website – but not on a regional basis.
“The number of electric cars registered in London has jumped from 61 in the whole of 2010 to a total now over 5,000. More charging points are being installed under the Source London scheme.” Read the full story here.
Proposals to make London “the electric vehicle capital of Europe” were set out last summer by the Mayor in TfL’s Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Delivery Plan – which contains details on work to support the growth of EVs and EV charging infrastructure.
London was recently awarded £13 million to create ‘Neighbourhoods of the future’ prioritising ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in several boroughs across the capital:
- Proposals include over a dozen streets in Hackney going electric with charging infrastructure such as car-charging street lighting, while Harrow will develop a low emission zone offering parking and traffic priority to owners of plug-in vehicles
- Westminster Council already provides free parking for ULEVs and London’s proposal aims to deliver 70,000 ULEVs sold by 2020 and almost quarter of a million by 2025
To help private plug-in vehicle owners offset some of the upfront cost of the purchase and installation of a dedicated domestic recharging unit, the Government is running the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. New guidance on this scheme was issued by Government last week.
April 2016: With the publication last week of the manifesto of the Liberal Democrat’s Caroline Pidgeon, all four major London Mayoral candidates have now set out their proposals in relation to energy and climate if they were to become Mayor. I’ve produced a summary of these proposals, across various categories of interest, in the following document.
The first thing to notice is the welcome inclusion of energy and climate proposals across all manifestoes: a wide number issues are addressed, but some common themes do emerge:
- The first – and most significant – pledge around energy to emerge from the manifestoes is that all four main candidates have set out their intention to establish a new London government based energy business. Zac Goldsmith references the work that Boris has taken forward over the past few years in advancing Licence Lite – but states he “will go further to set up ‘Energy for London – a new clean energy company'”. Sadiq Khan will establish ‘Energy for Londoners’ and both Caroline Pidgeon and Sian Berry state the will establish a new London energy company – Sian saying that this new business concern will be linked to Transport for London (the detail of which has been previously set out in a Jenny Jones commissioned report).
- N.B. There has been a previous attempt during Ken Livingstone’s tenure as Mayor to establish a municipal energy operation. The London Climate Change Agency (LCCA) (see wiki entry here) operated for a few years before made defunct as part of a restructure of the then London Development Agency.
- Worryingly, no candidate commits to working to achieve two long standing London climate targets: the 60 per cent 2025 carbon reduction target and the 25 per cent 2025 decentralised energy target.
- All candidates are keen on electric cars, with Zac Goldsmith pledging to introduce Paris’s Autolib electric car rental scheme to London – something Boris has talked about doing since 2009.
- There are warm words for support for developing community energy projects in London – with most detail set out in Zac Goldsmith’s manifesto.
- Sian Berry and Zac Goldsmith haven’t given up on the Green Deal model – both propose to investigate a London pay-as-you-save energy efficiency retrofit initiative. Caroline Pidgeon interestingly supports working with London councils to introduce a ‘consequential improvements’ policy – a proposal that Government scrapped back in 2012 – a decision which significantly contributed to the eventual demise of the Green Deal.
- All candidates support increasing the number of solar power installations in London with Caroline Pidgeon and Zac Goldsmith committing to specific targets – PV capacity equivalent to 200,000 homes/750MW/a 10 fold increase in solar – all of which amounts to around the same thing (see Greenpeace’s London solar report) which has contributed to candidates consideration on the future of solar in the capital.
All in all, it’s massively encouraging that energy concerns and their relevancy to the future of London have been recognised across all main manifestoes. Issues such as reducing the city’s contribution and response to climate change, increasing energy affordability, and accelerating the deployment of measures to enhance energy efficiency and decentralised energy are promoted by all candidates, which gives confidence that GLA programmes in place, such as RE:NEW, RE:FIT, DEPDU and others will continue to be supported by an incoming Mayor.
Some omissions from the manifestoes which it would have been good to have seen including advancing smarter energy initiatives (such as building on the work the GLA are doing with Tempus Energy and Kiwi Power), addressing potential energy security of supply issues in the capital (an issue previously raised by the Mayor and an area of GLA activity through the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group), energy efficiency in the commercial building sector (a significant and difficult issue for Mayor, with next to no regulatory powers over existing buildings…), and how new sustainable energy activities going forward will be financed. However – despite these concerns – this has been a great start providing much to build upon!
September 2015: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
data gathered through the Mayor’s Business Energy Challenge; the impact on the London Plan carbon targets as a result of the government scrapping the Zero Carbon Homes policy (and again) and again – and one more time; encouraging renewable energy investments through the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA); a discussion around potential winter electricity ‘blackouts’; impact of the government’s proposals to change the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) on the Mayor’s retrofit programmes – and again; lobbying to reduce business rates to district heating – and again; whether the Mayor will attend COP21 in Paris this December; the Clean Bus Summit recently held in London; fuel economy of the New Routemaster bus (and again, and again); a dossier of problems associated with the New Routemaster; GLA and boroughs discussions on coordinating fuel poverty responses across London; the roll out of electric vehicles in London; and supporting zero emission taxi fleets.
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
12 December 2014: Department for Transport (DfT) guidance for bidders to a £35 million scheme to help cities increase the local uptake of ultra low emission vehicles. Full details here.
October 2013: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
Climate change leadership; London’s successful ‘green economy”;
potential for wind energy in London; the human contribution to climate change; Nissan Electric taxis‘; emissions from electric vehicles; promoting community energy through planning; Mayor’s briefing to the House of Lords on the Energy Bill; Mayoral visits to the Dagenham wind power project; RE:NEW programme advice on supplier switching; supplier switching advice; Nuclear power and London; bills savings achieved by households under RE:NEW; the Mayor’s energy advisor’s visit to New York; the Mayor’s energy advisor’s visit to Rio de Janeiro; the Mayor’s view on wind farms; London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) Advisory Committee papers; nuclear power value to Londoners; roll-over energy contracts for SMEs; CO2 savings achieved under RE:NEW; the Mayor’s energy advisor’s visit to San Francisco; the Mayor’s view on MASDAR’s investment in the London Array; the Mayor’s view on shale gas; investment opportunities for London through financing wind power projects; hosting a London ‘Climate Week‘; RE:NEW advice supplier switching; renewable electricity supply to the Tube; SOURCE London charging points; London’s need for more electricity substations; completion of Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; applications to the London Schools Hydrogen Challenge; budget allocated to the Mayor’s new Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; the Mayor’s new Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; Londoners supported through the Mayor’s Know Your Rights helpline; GLA officers working on the new Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; RE:NEW report backs; Benefit Entitlement Checks (BECs) under RE:NEW; carbon offsets for flights; key activities in the Mayor’s new Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; private sector funding leveraged by RE:NEW; targets under the Affordable Warmth and Health Action Plan; community level responses to heatwaves; disseminating research undertaken to date on how to cope with heatwaves and the health impacts of cold homes.
Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.
July 2013: A recent meeting of the London Infrastructure Group, part of the London Enterprise Panel (the local enterprise partnership for London) included a paper considering requirements for London’s growing electricity infrastructure.
The paper highlights that “UK Power Networks (UKPN) is London’s main Distribution Network Operator (DNO) for electricity serving all except the London boroughs of Hillingdon, Hounslow and Ealing. Scottish and Southern Energy serve these boroughs. As DNO UKPN’s responsibility extends from the Grid Supply Points where it takes electricity at high voltages from National Grid to the supply of London’s homes and businesses.”
UKPN is currently consulting on its 2015 – 2023 Business Plan which is to be submitted to Ofgem. Much of the detail around UKPN’s proposals in the Plan have been discussed in recent meetings of the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group and an appendix paper to the London Infrastructure Group meeting considers some key elements of the Plan.
The papers report that the Mayor has raised concerns regarding future investment in London’s electricity distribution infrastructure and that UKPN latest proposals “represent a step backwards regarding the prospects of UKPN investing in advance of need. It gives rise to concern about whether UKPN has taken sufficiently full account of the needs of the City of London and other central London boroughs facing business and development growth. The reason for the backward step is mainly attributable to the intervention of Ofgem” (some of these concerns on future needs were recently raised by businesses in the recent West End Commission report).
Investment in major substations has been reduced from £170 million to £100 million compared to the original draft. UKPN now includes only four of the planned six (plus Earls Court1) major substations for central London on a funded basis (see Table 1 below for details). The origin of the change is principally Ofgem’s unwillingness to accept the remaining three substations as part of UKPN’s regulated asset base, since they would amount to investment by UKPN in advance of an actual connection being requested.
Interesting to note that other changes have been made to UKPN’s forecasts of sustainable energy investment in response to comments to the original consultation. These include changes to the assumptions regarding the uptake of electric vehicles and to the infrastructure investment for Feed–in–Tariff eligible generation.
March 2013: An update on progress of the Low Carbon London programme as it moves into the trial phase – the key areas for which are:
- Smart metering (SM) – monitoring residential and commercial electricity use and trialling variable tariff pricing to shift consumption behaviour.
- Small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) – quantify generation output, understand demand and manage techniques for accommodating these connections.
- Electric vehicles (EV) – understand and influence EV charging patterns and manage the impact on the electricity network.
- Distributed energy (DE)/Distributed generation (DG) – active network monitoring (ANM) – quantify generation output, understand how to facilitate and manage DG and how active control can be used by DNOs.
- Demand response (DR) – understand the potential to postpone/defer electricity network reinforcement during peak demand.
Further information on Low Carbon London here.