Tag Archives: Electric Vehicles

New Ideas for London

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’.

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“Sales of electric cars soar 85% amid fear over pollution”

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.

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Mayoral manifestoes energy and climate proposals

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).
  • 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!

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Energy & Climate Change Questions to the Mayor

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.

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Go ultra low city scheme

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.

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Energy & Climate Questions to the Mayor

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.

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London’s Electricity Infrastructure

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.

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Decarbonising London’s electricity network

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.

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Going Green – How cities are leading the next economy

October 2012: LSE Cities report providing  an up-to-date overview on the experiences of how cities around the world are making the transition to the green economy.

The report sets out that London is a leading ‘electric vehicle pioneer’ [p85] stating that “Over the last decade, London has become a prominent leader in progressive transport policies and is globally recognized for introducing congestion charging, the upgrading of public transport and more recently the promotion of cycling. These policies have contributed to a steady drop in car ownership across London, from an average of 0.81 cars per household in 1995 to 0.76in 2011. The city has also seen the introduction of about 2,300 electric vehicles, the largest number in any city to date, and for has been leading on the development of charging infrastructure for over five years.”

The report can be downloaded from the LSE cities website here.

Further information on the promotion of EV’s in London can be obtained through Source London and Mayor’s Electric Vehicles Delivery Plan. Progress on EVs in London was set out in a response to a recent mayoral question:

  • It remains my aspiration that London be the electric vehicle capital of Europe with 100,000 EVs as soon as possible. London is already making good progress towards achieving this and is recognised as a leader in this area.
  • The Source London EV charging network – already the largest network in the UK – has around 700 charge points and is on target to have 1,300 by 2013, providing confidence for the growing EV market. This sits alongside grant support for home charging units with an offer due to launch in June.
  • There are currently 2,400 electric vehicles and 27,500 hybrid vehicles registered in Greater London – some 16% and 23% respectively of all such vehicles registered in the UK – and these figures continue to grow. TfL are pro-actively working with the Energy Saving Trust to target fleets operating in London to boost their uptake of EVs.
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Energy & Climate Questions to the Mayor

June 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to: whether the Mayor will look to establish a London energy cooperative; an update on the Mayor’s carbon reduction policies; whether the Mayor will move to developing a single environment strategy; the Mayor’s activities on supporting electric vehicles in the capital; list of buildings under the RE:FIT scheme; an update on the number of homes treated under RE:NEW; delivery of RE:NEW to the over 60s; and jobs created under the Mayor’s RE:NEW and RE:FIT programmes.

Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

May 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
Carbon savings achieved under RE:NEW; the number of homes treated to date under RE:NEW;  timetable for the formal evaluation of RE:NEW; access to the the Mayor’s climate change strategy data; the use of the London Energy Efficiency Fund to support energy efficiency in social housing; data on achievements under RE:NEW; information on Phase II of  RE:NEW and also delivery of the programme to older people; the Centre for Carbon Measurement; the Mayor’s commitments to his environment commitments; details on whether the Mayor will update other London environment strategies; the number of homes which will not reach the Decent Homes standard by April 2015; the funding of Decent Homes now it has moved under the Mayor’s control; Hybrid Buses target as set out in the Mayor’s Electric Delivery vehicle plan and the number of buildings treated under the RE:FIT programme.

Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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The Big Switch

25 July 2011: London Assembly member Mike Tuffrey outlines his new initiative launched today to convert London’s buses, taxis and light goods vehicles to electric power by 2020.

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