Tag Archives: Greenwich

Community Energy Share Offers are Go!

August 2016: Really great to see three share offers have recently gone live in London providing opportunities to invest around £200,000 in community energy projects across schools, university and church buildings.

  • Solar SOAS are seeking £40,000 for a solar installation  on the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Old Building. The project will install 114 solar panels – and the student union have already pledged £10,000 to the cost of the install. A list of useful FAQs can be seen here along with a video outlining the project. Solar SOAS state that “The solar panels are considered permitted development under Camden planning guidelines, therefore we do not need planning permission. As it is a listed building and in a conservation area, we do need listed building consent. Together with SOAS we have commissioned an extensive heritage impact report and submitted our application for listed building consent. We are awaiting the outcome of this but are confident we will get it.” The Heritage planning application is currently with Camden Council, some of the details of which can be seen here and here. Read more on the project on the Solar SOAS blog. The project succeeded in securing funding in May 2015 from the government’s Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) which was, sadly, terminated as of last month. Further info on the project on the following story on Solar Power Portal.
  • Power Up North London’s project involves the installations of  solar panels at St. Anne’s Church, Highgate. PUNL are seeking to raise  £30,100 through a Community Share Offer to install 19kW. The project faced difficulties back in June when, as the Camden New Journal reported “a conservation officer at the Town Hall has queried the project on the grounds of the panels being visible and potential damage caused to historic fabric” which prompted “a letter-writing campaign to force Camden Council to give the scheme the go-ahead”. The planning application was subsequently approved by the council in July, as reported in the Ham & High. Full details of investment offer are available on their website.
  • South East London Community Energy (SELCE) have been working for over a year to develop a number of solar projects on schools in the area. Their share offer was officially launched at City Hall in July and, as their website states, the “offer was so popular that it was oversubscribed and had to close a few days before the official end date of August 4th 2016. We have now raised £120,000 of investment from the community to install solar panels on three sites in South East London. These are: Alderwood Primary School, Deansfield Primary School
    and Bannockburn Primary School.” This new project builds upon earlier successes – a £250,000 community share offer for a 184-panel solar array at Mulgrave Primary School in Woolwich.
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Energy & Climate Change Questions to the Mayor

October 2015: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to: the number of London projects awarded funding from government’s Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF); minutes of the London Plan Energy Advisory Group meetings; helping reduce energy bills for Londoners who have electric heating; GLA loan to Tempus Energy; the impact of the closure of the Green Deal; minimum energy efficiency standards on London’s Private Rented Sector; support for the Governor of the Bank of England’s recent comments on carbon disclosure (and again) ; the FIT consultation and it’s impact on London’s solar industry (and again here); suppliers on the Mayor’s new RE:NEW energy efficiency retrofit framework; London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) investment in the fossil fuel sector; projected returns from investments made by the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF); planning approval of the Beddington incinerator; a health impact assessment for Beddington incinerator; London Plan requirements for borough planning carbon offset funds; London business risk and financial exposure to a ‘carbon bubble‘; climate sceptic views; Greenwich Power Station update; LED lighting on the Great West Road; production of BioSNG in London; tackling fuel poverty; the rollout of smart meters in London; supporting London businesses resilience to climate change; and an update to the License Lite process.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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London Energy Efficiency Programme Scrutinised

March 2014: The London Assembly Environment Committee held the first of two oral evidence sessions on progress made by the GLA’s energy and climate programmes. The first of these sessions was held on 6 February and focussed on the Mayor’s home energy efficiency programme, RE:NEW. Evidence was provided by representatives from a number of organisations, including EDF Energy, the Energy Saving Trust, Hillingdon Borough Council and the Mayor’s Housing Advisor. The full transcript can be accessed here – and a webcast can also be viewed here. Points of interest raised during the debate included:

  • The RE:NEW programme is awaiting confirmation they they have been successful in their application to the European Investment Bank’s European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) programme for £2.6m to put in place a support team over a three year period starting from April 2014 (the RE:NEW programme support team is currently operated for the GLA by Capita).
  • RE:NEW is  currently working with Greenwich, Havering, Newham and Westminster, Hyde Housing and Peabody Gallions developing “bigger projects that would be more attractive in terms of bringing in Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding“.
  • Borough responses suggested that RE:NEW was “not very hands-on with project development.” RE:NEW is keen to find out what boroughs are doing but “there is very little support there for boroughs in terms of developing projects and overcoming planning issues.
  • RE:NEW should be instead be focussing on what the GLA could do to “enhance [borough activities] even further if it wants to deliver ambitious carbon reduction targets
  • Further criticism was targeted at the RE:NEW programme stating that the funding resource was mainly going to Capita : “We see that the resources are actually on those people, basically, for the Capita resource. Local authorities are not really getting the benefit of that on the whole“.
  • An often confusing debate takes place on  how many homes were retrofitted through the RE:NEW programme and how many homes were insulated across London in total. A number of 400,000 homes is quoted by the Mayor’s Housing Advisor during the session. Though not explained, this number is most likely made up of the following: 327,00 treated through the Government’s CERT programme over the period April 2008 – December 2012 (see cell V35 of EST CERT data here), and 70,000 homes visited by the RE:NEW team and provided with ‘easy measures’ over the period July 2011-December 2012 (see MQ here for details). For more on this, see earlier post here.
  • RE:NEW Phase 3 has a target of retrofitting 175,000 homes.

Just ahead of the evidence session – somewhat belatedly – the Mayor published the full evaluation report of the main RE:NEW roll-out phase which ran from July 2011-May 2012 (a summary report had previously been issued – details here).  A second oral evidence session will take place on 26 March, focusing on the Mayor’s decentralised energy programmes, with the Mayor’s energy advisor, Matthew Pencharz, in attendance.

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London Home Energy Efficiency programme “significantly delayed”

December 2013: An oral evidence session between officials and the London Assembly Budget & Performance Committee (see earlier post for details) highlighted the slow progress of the Mayor’s domestic energy efficiency retrofit programme RE:NEW. A new paper (06a(v)) presented to the 18th December meeting of the London Assembly Budget Monitoring Sub-Committee provides some data helping illustrate the extent of the shortfall.

The current forecast for 13/14 (right hand chart) shows that RE:NEW is predicted to just miss the project target – however, the performance level to date indicated shows that even this reduced level of delivery is still some way off.  The oral evidence session (referred to above) in fact suggests that only 3% of the 13/14 target has as yet been achieved (996 tonnes of CO2 compared to a target of 29,416 earlier post). Paper 06a(v) provides some explanation for the slow progress:

  • Delivery  of  the  RE:NEW  Phase  II  carbon targets  is  significantly  delayed  and  contractors  will  miss  their  obligations.   This  is  largely  due  to  delays  in  availability  of  ECO  (government  subsidy). Delivery  of  the  carbon  savings  from  the  interim  Support  Team  has  exceeded  targets  for  quarter  two
  • Performance  payments  have  been  withheld  from  contractors  and  the  funding  is  being  reallocated  to  the  RE:NEW  Support  Team  in  order  to  reduce  the  shortfall  in  performance. However, this  is not sufficient  to  completely  mitigate  the  lower  savings  from  RE:NEW Phase  II  and  this,  combined  with  a  delay  in  confirmation  from  the  European  Investment  Bank  for  ELENA  funding  prior  to  commencing  procurement  of  the  full  RE:NEW  Support  Team,  means  its  is  forecast  75  per cent  of  2013/14  carbon  targets  will  be  achieved.
  • The  targets  for  future  years  have  been  reviewed  and  updated  in  light  of  the  above  and  as  planned.   They  have  been  reduced  for  2014/15  and  2015/16,  but  an  additional  year  of  delivery  (2016/17)  has  been  added,  which  leads  to  an  increase  in  carbon  savings  overall – albeit  over  a  longer  period.

The paper goes on to report latest CO2 saving estimates of two further Mayor’s climate change projects – RE:FIT (the public sector building retrofit project) and the London decentralised energy programme. The latter states that “Significant progress has been made on several projects, particularly with regards the Lea Valley Heat Network, Lakeside Energy from Waste, Greenwich Power Station and the Kew Gardens Decentralised Energy scheme.

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London’s Energy Future 2020

June 2013: The Mayor has set out priorities for the capital over the following decade in a new publication 2020 Vision – The Greatest City on Earth:Ambitions for London. Examples of some of the challenges highlighted in the accompanying press release include that “London’s population will hit ten million by 2030. London also needs 400,000 new homes in the next ten years alone.”

Despite the Mayor stating in the report that “The country as a whole is facing an energy crisis” (see below), disappointingly, across the 84 pages of the report, little is said in relation to practical measures the Mayor will undertake in helping secure London’s energy requirements to 2020 and beyond. There is also no specific reference at all to climate change in the report or how the capital may need to adapt to changed weather patterns. The ‘Securing our Energy Supplies’ section (p44) sets out many of the problems – but few future actions:

“New homes and new transport links will put pressure on other forms of infrastructure, notably water, sewage and energy. The country as a whole is facing an energy crisis, as nuclear power stations reach the end of their lives and as coal fired stations are closed to comply with EU regulations.

For too long London has been reliant solely on the National Grid and we need six new £40m substations urgently. It is time to take much bolder steps towards self-sufficiency. We are reducing wasted energy – retrofitting tens of thousands of buildings and helping to reduce fuel bills.
London’s CO2 emissions have actually fallen by 13.7 per cent since 2000, and are now back at 1990 levels. Our retrofitting schemes have so far improved the efficiency of 111 public buildings and 82,000 homes.

By 2020 we must have in hand a project to retrofit every badly insulated home in the city, and every badly insulated office -not just to save energy, save CO2 but to save Londoners’money in tough economic times. As they have discovered in Germany, these retrofitting schemes can be formidable creators of employment.

A building the size of the Shard can use as much electricity as Colchester – and so we need to meet London’s energy needs as independently as possible. By 2025 we intend to supply 25 per cent of the city’s power from decentralised energy generation within London itself – and it is clearly right that these plants should run, as far as possible, on renewable fuels.

It is a little known fact that TfL has its own power station in Greenwich, and we are now working with the private sector to convert that station to provide heat and power from low carbon energy sources; and this could be the first of many.” (for more on this see here and here)

There is, not surprisingly, a strong emphasis on the creation of new jobs for Londoners running as major thread through the report. The Mayor has previously highlighted the  opportunity presented to London through the adoption of  low carbon programmes – a 2011 study for the Mayor suggesting up to 14,000 jobs could be created. Boris’s 2012 Mayoral election manifesto stated that 4,300 ‘green’ jobs could be created through his retrofitting and decentralised energy programmes alone. Despite the mention in the report (see above) on how Germany has managed to boost employment by adopting major energy efficiency retrofit schemes, though there are 55 references to jobs in the ‘2020 Vision’ document, there is no single specific mention to how ‘green jobs’ will be further promoted.

Finally, the odd factlet stated in the report comparing the electricity use in Colchester to The Shard (see above) was first used in a column the Mayor wrote in the Daily Telegraph in December 2012…and was disputed soon after.

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Greenwich Power Station- a long term low carbon energy solution for London?

April 2013: Greenwich Power Station (GPS) is Transport for London (TfL)/London Underground’s (LU)  single remaining source of non-National Grid electricity. It’s Wiki entry lists it as a “a standby oil, gas, and formerly coal-fired power station available as a back-up electricity source for the London Underground”. A past TfL environment report sets out that  “Originally a coal-fired power station, Greenwich was built between 1902 and 1910 in order to supply electricity to the London Tram Network. Today electricity is generated by eight Rolls Royce Avon gas turbine engines which were installed between 1967 and 1972. These engines are fuelled by natural gas and are also capable of running on fuel oil which is stored as an emergency reserve at the site.”

A few months ago, TfL issued something called a ‘Periodic Indicative Notice’ the purpose of which  was to allow interested parties with appropriate experience to participate in “developing a solution to exploit opportunities for low carbon energy generation” at Greenwich power station.

Continue reading…

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Biomethane and Gas Vehicle Conference

April 2013:  The UK  Biomethane and Gas Vehicle Conference is being held at City Hall by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Defra, the Transport KTN, Cleaner Air for London, the LowCVP and the ADBA on 5 June 2013. Free to attend, the conference will bring together 120 professionals from the AD industry, local authorities, government departments and agencies, supermarkets, fleet operators and those interested in the development of biomethane for transport to discuss a wide range of issues. Full details here.

The Mayor has recently stated that London as yet does not operate any biomethane buses, and highlighted the biomethane filling station in Camden, where he states that he is looking at the potential to increase the use of bio-methane and other low emission alternative fuels in London’s transport sector and would like other boroughs and organisations to install and promote clean alternative fuels and refuelling stations, such as what is being provided in Camden.” More on Camden’s York Way Compressed biomethane gas refuelling station here.

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Greenwich Peninsula DE network

April 2013: Industry journal Utility Week revealed last week that E.ON is planning to support the development of a district heating development in the Greenwich Peninsula. The brief story states that “The energy company is in talks with the Royal Borough of Greenwich to develop heat networks around the O2 Arena”.

E.ON’s website provides some further detail on their role to date: “Initially E.ON undertook a high level technical model of the Greenwich Peninsula to assess and validate both heat demand and the indicative heat network design. A design audit shortly followed. E.ON is advising the Greenwich Peninsula Regeneration venture on the heat network design and specification provided by other consultancies, ensuring it’s sufficiently robust to be adopted by an ESCo (Energy Services Company).”

The March 2012 Greenwich Heat Mapping Study provides much more information, setting out that the “Greenwich Peninsula cluster focuses on the existing district heating network at the Greenwich Millennium Village and the O2 Stadium site and the proposed district heating network for the Greenwich Peninsula Regeneration Limited (GPRL) site. The new redevelopment site consists of 10,000 new homes and 340,000 square meters of mixed use space.”

The study goes on to say that a wider area heat network could in fact be developed by “engaging with the developers for Heart of East Greenwich, Lovell’s Wharf and Enderby Wharf to gain clarity on progress and potential for linking to wider DE network”.

Greenwich’s Climate Change Strategy from 2011 sets out plans for the wider use of decentralised energy across the borough. Greenwich’s Core Strategy consultation also sets out plans for supporting the development of CHP.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

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

the Mayor’s position on nuclear and its role in securing London’s future energy supplies; the number of ‘low carbon generators’ currently helping power Transport for London’; the Mayor’s application to DECC’s  Fuel Poverty and Green Deal Pioneer Places funds; European Investment Bank (EIB) funding for energy efficiency retrofits in housing; the amount of energy consumed by The Shard; the potential for the Green Deal in London; further funding for the Mayor’s RE:NEW home energy efficiency programme; promoting the Green Deal to Londoners over-65; publication of the latest TfL Environment report; GLA environment publications; hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles; the number of fuel poverty households treated under RE:NEW; revised publication date of the RE:NEW evaluation report; the total number of homes treated under RE:NEW; funding and evaluation of the RE:CONNECT Low Carbon Zones programme; zero carbon developments on the Greenwich Penisula; the Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize; the RE:FIT Schools initiative; the number of jobs created under RE:FIT; progress on the LED traffic lights initiative.


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‘London to test ‘smart city’ operating system’

May 2012: BBC News story reporting that “An operating system designed to power the smart cities of the future will be put through its paces in London. With partners including Hitachi, Phillips and Greenwich council, it aims to use the Greenwich peninsula as a testbed for new technologies running on the system. The OS aims to connect key services such as water, transport, and energy.”

Further information is available on Living Plan IT’s website which states “The Urban Operating System (UOS™) is the core technology platform that will manage vast amounts of data across cities and urban spaces and thereby facilitate smarter, sustainable and intelligent-living. This, in turn, will lead to more efficient use of energy and other resources, providing the basis for innovative services for residents, businesses and governments as well as new jobs and exports.”

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

February 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

money saved through RE:FIT; grants available to tackle Fuel Poverty; the budget available to the RE:NEW energy efficiency programmeCarbon savings of ten easy measures from RE:NEW; Borough roll-out of home energy efficiency scheme RE:NEW; an Update on home energy efficiency scheme RE:NEW; the Mayor’s work with energy companies to eradicate Fuel Poverty; the number of homes in Greenwich under the RE:NEW programme; the number of homes in Lewisham under the RE:NEW programme; the number of homes under the RE:NEW programme receiving benefits; the age profiles of householders being treated under the RE:NEW programme; fuel poor homes treated under the RE:NEW programme; the number of public sector buildings treated under RE:FIT; the London 2012 Olympics – carbon reduction target; progress on Decentralised Energy; monitoring of renewable energy; the quantity of London’s Renewable EnergyRE:NEW cost and carbon savings; progress against London’s 2020 CO2 reduction target; and Climate change budgets.

Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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Greenwich Peninsula Decentralised Energy Project Update

November 2011: Greenwich Council has issued a tender for services in relation to the construction of a district heating network across this major London redevelopment site. The tender states that “The Greenwich Penninsula Project is a major regeneration scheme involving 67 development plots. As part of this development and in support of low carbon initiatives a district heating system will be installed to provide heating and hot water to the development utilising low carbon energy technology. The scope of this enquiry is for the architecturl design of the buildings to house all the equipment including Biomass Boilers and CHP units.”

Further information on the Greenwich Peninsula DE project is available on:

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