Tag Archives: Library

TfL CO2 emissions increase

November 2015: Transport for London latest ‘Health, Safety and Environment’ report has been recently posted online – available to download here (direct link here).

An important issue in relation to carbon emissions raised in the report, is London Underground’s reliance on grid supplied electricity:

“For electricity, we calculate the total CO2 emissions generated by multiplying the amount of energy we use by the Government’s annual emissions factor. This measures how much CO2 was emitted during the energy generation process, for example by power stations. It depends directly on the grid mix, eg the amount and type of fuel (coal or renewable energy) that was used to generate the national grid electricity in that year. Figure 9 shows that there was a 10 per cent rise in the carbon intensity of the grid mix in 2014/15. This means that our electricity-based CO2 emissions results are indicating a similar level of increase. To show the underlying trend of the change in energy use, rather than the change affected by the energy source, over which we largely have no control, we are for the first time also reporting our total energy consumption figures as kilowatt hours.”

No mention is made in the report of TfL’s activities to increase the amount of renewable electricity it generates or – curiously – efforts being made by GLA to help source local, decentralised electricity supplies for TfL through their Licence Lite programme.

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London benchmarks for cooling demand in new residential developments

October 2015: The Mayor’s has published a set of “good practice cooling energy demand benchmarks for typical apartment dwelling types, based on reasonable design measures”.

The work was undertaken by AECOM for the GLA and supports the London Plan’s cooling hierarchy as set out in Policy 5.9 of  Chapter 5 of the London Plan (London’s Response to Climate Change) which states the following [page 200 onwards]:

Major development proposals should reduce potential overheating and reliance on air conditioning systems and demonstrate this in accordance with the following cooling hierarchy:

  1. minimise internal heat generation through energy efficient design
  2. reduce the amount of heat entering a building in summer through orientation, shading, albedo, fenestration, insulation and green roofs and walls
  3. manage the heat within the building through exposed internal thermal mass and high ceilings
  4. passive ventilation
  5. mechanical ventilation
  6. active cooling systems (ensuring they are the lowest carbon options).

Two case studies where overheating in London developments has been identified are referenced in the study, including the Seagar Distillery redevelopment in Lewisham, as well as a paper, Forecasting future cooling demand in London, which estimates that the London residential sector could be responsible for an extra 100,000 tonnes CO2 per year by 2030 as a result of cooling.

A number of conclusions and recommendations are made in the study (p60 onwards) including:

  • GLA could produce a checklist for developers to complete with information about glazing ratios, shading methods, ventilation options etc. to help determine whether the development is likely to have overheating problems that should be investigated further. It could be used to identify when detailed modelling is required and could help monitor typical responses to the cooling hierarchy.
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The Role of Energy Efficient Buildings

15 October 2015:  New study by those excellent boffins at Ecofys for European insulation trade body Eurima which highlights that “Beyond the main benefits of energy efficiency, such as reduced energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency in buildings also has the potential to reduce costs and increase efficiency on the supply side.

Why would that be the case? It’s due to the amount of heating that is anticipated to shift from gas to electricity (boilers to heat pumps) over the coming decades:

Continue reading…

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Energy exchange in a dense urban environment

December 2014: Two papers from the December issue of academic journal Urban Climatepresented at  ICUC8: The 8th International Conference on Urban Climate and the 10th Symposium on the Urban Environment both publicly available.

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Integrating Environmental Thinking to ‘Make a City Great’

October 2013: A recent report by McKinsey sets out that “By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. That could mean great things for economic growth—if the cities handle their expansion wisely.” How to Make a City Great sets out how city leaders need to ‘Integrate Environmental Thinking’ into their economic decision-making – highlighting work already underway providing ‘green’ retrofits of existing buildings to developing entire green districts, with a summary provided of technologies deployed in such districts in various cities around the world.

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The impact on the fuel poor of the reduction in fuel poverty budgets in England

27  November 2012: Association of Conservation of Energy and Energy Bill Revolution campaign report setting out how the Government has significantly reduced the financial support it gives the fuel poor. The key findings of the research are as follows:

  • Firstly, we find that the total budget likely to be reaching the fuel poor in England falls from £1.191 billion in 2009 to £879 million in 2013. This is a reduction of 26%.
  • Secondly, we find that of the total budget reaching the fuel poor, the energy efficiency budget in England declines from £376 million in 2009 to £209 million in 2013, a reduction of 44%.
  • Thirdly, we estimate that of this total energy efficiency budget reaching the fuel poor, the number of households in England receiving energy efficiency measures declines from 150,000 households – already just 3.8% of fuel poor households – to 100,000 households, an even smaller 2.6% of households projected by DECC to be fuel poor in 2013. This is a reduction of 33% from a base that was already too low. One of the main reasons for this decline is the elimination of the Warm Front programme in 2013.
  • Fourthly, we find that although the programmes are slightly better targeted in 2013, the proportion of fuel poor households in England actually receiving support from the total budget increases from only 31% to 33%.

The report can be downloaded here.

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Transforming the energy market through local energy production

13 February 2012: New ‘Green Paper’ from think-tank ResPublica – Re-energising Our Communities: Transforming the energy market through local energy production – focuses on opportunities for  ‘community energy,  referring here to the “means of generating and distributing energy that is owned and led by communities, rather than by individuals or private businesses. Community energy vehicles are democratically accountable to community members and participants and may deliver a financial return to investors, or reinvest surplus profits back into the project and wider locality.”

The study makes a number of recommendations including:

  • DECC should recognise the need for a co-ordinated support programme for community energy
  • DECC, the Cabinet Office and the Treasury should conduct a cross-departmental review to examine the potential for community energy projects
  • Through forthcoming changes to local government finance, local authorities may retain a share of uplifts in local business rate income which could in turn be used for community investment
  • DECC and DCLG should work together to produce guidance on how the new ‘rights’ within the Localism Act 2011 could be used to support community energy.
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Public-Private Approaches for Energy Efficiency Finance

January 2012: The International Energy Report (IEA) have published a report looking at examples of how public-private opportunities can be used to drive forward energy efficiency investments in the public sector. The report also examines the role of Energy Service Performance Contracts. A few international examples are highlighted – however no reference to London’s RE:FIT programme. The IEA report can be downloaded here.

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Major London Renewable Energy Study Published

January 2012: As part of a series of DECC-funded regional renewable energy (RE) assessments, the GLA have just published a detailed study on the potential for renewable and low carbon energy in Greater London.

The report sets out results using DECC’s standardised renewable energy assessment methodology but has also developed second  tailored methodology to take into account the highly urbanised nature of  London, looking at opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions utilising low-carbon decentralised energy (DE) systems such as gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) and the use of waste heat from power stations. The tailored methodology also gives significantly greater estimates of the technical potential for certain types of RE than the DECC methodology, such as commercial scale wind turbines and photovoltaics but – importantly – the greater use of DE displaces “80% of the thermal microgeneration RE sources… based on the assumption that policies which strongly favour DE over other energy sources are required to reach high levels of heat network deployment.”

The results of this study suggest that:

  • Under the DECC methodology, up to 12% and 57% of London’s consumption of electricity and heating respectively can technically be met by RE sources from within Greater London
  • However the tailored methodology- for reasons detailed above –  estimates RE sources can technically supply up to 34% and 49% of electricity and heating respectively (the lower RE heating figure arising out the increased use of low carbon DE heat displacing some RE heating technologies in the ‘tailored’ methodology).
  • The combined technical potential for RE and DE is up to 53% and 44% of London’s consumption of electricity and heating respectively.
  • The technical potential of DE using large-scale heat networks is 20% of London’s energy supply
  • It is estimated that around 450MW of waste heat capacity is available from existing power stations and energy from waste (EfW) plants in the London area

The London Decentralised Energy Capacity Study can be downloaded here and comprises three reports:

  • Phase 1: Technical Assessment
  • Phase 2: Deployment Potential
  • Phase 3: Roadmap to Deployment

Some significant datasets lie behind the study and can be downloaded from the London Datastore here.

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Major new study – Is localism delivering for climate change?

21 October 2011: Excellent new study from environmental think-tank Green Alliance based on a survey of local authorities, looking at work currently underway on climate change.

The report states “The survey revealed a three-way split between local authorities:.

  • 37 per cent are deprioritising climate change or state that it was never a priority. Starkly worded submissions such as, “the sustainability function within my local authority has been deleted and the climate change function has been discontinued” illustrate the scale of the loss in certain places.
  • 35 per cent remain firm in their commitment to climate change and believe that action could even increase in the context of localism.
  • 28 per cent are narrowing their ambitions to focus on reducing emissions from their estate and ceasing work on wider environmental issues.

Overall, the results suggest that climate changework has narrowed, is very weak or absent in 65 per cent of local authorities.”

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It’s heating or eating in winter for us, pensioners warn Mayor

19 September 2011: The Evening Standard has today highlighted how a group of pensioners – including Islington Pensioners Forum – have submitted a petition to City Hall last week calling on the Mayor to do more to assist vulnerable people across the capital who are unable to pay their bills. In addition, London Councils has set out its concerns that over a quarter of Londoners are struggling to meet their energy bills – with rising prices and welfare reforms threatening to send even more into fuel poverty. To demonstrate how widespread the issue is, London Councils has modelled the impact of fuel poverty on four separate households – a lone parent, a ‘squeezed middle’ couple with two children, a lone pensioner and an extended family. When London’s housing costs are factored in, all but the ‘squeezed middle’ couple live in fuel poverty, spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy bills (the Government’s definition of those classed as being fuel poor).
The London Councils fuel poverty modelling report and press release can be downloaded here.

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Air Source Heat Pumps – Friend Or Foe?

August 2011: The AECB have posted on their website a really useful survey of Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP), a technology which is increasingly being installed in London buildings. The article addresses many of the common questions raised about ASHPs and looks “at possible reasons why the reality seems to have fallen short of the claims, reveals some common pitfalls and advises how to avoid (or remedy) them, and offers some pointers to assessing when a heat pump might be good option – and when something else might be the better option. “

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