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Tag Archives: Mayor
21 December 2020: Details of a new project by the Mayor of London looking to drive energy efficiency retrofit in the commercial business sector. “The pilot will work with a Business Improvement District (BID) to recruit 15-20 businesses (including SMEs) with the aim of delivering an overall reduction in energy consumption of at least 30 per cent over 3 years across the participating businesses. The businesses themselves will commit to an upfront 10 per cent target for the pilot year, which we will ask them to update with a more ambitious 2024 target, that is appropriate for their buildings based on the findings of an energy assessment carried out as part of the pilot (expected to be in excess of 30 per cent energy savings). Pilot participants will receive free support from technical experts and high profile recognition for those that meet or exceed their targets.”
This is a much-needed project for London, as policies and programmes to promote energy efficiency in business/commercial buildings are all but absent from national government policy – especially since the closure by the then-Chancellor of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme (see here for details). It should be mentioned that BEIS have been considering an energy efficiency scheme for small and medium sized businesses for sometime (see here) – with an auction type mechanism currently being considered as the route forward.
15 December 2020: London’s Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment, Shirley Rodrigues, writes for UK100 on the Mayor’s Green New Deal for London plan. Shirley writes “In practice, the Green New Deal means we will:
- Work towards getting all London’s buildings to Net Zero emissions
- Modernise our public transport, make our city greener and better able to cope with the impacts of a warmer climate
- Build the economic, social, and political foundations so London’s green economy can grow. This means mobilising green finance, planning for a just transition and calling on government to give us powers and resources to meet the city’s climate targets by 2030.”
For more on the Mayor’s Green New Deal, see the following post.
11 December 2020: A number of announcements made in this Mayor of London press release issued today:
- Public sector finances alone will not mobilise the investment required to make London zero carbon and help a green recovery. Sadiq has commissioned the Green Finance Institute (GFI) to explore opportunities to maximise the flow of private capital into London’s environmental priorities. This includes the capital investment required to upgrade London’s buildings, transport and energy networks to net zero emissions. The Green Finance Institute will publish their recommendations to the Mayor in early 2021.
- Further funding for MEEF (the Mayor’s Energy Efficiency Fund). MEEF, managed by Amber Infrastructure Group, has mobilised over £250 million of public and private capital enabling projects including heat networks and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Today the Mayor committed a further £8.2m of ERDF which will leverage further finance and further deliver on his ambitions for London. MEEF built on the previous London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF) – case studies of projects supported under LEEF can be seen here. Recent MEEF loans can be seen here.
The GFI work commissioned by the Mayor builds on the work undertaken by the London Sustainable Development Commission (LSDC) Green Finance working group (of which I am member of) , the output of which was published in a report ‘Financing London’s Future‘ launched at an event at London Guildhall earlier this year (see press release here). Further information on the GFI-commissioned study here.
19 November 2020: The Mayor today announced some of the first outputs from his Green New Deal for London mission which has operating over the past few months. This is one of nine missions established as part of the Mayor’s London wide Recovery programme, with the Green New Deal seeking to tackle “the climate and ecological emergencies and improve air quality by doubling the size of London’s green economy by 2030 to accelerate job creation for all.”
Today’s statement announced a total of £10m of funding commitments by the Mayor to large number of programmes, some of which are summarised below (see the press release for full details and list) :
- North London District Energy, which will fund the extension of the planned heat network planned from the Edmonton Energy Recovery Centre from Enfield into Hackney and Haringey (for further information on this funding – see following from Energetik, Enfield Council’s district heating company)
- Support for a new fourth round of the London Community Energy Fund (LCEF4). I’m of course pleased with this being the Chair of Community Energy London (CEL), and that in addition to the feasibility/development funding provided for projects, as the three previous rounds of LCEF have done, this new round will also include £500,000 of capital support.
- A new round of, Solar Together London, which “uses a group-buying model to unlock significant savings from suppliers (up to 35 per cent in previous rounds) which makes solar more affordable for Londoners. This round of funding will drive a London-wide programme which will also include up to £60,000 to support installers to boost their training and employment opportunities and grow the supply chain.”
Many more projects announced including a solar programme at Old Oak and Park Royal, a Future Neighbourhoods retrofit programme, and further funding for bus electrification and electric vehicle charging.
17 November 2020: Ahead of May 2021’s London Mayoral election, excellent to see the following initiative by Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive of London First and Rachel Skinner, Executive Director of WSP who “have written to all London Mayor candidates on behalf of over 50 of the capital’s leading employers, urging them to make climate action a central plank of their campaigns. This means setting out a clear pathway to achieve London’s net zero goals by convening all parts of government, creating the right regulatory environment to promote investment in net zero, and supporting Londoners to make better, greener choices.” Read the full story at onlondon.
“Mayor Khan has promised action on energy efficiency through building standards and his proposed Energy for Londoners not for profit company. But with the Mayor’s Office yet to choose an environment appointee and currently reviewing all ongoing programs, it was unable at time of writing to provide BusinessGreen with any details about future plans for the RE:FIT scheme.”
However, a recent MQ response from the Mayor seems to set the issue to rest for now with the Mayor not only stating that the programme will continue, but will need to be ramped up:
Do you intend to continue with the GLA’s RE:FIT and RE:NEW energy efficiency programmes? How effective do you understand the programmes have been?
I intend to continue with homes and buildings retrofit programmes. But to achieve my ambitious target of becoming a zero carbon city by 2050 we will need to rapidly increase the pace of retrofitting, so I am currently exploring what more can be done.
Much more can be seen on RE:FIT on the GLA website
February 2016: The Greater London Authority (GLA) has asked me to post the following online: “a new opportunity for interested contractors to be part of a new framework on Decentralised Energy (DE). The Mayor of London has set a target to meet 25% of London’s energy supply from DE by 2025. The DE Capacity Study (GLA, 2011) confirmed this target as being achievable based on both renewable and low carbon energy sources and that it represented an £8 billion investment opportunity.
The development of DE projects through the various phases to market requires significant resource and a diverse set of skills, knowledge and expertise. These elements combined with the risk profile of the project development phase act as real barriers for both public and private sector organisations.
Since 2011 the GLA has been supporting others to identify and implement DE projects through various programmes. Energy for London will be delivered by the GLA and will procure and direct technical, commercial, financial and other advisory and support services to help others develop, procure and bring into operation larger-scale DE schemes that deliver significant CO2 reductions at market-competitive prices.
Please take a look at the Prior Information Notice, which has just been issued and is available here.” Hmm… – the GLA have decided to call this initiative Energy for London…
June 2014: Progress continues by the Mayor to obtain a junior electricity supply license – otherwise known as ‘license lite’. A tender was issued in March to start the process of attracting support from a fully licensed electricity supplier to help with the Mayor’s application to Ofgem (details here) and further information was issued by the Mayor in a recent press release ‘Mayor to become London’s smallest electricity supplier‘ which stated that “The ground-breaking move will permit him to offer the capital’s small electricity producers up to 30 per cent more for their excess energy than existing suppliers do, which he will then sell on to TfL, the Met and others at cost price.” The Mayor’s announcement attracted significant media interest including this piece in the Guardian,
A very good paper presented at the GLA’s Investment & Performance Board last week provides some further detail on issues that need to be considered as the ‘License Lite’ process progresses. The paper highlights that:
- A principal risk remains timing because the type of licence application is new to all parties and therefore timing remains difficult to predict.
- There is strong government support for the Mayor’s Licence Lite project. In May 2014 Matthew Pencharz and a GLA officer attended a round table discussion on licence lite chaired by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey to discuss progress of licence lite.
- A detailed draft economic model has been prepared in consultation with Transport for London, with whom discussions are in train for the purchase by it of electricity supplied from decentralised energy systems by the GLA under its licence.
- The financial outcome of the model is positive, but cannot be confirmed until tenders for the provision of the market services have been received from tenderers who have responded to the preliminary questionnaire during August of this year.
- Selected London boroughs have been briefed and provisionally identified the electricity capacity best sold under licence lite, together with other suitable public sector electricity generating capacity in London.
- The objective is for submission for a Mayoral Decision to approve the grant of the licence to the GLA by Ofgem and to approve entering into the necessary contracts to enable the project to proceed to completion in October 2014. Subject to that, the licence may be granted to the GLA in November 2014, operations commencing in April 2015.
March 2014: As part of its ambition to be a ‘junior’ or ‘license lite’ electricity supplier, the GLA last week released a tender advert seeking the “provision of Electricity Market Services to an Applicant for a UK Electricity Supply Licence Services to the Greater London Authority (GLA).”
Under rules Ofgem issued in 2009 [and after a two year process (see para 3.59 (p99) of the 2007 Energy White Paper which kick started this activity!)] , Ofgem introduced additional licensing options to make it easier for small energy companies including decentralised energy schemes to operate as a licensed supplier on the public network. The key element of making a ‘license lite’ supplier’s business ‘easier’ is by releasing them from having to engage in a series of complex electricity industry supply codes and actions (such as the Balancing & Settlement Code (BSC), data transfers, settlement, being party to the Master Registration Agreement (MRA), and being signed to the Grid Code and the Connection and Use of System Code (CUSC) – and more!)
However, the rules set by Ofgem still require the license lite supplier to have arrangements in place with a fully licensed third party, who is able to deal with these codes and action, and who can act on behalf of the license lite supplier to ensure that it is fully operating under the rules of the electricity market. The tender released by the GLA is seeking to establish a relationship with a ‘third party full licensed supplier’ for these services. The key question to this whole process has always been ‘what is the benefit to the third party – who has invested in complying with all these codes and actions – of offering these services to a license lite supplier’? The GLA tender is seeking to address this key issue and see if there is in fact any appetite in the market for a fully licensed supplier to offer these services to what is in effect a potential competitor.
Interestingly, the Mayor’s energy advisor, Matthew Pencharz, stated during an evidence session to the London Assembly Environment Committee earlier this week, that two companies have already expressed an interest in the tender to the GLA.
“TfL is seeking tenders on behalf of the GLA for the provision of electricity market services as described below.
The GLA requires electricity market services to support an application for a GB electricity supply licence by the GLA under proposals of the UK Office of Gas and Electricity Markets Authority of 6th February 2009 entitled – ‘Distributed Energy – Final Proposals and Statutory Notice for Electricity Supply Licence Modification (Ref: 08 / 09).
Under Ofgem’s proposals, Ofgem may enable an applicant for an electricity supply licence (in this case the GLA) to be granted a licence without the applicant needing to become a party to the Balancing and Settlement Code and Master Registration Agreement and other codes, providing the licence applicant has presented a realistic implementation plan for robust alternative arrangements with another licensed electricity supplier to provide services, to enable the electricity market to function without the GLA being a party to the relevant codes.
The GLA is seeking parties interested in providing or securing the provision of robust and cost effective alternative arrangements from a licensed electricity supplier that will satisfy these requirements of Ofgem.”
Why do all of this? The GLA’s ambition is to purchase decentralised energy systems exported low carbon electricity (mostly from CHP plants in London) and then sell this output to a single consumer – London Underground (one of the biggest electricity users in the UK) – passing more of the value of this purchased electricity back to the generator than is currently the case (estimated at between 10-20 per cent more according the Mayor’s energy advisor), helping improve the business case for more low carbon generation plant in London.
Further background to GLA’s work in this area can be found here.
November 2013: The House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee is currently undertaking an enquiry into Heat. The terms of reference to the enquiry states that “so far much of government’s energy policy focus has been on low-carbon electricity generation (in particular, the Energy Bill, which aims to reform the electricity market). Yet heat is responsible for 46% of UK energy use, approximately a third of UK greenhouse gas emissions, and is a major cost in both the domestic and non-domestic sectors.”
The Greater London Authority (GLA) has submitted written evidence to the Committee outlining the significant decentralised energy programme underway in the capital. The evidence sets out a number of interesting points related to the wider scale deployment of heat networks as well as recommendations to Government in terms of its policies to promote decentralised generation. These include:
- The Mayor welcomes the Committee’s scrutiny of this often over-looked area of energy policy
- There are “inconsistencies in government’s energy policy and regulatory regime that are preventing heat generation and distribution in cities” which “…distort the market for heat by providing external financial support for some technologies, while largely ignoring heat networks“.
- Heat network deployment at the scale envisaged for London represents a significant infrastructural challenge, requiring approximately 3,600km of heat networks to be constructed by 2030 and equates to an investment opportunity of approximately £6bn
- Whilst district heating schemes can qualify for funding under ECO, the current two year target as well as uncertainty regarding longer-term target discourage energy suppliers from investing in these schemes. Government should consider setting longer term targets for the next phases of ECO, or provide guidance on how investment in district heating schemes can contribute to current or future targets
- We estimate that London housing development will generate at the very least £25m per annum under the proposed Allowable Solutions regime – by far the greatest amount of any region. Yet, because measures are likely to be cheaper outside London, London businesses and households will again be subsidising other regions and receiving less investment into low carbon, heating bill reducing measures. In addition, as Allowable Solutions investment is likely to lever ECO investment, there is a risk that the proposed scheme will exacerbate the imbalance in ECO investment away from London.
The Committee’s evidence gathering process continues in November – more of which can be found here.
October 2013: In the most recent of his weekly columns in the Daily Telegraph, the Mayor relates a story of a meeting he had with Labour leader Ed Miliband a few years ago, when Ed was the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The Mayor’s account is in part a response to the announcement Mr Miliband made at last week’s Labour Party Conference that, if Labour were to come into government after the 2015 general election, they would enact a 18 month ‘energy price freeze’ on energy company tariffs.
The Mayor account prove interesting reading: “I don’t think I have ever told you about my last official meeting with Ed Miliband. I must have somehow blanked it out, as one of those experiences that is just too harrowing to relate. It took place a few years ago, and my City Hall team was very excited in the run-up. We had an absolute corker of a plan, you see. We had the spreadsheets, the data, the options – and all we really needed was for Government to get behind it, and make sure that London got its fair share of the funding.
“We were going to launch a huge drive to improve the energy efficiency in the capital’s homes. We were going to hit all sorts of nails pretty smartly on the head: we were going to cut CO₂ emissions, and thereby stop the polar bears from plopping off the ice floes. We were going to cut NO₂ emissions from our noisome old boilers, and so improve air quality. We were going to help get thousands of people into work as retro-fitters – people who went around helping to insulate homes.
“As I told my team during the preparations, Britain might be lagging in some respects, but once our programme was under way we would certainly not be lagging in lagging. Above all, we were going to achieve the number one objective of the scheme: we were going to help cut the cost of heating people’s homes and help stabilise fuel bills.
“I was interested in the plan as a way of helping the planet and helping people in tough times. As for Ed – well, it was, frankly, a bit disheartening. He wasn’t remotely interested. He didn’t want to talk about retro-fitting and, as I gabbled away about a new legion of “boiler bunnies” bouncing up to your door, I was aware that a deep tranquillity had settled on the minister.
“He didn’t want to talk about cutting the cost of living. He just wanted to trade jokes about the forthcoming general election; and as one of my team put it later: “He was only vaguely in command of his brief and had no interest in achieving anything.” We wrote a long and optimistic follow-up letter, hoping that perhaps he had been taking it in. Nada. Not a peep.”
It would be great to read a response from the Labour leader of his account of this meeting…but it seems unlikely that one will be forthcoming anytime soon. It is true that national governments – of all political persuasions – have neglected to provide the tools to London-government to exploit in full its carbon-saving and sustainable energy potential. And a recent letter from the Secretary of State for Energy to the Mayor suggests a similar indifference continues today…
September 2013: The Mayor’s concerns over “uncertainties of our energy supply and growing chances of supply disruption in the coming years” have been highlighted in correspondence between Boris Johnson and Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, released this week.
The Mayor writes that his “priority is delivering the jobs and growth that will ensure London remains the best big city in the world in which we live, work and invest, and having a secure energy supply will be absolutely crucial to achieving this… I am adamant that we must do everything in our power now to ensure that the lights will stay on in the future.”
The Mayor calls for major changes to the regulatory control framework rules for distribution network operators (DNOs). As these are predominantly monopoly businesses, the operating framework is set by energy regulator Ofgem. DNOs are the companies operating the local electricity grid (as opposed to the higher voltage ‘national transmission grid’) and in London the majority of the distribution network is managed by UK Power Networks and parts of west London by Scottish & Southern Energy. The Mayor letter calls for a “urgent review of the currently regulatory regime to ensure that DNOs are able to invest in energy infrastructure and install capacity ahead of need”.
The Mayor highlights problems with current legislation and – interestingly – points to “the way Ofgem interprets and exercises its regulatory functions [which] are not fit for purpose” and finally calls upon the Secretary of State for ideas on how to give “DNOs in London substantially more scope and flexibility to reduce the level of network stress and improve strategic investment in London’s electricity infrastructure.”
In response to the tightening of electricity supply capacity over the next few years Ed Davey refers to possible extensions to existing balancing services operated by National Grid and in the “medium term …steps to ensure sufficient investment in capacity via the Capacity Market, with the first auction taking place in 2014 for 2018/19 delivery.”
On the issue often brought up by businesses – the speed of installing electricity connections to new users – the Minster’s letter touches upon current Ofgem work to set the new electricity distribution price control (called RIIO ED1) and sets out that “the existing framework provides the flexibility to drive efficiency outcomes in the vast majority of cases.”
The Mayor’s correspondence with Ed Davey is set out in Appendix 6a of the following GLA document.
The Mayor has established a ‘High Level Electricity Working Group’ to look at many of the issues raised above and minutes and papers from the three meetings that have taken place to date of this group can be found here. A further recent paper looking at London’s electricity infrastructure by the London Infrastructure Group can be viewed here.