Tag Archives: Newham

“The power revolution could soon be moving from dream to reality”

10 August 2016: Welcome to see the Evening Standard today include a major comment piece by Leo Johnson on how “Small-scale projects such as those in Newham, Brixton and Islington give a glimpse of Britain’s energy future”.

Leo highlights three projects in London as signs of how the decentralised energy model is now in the ascendancy, shifting from the “dominant energy model, the centralised production and distribution of fossil fuel-based power through the grid”.

  • “In Newham, for example, the Combined Heat and intelligent Power plant (CHiP) aims to harness the energy from “fatbergs”, the bus-size balls of grease which cost Thames Water an estimated £1 million a month to remove, using teams of trained “flushers” decked out with protective white suits and shovels who descend into London’s Victorian sewer system to hack up the fat. CHiP plans to use the fat instead to power 40,000 homes.” This project is fascinating and received a lot of coverage when first announced back in 2013 – which was covered in some detail in an earlier post here – but not much further information has been forthcoming from the project on their website.
  • “In Brixton, the energy group Repowering is installing solar panels on the rooftops of housing association buildings to lower fuel bills, and is teaming up with Transport for London to introduce “energy gardens” across 50 London Overground sites.” In June of this yearRepowering was awarded a prestigious Ashden Award for their work – a case study and excellent video are posted on the Ashden website here. The Energy Gardens project was covered by ITV news a few weeks ago – see video here – and more can be seen at energygarden.org.uk
  • “At the Bunhill Energy Centre project in Islington, whose second phase was opened by Mayor Sadiq Khan last month, they’re using heat from the Northern line tube to power a thousand homes.” Lots more about Bunhill here.

Leo also highlights some work commissioned by the GLA by  engineers Buro Happold “have estimated that there is enough heat wasted in London alone to power 70 per cent of the city’s energy needs. What’s the potential for growth? Copenhagen provides 98 per cent of its space and water heating through district heating, at 45 per cent of the cost of normal oil heating bills. London’s uptake, better than the one to two per cent national average, is currently just five per cent.”  The 2013 London Secondary Heat study can be downloaded here.

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Dawn Butler and Jeremy Corbyn launch #PrePayRipOff campaign

February 2016: The Kilburn Times reports that Brent Central MP,  Dawn Butler, and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn (who is also the Islington North MP) have launched a campaign in the House of Commons to tackle the higher costs of using prepayment gas and electricity meters. The campaign was kick-started with the launch of a petition on behalf of more than 13,000 residents in Brent who use the prepayment method.

Following on from an Early Day Motion (EDM) on prepayment meters put forward by Dawn Butler, the Brent MP held a debate in the House of Commons on the 1st of December 2015 highlighting that her “constituency has one of the highest numbers of people on PPMs in the country—at 26%, it is 10% above the national average—and those on PPMs pay on average £226 more a year than those with the cheapest direct debit deals.” (full transcript here – youtube video here).

The Kilburn Times also reported that Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan was at the campaign launch where he said “One in five households in London have no choice but to use prepayment meters to pay their bills. This could be costing the most disadvantaged families in the capital an additional £140 million a year. “I am calling on the energy companies to automatically give Londoners the best possible deal on their energy tariffs and ensure the most disadvantaged in our communities are given reduced standing rates.”

Another London politician supporting the campaign is East Ham MP Stephen Timms.

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London Riverside decentralised energy plans develop

26 October 2015: Plans for the development of the London Riverside Opportunity Area have been progressing for some years now (see post here). Following a consultation earlier this year, final plans were adopted by the Mayor of London on 23 September 2015 as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to the London Plan and published online and launched at a public event at the NLA on 22 October 2015.

London Riverside is one for 4 Opportunity Areas (OA) covering a wide scale development in the East of London comprising London Bridge, Canada Water, Deptford Creek/Greenwich Riverside, Isle of Dogs, Lower Lee Valley, Upper Lee Valley, Ilford, Greenwich Peninsula, Charlton Riverside, Woolwich, London Riverside, Bexley Riverside and Abbey Wood and Thamesmead. The planning frameworks across they areas are at at different stages of development: further information on them can be found here.

The London Riverside OA covers some 2,500 hectares encompassing parts of Barking and Dagenham and Havering, adjoining the borough boundary with Newham in the west, and forms part of the Thames Gateway growth area.

The planning framework has always discussed proposals for an area wide district heating initiative and the revised set of Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) documents includes a ‘Decentralised Energy‘ chapter which identifies “opportunities for decentralised energy production and the development of a satellite district-heating networks across the OA that interconnect over time to supply locally produced low to zero carbon energy“.

The chapter also captures the significant amount of work going on in relation to decentralised energy across the region: “Havering Council, with the support of the DECC and the GLA has produced an Energy Masterplan focussing on a Rainham and Beam Park district heat network delivering low carbon heat. It also sets out therole of satellite district-heat networks across theopportunity area that could interconnect over timeto supply locally produced low to zero carbon andwaste energy sources. The Rainham and Beam Park Energy Masterplan should be taken into consideration alongside this framework.”

There are number of planned and existing decentralised energy schemes within the London Riverside area (as shown in graphic above) which the planning document considers as part of the area’s energy strategy, .

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40 ESCO deals signed through RE:FIT programme

June 2014: A response by the Mayor to a question this month provides details that, of the 125 public sector organisations working with the RE:FIT programme, 40 have so far signed energy service deals through the GLA’s RE:FIT procurement framework.  Local authorities signed up to RE:FIT include Harrow, Ealing, Sutton, Enfield, Merton and Camden. A full list of the 40 organisation is provided here (though, confusingly, a few organisations are mentioned more than once – so not it’s not clear if the list is less than 40 – or these organisations have signed more than one deal with an ESCO partner…?).

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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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Green Deal & ECO in London – six months in

September 2013: Following the publication of the first quarterly set of detailed Green Deal and ECO (Energy Company Obligation) data back in July (details of which are outlined in the following post here) DECC has now published the much anticipated second quarter’s data set on 19 September 2013 (press release here).

In contrast to the regular monthly DECC datasets, the quarterly data provides a regional breakdown of  i.Green Deal assessments undertaken ii. ECO measures installed and data on iii. Green Deal cashback vouchers offered, allowing some idea of how the Government’s new energy efficiency regime is progressing in London.

Continue reading…

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North London Retrofit SME Network

May 2013: Waltham Forest have posted details of work being done to establish a new network for ‘green’ SMEs.

“North London boroughs are working together to develop a network of SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) located in the North London area delivering energy efficient retrofit services and installations. The Council is working to promote uptake of energy retrofit in each borough.

The Council wants to build upon and support existing local supply chains to deliver this work. This will grow the local green economy and develop an SME/labour market that can be exported beyond North London.

The aims of the North London Retrofit SME Network are:

  • Create a directory of SME builders and installers who carry out green retrofit in North London. The North London SME Retrofit Directory is open to any SME delivering retrofit services located in the boroughs of Waltham Forest, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington and Newham
  • Start a forum to hear from local SMEs how Councils can support locally delivered retrofit in North London
  • Create networking opportunities among SMEs working in the area
  • Strengthen links with local training providers
  • Sign post local retrofit SMEs towards the different initiatives offering support and training in this growing market both locally and London wide

To find out more about the North London Retrofit SME Directory and Network please email: minka.mcinerney@haringey.gov.uk

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Newham’s Heat-Heat-Power-Power Station

April 2013:  There’s been a lot of coverage over the past week over news of an East London scheme to burn so-called ‘fatbergs’. Here’s a run-down over what’s being proposed:

  • The developer, 2OC, has signed a 20-year deal worth over £200m with Thames Water to develop a new power station
  • 2OC say that a ‘Combined Heat and intelligent Power (CHiP) plant’ will be constructed at Thames Water’s Beckton Sewage Treatment works
  • The plant will use  fuels derived from fats, oils and greases (FOGs) – being called ‘fatbergs’ by the press – which build-up in London’s drains [the Sunday Times describes these ‘fatbergs’ as“boulder-sized balls of grease” the worst of which “require “flushers” — clad in protective white suits and shovels — to descend into the bowels of the city to break them up”]
  • Thames Water press release states that the company has committed to provide at least half of the fuel the generator requires – in the form of 30 tonnes a day of FOGs
  • Other fuel sources will include oil wastes from food outlets and manufacturers, processors and tallow (animal fats). The company say that there no virgin oils from field or plantation grown crops are to be used
  • These FOGS would otherwise be tipped down the drain or dumped in landfill and are responsible for most of the blockages in Thames Water’s 109,000 km of sewers. Removing them costs £1m a month.
  • 2OC’s press release states that “The CHiP plant will produce 130 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of renewable electricity a year – enough to run just under 40,000 average sized homes. 75GWh will be purchased by Thames to run its sewage works – and desalination plant (also based at the Beckton site) – and the rest will be sold on to the national grid.”
  • Waste Management World states that 19MWe will be generated with the CHP based around a two-stroke marine diesel engine
  • Thames Water’s press release provides some additional information on a further novel use of the scheme. The heat output from the CHP scheme will be used to heat up gas as part of the pressure reduction process at the adjacent Beckton gasworks. The gas pressure has to be dropped to make safe for delivery to homes and businesses. Lowering the pressure of a gas causes a huge drop in temperature, which could freeze and crack pipework. Using waste heat from the engine will reduce the need from gas to be burned to produce the heat currently required to do this job. 20C will also recover some of this thermal energy to generate even more electricity.”
  • Back to the 2OC press release which provides some extra info on the last line of the para above: “Additional power is generated from the recovery of thermal energy (provided by heat from the engine)  via a turbo-expander in the gas stream”
  • Additional renewable heat will also be made available for any housing schemes nearby
  • The Sunday Times article states that “Workers have begun clearing the site, adjacent to the Beckton sewage plant. They must work fast because time is against 2OC and Thames. The facility must be up and running by April 1, 2015, in order to qualify for the giant subsidies it needs to be viable.
    The government guarantees two renewables obligation certificates, a type of green subsidy, for each megawatt hour of power that is generated by experimental technologies. That equates to three times the wholesale electricity price of about £50 per megawatt hour. However, if the Beckton plant comes onstream even one day later than April 1, it will be disqualified.” It’s less to do with it being an ‘experimental technology’ but it being a waste CHP plant which helps quality it for 2 ROCs under the RO.
  • The Sunday Times article also considers what the fuel requirement will mean in practice: Importantly, Thames will not be collecting the cooking oil that one would find in a deep- fat fryer. There is already a big market for this. McDonald’s, for example, recycles the oil from its restaurants into biodiesel for its fleet of delivery lorries… At least once a week a Thames lorry will arrive at participating restaurants to collect a fat-laden tray and replace it with it a clean one. Co-ordinating the operation will be a logistical nightmare. The Beckton power plant will need the equivalent of a shipping container’s worth of fat every day.”
  • Andrew Mercer, chief executive of 2OC, said:“This is good for us, the environment, Thames Water and its customers. Our renewable power and heat from waste oils and fats is fully sustainable. When Thames doesn’t need our output, it will be made available to the grid meaning that power will be sourced, generated and used in London by Londoners.”

Okay:  a lot going on there which is worth going over. What is being proposed is the combustion of these various FOG fuels in a diesel engine to generate electricity. This electrical output from this engine will be directed in the first instance to the sewage treatment works, the Beckton desalination plant (when it needs it – it’s not expected to operate that often) – and also exported to the grid.

The heat from the engine will be captured (as it’s operating in CHP mode) and that will be used to go to the sewage treatment works also, and some is also being proposed to go to local residents via a district heating scheme (of which there is scant detail at the moment). But  some the CHP heat will also go to a Gas Pressure Reduction Station owned by National Grid which is next door to the Beckton sewage treatment works. This is a site where gas is depressurised from the high pressure national gas transmission system, to a lower pressure local distribution system, which can then be fed into homes and businesses. Lowering the pressure of a gas causes a huge drop in temperature, which could freeze and crack pipework, hence heat via a boiler has to be provided on site to help this process (which is currently done). The CHP waste heat will now help fulfil this role, helping reduce the need for gas-burn in the existing boiler.

Last bit: 20C have been exploring for several years now on integrating a device called a turbo expander into the gas pipeline at these pressure reduction station sites.  The expansion of gas at these points from higher to lower pressure allows – with the use of the turbo expander – the generation of electricity. All in all – this  is probably the reason why 2OC are calling this project a ‘Combined Heat and Intelligent Power’ (CHiP) plant!

And did I mention that Thames Water are also installing a 1.5MW wind turbine at the Beckton site also…?!

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PQ on SELCHP

22 January 2013: Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham, asked the following question in relation to the South East London Combined Heat and Power plant (SELCHP):

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had on the potential effects on human health in Newham of the operation of the South East London Combined Heat and Power incinerator.

Richard Benyon: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), has not held any discussions on the potential effects on human health in Newham of the South East London Combined Heat and Power incinerator.

Energy from waste incinerators are regulated under environmental permits granted by the Environment Agency to meet the strict emissions standards of the waste incineration directive. The Environment Agency currently has no regulatory or compliance concerns regarding the performance of the South East London Combined Heat and Power incinerator and is not aware of any public health issues. Any potential effects on health would be a matter for the Environment Agency to assess in conjunction with the Health Protection Agency.

More on SELCHP here.

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Boroughs pushing forward decentralised energy

November 2012: In addition to a supporting 25 decentralised energy projects in the capital, London boroughs are also working on some innovative projects to support the uptake of district heating.

Two recent projects worth mentioning are Newham’s work on establishing special planning guidance – a Local Development Order (LDO) to help streamline the process for a proposed new heat network running ” predominately along public highway from Beckton to Royal Docks, Canning Town and Custom House, West Ham and Stratford, including a short length of the Greenway between Manor Road and Stratford High Street.” Further information on the LDO project is on Newham’s website here; in a report to the council here; and in a Newham Council meeting paper here.

Southwark council have also been working on developing a contract with the SELCHP waste to energy plant to offtake heat from the plant which will be supplied to a number of estates (further information on this project in an earlier post here). Details of the contract can be viewed in council papers here.

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25 heat network projects being supported in London

November 2012: A recent speech by Ed Davey, Secretary of State at DECC on the department’s emerging policy around heat energy highlighted how the efficient use of heat is being promoted in the capital through its promotion of district heating. Mr Davey stated:

“London contains an example of the potential. The Greater London Authority is supporting 25 heat network projects. These have the capacity to leverage over £230 million of investment.”

A recent Mayoral question provides a little more detail on where these schemes are:

“The Decentralised Energy Project Delivery Unit is currently supporting the development of 25 decentralised projects. The following lists the activities with the boroughs:
Projects at procurement: Brent and Camden;
• Projects at post-feasibility: Croydon, Enfield, Haringey, Waltham Forest and Westminster;
• Projects at feasibility: Southwark, Islington, Hammersmith and Fulham, Newham, Sutton;
• Projects at pre-feasibility/energy master planning: Hillingdon, Ealing, and Westminster.”

Further information on Brent’s South Kilburn DE project can be found here.
Details of the innovative scheme being supported by Camden in Gospel Oak can be found here (and recent October newsletter here), which is using heat from a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant situated in the Royal Free Hospital, to provide low carbon affordable heat to nearby residents.
Other information can be found in the various borough heat map reports posted on www.londonheatmap.org.uk

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Olympic Schools Retrofit Project

July 2012: The GLA has approved procurement of  “specialist technical services to supervise and inspect energy efficiency works… during the delivery of RE:FIT to 12 schools as part of the Olympic Retrofit Project. It is estimated that these services will cost no more than £60,000.”
The approval form sets out the history to this project, which arose as a consequence of the shortfall in carbon emission savings and renewable energy generated on the London Olympics site due to the failure to secure a viable large-scale wind turbine project.

“The Olympic Retrofit project is a CO2 reduction project that will be fully funded by an ODA grant. It will be delivered with zero costs to the GLA. The ODA set ambitious targets within its 2007  Sustainable Development Strategy including a target “To achieve a reduction in carbon emissions for the built environment of 50 percent by 2013”. This subsequently became legally binding under a Section 106 agreement [Schedule 11]. The planning conditions for the Park also include a twenty percent renewable energy target, which contributes to the overall fifty percent carbon target. So far, the ODA has invested in a suite of carbon mitigation measures including energy efficiency; district heating and cooling from the Energy Centre; and renewable energy...

“The strategy to meet the renewable energy target on the Olympic Park had originally relied on a 2MW wind turbine that had received outline planning permission and was expected to deliver thirteen percent renewable energy for the Olympic Park. Diminished commercial interest however meant that the plan had to be abandoned. With consideration of cost and programme, the ODA could only reasonably deliver a further two percent renewable energy through the installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels on the Multi-Storey Car Park and the Main Press Centre. The overall impact is a gap in the ODA carbon target of circa 1,100 tonnes of CO2. The ODA assessed the options to compensate for the onsite shortfall and a local retrofit project based on the RE:NEW and RE:FIT models proved to be the best value for money. The ODA have amended their Section 106 agreement allowing funding of £1,700,000 to be spent on this compensation project to retrofit homes and schools within the host boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest.The ODA is a ‘sunset organisation’ meaning it has a limited timeframe for operation (related to the London 2012 Games) and so it was necessary to seek a third party to deliver the programme onbehalf of the ODA. The ODA identified the GLA as best-fit to deliver through the existing RE:NEWand RE:FIT models (see Appendix 1 of MD839).

“A project led by the GLA, in conjunction with the boroughs, comprised of RE:NEW-style treatments in homes and RE:FIT works within schools will achieve this objective. The ODA has grant funded the GLA, and the GLA has entered into a grant agreements with each ofthe host boroughs to deliver the RE:NEW-style measures within homes. The GLA has called-off from the RE:FIT framework and entered into a service contract with EDF Energy. EDF Energy are currently undertaking an investment grade proposal for the portfolio of 12 schools.”

A recent update on the scope the RE:FIT project is available in the following June 2012 conference presentation – ‘The London Experience of RE:FIT’.  A tender was issued in June by Mayor for companies to be added to the RE:FIT procurement framework. More on RE:FIT here.

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