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Tag Archives: Photovoltaics
Open Data: UK Power Networks
November 2020: An interesting new initiative from London’s (main) distribution network operator UK Power Networks (UKPN) providing “data for the first time, covering three themes: facilitating Net Zero, improving the network and informing strategy.” The initiative responds to the Energy Data Taskforce recommendations made in their 2019 report which highlighted that the energy transition is being impeded by often poor quality, inaccurate, or missing data, while valuable data is often restricted or hard to find.
There’s a lot here – a few quick points of interest to me:
- UK Power Network set out their pathway for opening up data in their Digital Strategy paper from December 2019 – available here
- Under the ‘Network Data’ tab an Embedded Capacity Register is available providing information on generation and storage resources (>1MW) that are connected, or accepted to connect to UKPN’s network. The spreadsheet does not mention the capacity of the asset connected – just the network characteristic the asset is connected to. The address search facility does allow for filtering just for London (UKPN covers the south-east and eastern regions in addition to London) – but does not seem to allow for London borough searches (at least not for all London boroughs). And as the register only lists those assets above 1MW, much of the distribution generation capacity in London isn’t captured here as it is below this level (they can be found through other tools however including the London Heat Map, Ofgem’s CHP register and also Feed in Tariff (FIT) datasets (here and here);
- The ‘Facilitating Net Zero’ tab includes data on: Connecting Distributed Generation; Electric Vehicle Connections in London; Electric Vehicle – Network Capacity and Electric Vehicle Future Constraint Map.
- And an interesting study undertaken by Element Energy for UKPN setting out Distribution Future Network Scenarios along with a large number of interesting forecast datasets of assets that could be connected to the network over the period to 2050.
Much more to explore here – and an important input for London boroughs working on their climate emergency plans. Great to see UKPN make this data available, and I hope they will continue to work with London local authorities to ensure that the datasets work for them.
Posted in Data Store, News Tagged Distribution, Electric Vehicles, Photovoltaics, UK Power Networks Comments Off on Open Data: UK Power Networks
Mayor invests £10m in Green New Deal to secure thousands of green jobs
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.
Posted in News Tagged community energy, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Mayor, Photovoltaics, Waste Comments Off on Mayor invests £10m in Green New Deal to secure thousands of green jobs
Can a city reach energy self-sufficiency by means of rooftop photovoltaics?
February 2020: Research paper published by the Journal of Cleaner Production Volume 245, 1 February 2020′ (open access) which – whilst not on London (a case study from Poland) – sets out the route for assessing what the potential maximum contribution of rooftop solar could provide in meeting the energy demands of a city.
The city of Wroclaw has a high level of industrial energy consumption and the study concludes “[a]lthough energy storage, in the form of batteries, slightly improves both the autarky and environmental indices, the relation between potential PV generation and load makes them very infrequently useful (mostly in summer) and not economically justified.”
Posted in Decentralised Energy, Library, Renewable Energy Tagged Photovoltaics Leave a comment
Ealing Southall Climate Crisis Summit
January 2020: Good to see Ealing Southall MP Vivendra Sharma is organising a climate change summit on the afternoon of Saturday 18 January at the Dominion Centre, Southhall. The summit will be “discussing why we need fundamental change and how we will achieve it. Across panel discussions, group activities and Q&A sessions, we will also be hearing from those climate campaigners who are leading the fight against the ecological disaster facing us.”
Ealing Council is one of the 26 London local authorities (to date) to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ – which was agreed at the Council’s April 2019 meeting. A July 2019 council paper sets out some immediate priorities following the signing of the declaration (appendices to which are posted here), and further actions are also set out in a Cabinet meeting paper of October 2019).
Local community group, Ealing Transition, has been hugely successful by working with Schools Energy Co-op in deploying a number of solar projects on schools across the borough, details of which are set out in a presentation provided to Community Energy London in September 2019.
Full details and registration details of the Ealing Climate Crisis Summit event are on the following Eventbrite page.
Posted in Events, London Boroughs, News Tagged Ealing, London Councils, Photovoltaics, Schools Leave a comment
Waltham Forest the first Council to install the first permanent City Trees in London
31 December 2019: Interesting story issued on the last day of the year from Waltham Forest Borough announcing that it is to be the first council to have “permanently installed two City Trees in Leytonstone. CityTree is a free-standing outdoor air cleaning system that uses the power of biotechnology to emulate the pollution-reduction benefits of 275 urban trees.”
The press release goes on to provide some further detail on the CityTree, which is apparently a “… self-sustaining structure that contains a water tank, with automatic irrigation and plant sensors all powered by on board solar panels and batteries. The different types of moss bind environmental toxins such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides while at the same time producing oxygen. Cutting-edge integrated technology can deliver comprehensive information on air filtering performance and status as well as environmental data on the CityTree’s surroundings.”
There’s no image of what this technology look’s like on the news release – but Westminster Council ran a pilot earlier this year – which includes a picture of what the CityTree looks like – which can be seen on AirQuality News’s website here, which also states the “technology has previously been trialled in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Oslo. It is being supplied in the UK by green technology firm Evergen Systems.”
A blog on the Evergen website sets out some pretty remarkable results of 2018 field tests undertaken in Delhi, where it has also been installed. There’s not much detailed data at the moment that I can find out on the CityTree, but I’m sure the recently appointed Waltham Forest Climate Emergency Committee, which I sit on, will be examining CityTree at a forthcoming meeting.
Posted in London Boroughs, News Tagged Climate Adaptation, Photovoltaics, Waltham Forest Leave a comment
SOAS becomes first community energy university
November 2016: Congratulations to student group Solar SOAS who successfully achieved their crowd funding goal earlier this year raising £22,000 for their PV project, which has now successfully installed 114 solar panels on the roof of their university building.
Funds were raised from SOAS itself, the students’ union and individual donors, and Solar SOAS co-founder Hannah Short said that crowdfunding the project provided “a rare opportunity for interested stakeholders to become part of a climate solution”.
Solar SOAS are having a ‘solabration’ tomorrow evening at the Brunei Gallery to formally launch the project – full details of which are posted here.
Posted in News, Renewable Energy Tagged Buildings, Photovoltaics, Retrofit, Universities Leave a comment
Environmental Design at the Tate Modern
November 2016: The latest issue of the CIBSE Journal includes a case study on the significant design measures integrated into the new Tate Modern Switch House extension:
“The Tate wanted the environmental design of the Switch House extension to London’s Tate Modern gallery to be as cutting-edge as the art installations it showcases…Max Fordham’s scheme does not disappoint. It uses ground water pumped from river gravel below the site, desiccant dehumidification and even waste heat from electrical transformers to create the ideal environmental conditions for the Tate’s priceless works of art, while ensuring millions of visitors are comfortable.” Read the full case study here.
Tate Modern’s energy programme was supported by the London Energy Efficiency Fund – see earlier post here – and last year, a solar PV array was also added to the building.
Posted in Energy Efficiency, News, Renewable Energy Tagged Buildings, Photovoltaics, Southwark Leave a comment
Havering Council could switch to solar energy with panels in Upminster and Harold Hill
7 October 2016: Following on from an earlier post about Havering’s Solar Parks initiative – comes further news on the borough’s ambitions, with a press notice that Havering seeks to become London’s first solar powered Council. In addition to plans to build two solar parks, which could have the potential of generating £1m annual income, the councils is exploring the potential for residents to directly invest in a sustainable future for the borough through a solar financial investment fund. Further information on the following Romford Reader article and Havering Council’s website here.
Posted in News, Renewable Energy Tagged Havering, Photovoltaics Leave a comment
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.
Posted in News, Renewable Energy Tagged Camden, community energy, Greenwich, Lewisham, Photovoltaics Leave a comment
“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 year, Repowering 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.
Posted in Decentralised Energy, News, Renewable Energy Tagged CHP, community energy, Community Heating, Islington, Lambeth, Newham, Photovoltaics, Waste Leave a comment
Havering ‘Solar Parks’ Initiative
August 2016: Interesing press release from Havering issued earlier this week which stated that “Havering Council is looking to harness the power of the sun by developing solar parks on its own land to generate a significant extra income for the borough.“
“These solar parks will allow Havering to become the first borough in London to generate renewable energy on a large scale to make money, which would be used to protect and improve frontline services. Energy produced in this way is clean, sustainable and renewable.
“The land on which the solar parks will be constructed will be underused space that will result in few if any adverse effects on community usage. Once the solar park is past its useful life, the panels can be removed and the site will revert to its previous condition.”
A public consultation will be released by the council on the proposal sometime in the future.
Havering have supported solar for sometime with a range of rooftop projects across existing council buildings – and the council cites a “recent report by Greenpeace [which] placed Havering as having the second highest percentage of solar power generated by homeowners in London, with over 1100 solar panel systems installed on domestic roofs.”
Havering councillors did however turn down an application in December 2014 for a solar farm in the borough. The developer went to appeal – but national government also refused the application earlier this year.
The press release also mentions that “The proposed solar parks will also have a positive impact on local biodiversity for a range of plant and animal species, in particular broad leaved plants, grasses, wild flowers, butterflies, bees and birds. Part of the Council’s proposals would be to work with local beekeepers to promote healthy honeybee populations, as well as Britain’s rarer bumblebees, in and around the solar parks.” The National Solar Centre’s Biodiversity Guidance for Solar Developments provides further information on the ways in which solar projects can support local ecology.
Posted in Decentralised Energy, News, Renewable Energy Tagged Havering, Photovoltaics Leave a comment
Latest London PV statistics
August 2016: The last set of sub regional Feed in Tariff (FIT) statistics published by DECC – before it is merged with the business department into BEIS – were published last week (available here). London PV data – alongside other UK regions – is reproduced below.
Table 1. Cumulative installations confirmed on the Central Feed-in Tariff Register by Region
Table 2. Cumulative capacity confirmed on the Central Feed-in Tariff Register by Region
So – as at the end of June 2016:
- London had 20,551 PV installations (95% of which were domestic installations) with a total combined electrical generating capacity of 83.911MW.
- London’s capacity represented just 2% of total UK PV generating capacity
- The last FIT quarterly data set (for data up to the end of March 2016) reported that London had 20,123 PV installations in London and 81.623 MW – indicating a 2.28MW increase in capacity over the last three months.
Posted in Data Store, News, Renewable Energy Tagged Data, Photovoltaics Leave a comment