Tag Archives: Planning

London Heat Supply Workshop Presentations

October 2015: The GLA held a London Energy Plan: Heat Supply workshop on the 25th of September – the slides for which have just become available and can be downloaded here.  The workshop included presentations from the GLA on their forthcoming Energy Masterplan for London; from Camden Council on their decentralised energy plans; and from consultancy Element Energy on the work they are undertaking for the GLA through the development of a heat plan model.

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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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Energy & Climate Change Questions to the Mayor

September 2015: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

data gathered through the Mayor’s Business Energy Challenge; the impact on the London Plan carbon targets as a result of the government scrapping the Zero Carbon Homes policy (and again) and again – and one more time; encouraging renewable energy investments through the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA); a discussion around potential winter electricity ‘blackouts’; impact of the government’s proposals to change the Feed in Tariffs (FITs) on the Mayor’s retrofit programmes – and again; lobbying to reduce business rates to district heating – and again; whether the Mayor will attend COP21 in Paris this December; the Clean Bus Summit recently held in London; fuel economy of the New Routemaster bus (and again, and again); a dossier of problems associated with the New Routemaster; GLA and boroughs discussions on coordinating fuel poverty responses across London; the roll out of electric vehicles in London; and supporting zero emission taxi fleets.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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Harrow Energy Masterplan to be developed

March 2015: Not much information here – but a tender from Harrow Borough Council looking for a consultant to help develop an energy masterplan for the Heart of Harrow regeneration area.

An earlier consultation document issued by the council sets out that “Within the Heart of Harrow, a district-wide combined heat and power network is promoted. There are already specific proposals to deliver district energy on a number of our major sites, but no masterplanning has yet been undertaken to establish the feasibility of a wider network. Neither has additional feasibility work been undertaken to develop business cases for individual schemes.Our strategy is to pursue district energy opportunities within the Heart of Harrow area, both on our own redevelopment sites and on other major development schemes. We will be preparing an energy master plan and, where appropriate,additional feasibility studies to map the potential district energy programme for the Heart of Harrow in more detail” - which must be what the consultant for this work must be undertaking.

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Energy and Climate Questions to the Mayor

July 2014: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

Mayoral involvement with the Local Government Climate Roadmap; organisations operating at the London Sustainable Industries Park; potential for the London Pension Fund Authority (LPFA) to invest in low carbon London projects; whether Energy Performance Certificate or Green Deal assessments will be provided for homes that go through the RE:NEW programme; monitoring high energy consuming buildings in London; reductions in forecasted projections of CO2 savings in Mayor’s energy supply programme; Transport for London’s (TfL) Energy Strategy; the Mayor’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with energy suppliers; visit by Mayor’s energy advisor to Camden’s biomethane refuelling station; correspondence with DCLG on the Mayor being able to set London specific energy efficiency targets in planning rules for new development; meetings with DECC over encouraging the use of solar PV on GLA land and building; new district heating network using heat from Greenwich Power Station; the low take up of ECO energy efficiency programme in London; connecting Whitehall District Heating Scheme to Pimlico District Heating Undertaking;  the Mayor’s response to a recent London Solar Energy report by Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones; future TfL electricity costs; whether the Mayor responded to the Government’s recent solar PV consultation; concerns over government changes to the ECO as raised by the Mayor; funding for the next round of the RE:NEW programme; energy efficiency requirements in the private rented sector; monies received by the Green Bus Fund; work being undertaken to assess the economic impact to London as a result of climate change; attendance at the World Mayors Summit of Climate Change; planning offset funds; contract awarded for management of the RE:NEW programme; and if the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group has considered solar PV.

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How climate adaptation in cities creates a resilient place for business

10 July 2014: A new study by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)  reporting on how the “majority of the world’s major cities have disclosed that climate change presents a physical risk to the businesses operating in their cities.”

The press release sets out that CDP has “examined data from 50 cities where 78 companies have reported that they expect climate change to have a physical effect,” and the study illustrates action taken through a number of city case studies, including one looking at how London uses its planning powers.

The case study states that the GLA provides “property developers with consultancy support to implement energy policies”. However, what actually happens is that expert consultancy support is brought into the GLA to provide guidance to planning officers to ensure that developers are complying with climate mitigation policies set out in London’s spatial planning strategy – the London Plan. This is fully explained in a reference actually cited in the CDP report – which links to a GLA approval document providing background details for this consultancy spend, which sets out that:

  • The GLA have procured energy engineering consultancy support from 1st April 2014 to 30th March 2018, with a value of up to £440,000.
  • This technical support has helped secure CO2 emissions reductions of 36% more than 2010 Building Regulations requirements for developments
  • This support helps provide officers with an assessment of complex energy systems such as Combined heat and power systems, district heating network specifications, the use of heat pumps etc.

Analysis published at the end of last month by the GLA provides some detailed information on how this consultancy support has helped secure significant levels of low carbon investment in new London developments. Full details here.

Data on climate adaptation measures installed in new London development are less well documented. A recent Mayoral Question (MQ) set out an estimate on the number of green roofs installed in London. A further related MQ touch upon the Mayor’s plan to develop an interactive map on green roofs in London.

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London Plan spurs on carbon savings in new developments

30 June 2014: The latest annual assessment report of energy and carbon savings secured through the Mayor’s planning requirements has just been published by the GLA.

An energy assessment is required for each planning application referable to the Mayor, setting out how the London Plan energy policies will be met within the development. Specifically, applicants are required to set out how the planning applications apply the following energy hierarchy: Be lean: use less energy / Be clean: supply energy efficiently / Be green: use renewable energy. Further information on the London Plan energy policies can be viewed here.

The report provides an overview of the number of developments that have been approved by the Mayor and boroughs for planning, and importantly, the extent that these developments have committed to the use of sustainable energy solutions to help reduce their carbon and energy impact. The report summarises that – in 2013 alone – the London Plan’s energy policies have supported:

  • circa £17 million of investment in combined heat and power (CHP) plant able to produce 25MW of electricity and a similar amount of heat – broadly equivalent to the amount required to supply 50,000 homes.
  • around £103 million of investment in heat network infrastructure for circa 41,000 communally heated dwellings
  • £13 million in photovoltaic panels and additional investment in other renewable energy technologies
  • Regulated CO2 emission reductions of 36 per cent more than required by Part L 2010 of the Building Regulations. This represents a circa 30 per cent regulated CO2 reduction compared to the new 2013 Building Regulations (ie London Plan policies are already directing developers to energy strategies delivering 30% more CO2 savings above the government’s new building regulation requirements, which came into operation in April 2014).

Also provided is a summary of what has been secured over each of the past 4 years as a result of the London Plan’s energy policies.

This highlights that potentially:

  • More than 150,000 new dwellings will be connected to district heating networks in London
  • Close to 100 MW of CHP capacity has been secured
  • And over 230,000 m2 of PV is to be installed.
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We are now at DEfLon 1…

March 2014: A paper presented at February’s GLA’s Investment & Performance Board sets out the Environment Team’s priorities for this year (2014/12). Amongst the range of initiatives being taken forward are a number targeted on energy:

  • Spatial energy masterplan - to identify where and what type of energy infrastructure is required to close the energy gap and provide London with a resilient and competitive energy system.
  • Decentralise energy for London – the DEfLon programme will focus on creating a pipeline of decentralised energy projects and overcoming market barriers to give access to the retail electricity market
  • Biodiesel from used cooking oil – to help decarbonise London’s bus fleet by using biodiesel from used cooking oil (UCO) or other waste products.
  • Mayor’s Business Energy Challenge – advice and awards programme to support businesses saving money through improving energy efficiency.

The issue of a new ‘spatial energy masterplan’ for London is particularly interesting, and something discussed at in an earlier investment board meeting as part of the GLA’s work on developing the capital’s first Long Term Infrastructure Investment Plan.

The newly name DEfLon programme is likely to be a successor to the existing DEPDU support team which itself followed on from DEMaP, highlighting the importance of bringing forward decentralised energy projects in the capital.

A second paper presented to the Board provides detail on funding commitments for the Environment team. Amongst these is mention of £10k to continue updating the London Heat Map which also – interestingly – mentions that “The Heat Map has enabled £133m investment in on-site heat networks alone in 2012-13“.

The biodiesel report will most likely build on the findings of a study commissioned by the GLA in 2013 ‘The market for biodiesel production from used cooking oils and fats, oils and greases in London‘.

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Energy & Climate Questions to the Mayor

January 2014: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:

the Mayor’s meetings with energy ministers; KPIs under the Mayor’s Climate Change Mitigation and Energy Strategy; establishing a London Energy Cooperative; ECO funding in London; the number of energy suppliers signed up to the Mayor’s MoU; the Mayor’s support for the Energy Bill Revolution’s Cold Homes Week; Kew Gardens decentralised energy scheme; London avoiding the ‘capacity crunch‘; solar installations on GLA buildings; the underheating of Londoners’ homes; the RE:NEW programme energy efficiency targets; the Mayor’s concerns over Government ‘Allowable Solutions‘ proposals; insulation industry jobs; Excess Winter Deaths; insulation projects stalled under ECO; the stalled Affinity Sutton insulation project; RE:NEW targets; retrofitting and planning restrictions; renewable energy installations on the GLA estate; GLA funding to Capita to manage the RE:NEW programme; British Gas funding to ECO; the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working Group; LED streetlighting projects; CO2 savings achieved under RE:NEW; delayed CO2 savings under RE:NEW; the Climate Change Leaders for a Low Carbon London fuel poverty project; planning CO2 target requirements; meetings with DCLG; biofuel and London buses; GLA Environment Team budgets over next two years; Mayor’s application to the Government’s Green Deal Communities Fund; and tendering for License Lite services.

Previous months questions to the Mayor can be found here.

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GLA extends funding for energy advice on planning assessments

January 2014: Welcome news that the GLA Investment Board has approved to continue funding for technical consultancy support reviewing energy statements submitted to the Mayor as part of planning submissions. Full details are given in a paper presented at the Board’s latest meeting (16 January), which states:

The London Plan requires developers to submit an energy strategy demonstrating how CO2 emissions reductions from major developments will be achieved against targets set in policy 5.2 of the London Plan. Each strategy is assessed by the GLA’s in-house energy planning officer supported by consultants who provide up to 4 days per week specialist energy engineering advice. The current energy engineering consultancy support contract began on 20th May 2013 and expires 31st March 2014. To provide ongoing consultancy support, approval is sought to procure consultancy services via a competitive tendering exercise for the period 1st April 2014 to 30th March 2018 with a value of up to £440,000.

Further information on the GLA energy statement assessment process here. The latest review of the implementation of the energy policies of the London Plan indicate the significant impact these are having in helping drive low carbon developments in London. These requirements are however currently under threat as a result of the proposals from the DCLG – more of which here.

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New energy policies set out in Mayor’s planning rules

15 January 2014: The Mayor today published proposed revisions to London’s strategic planning framework, the 2011 London Plan. Amongst the series of new policies put forward in the ‘Draft FALP’ (the Further Alterations to the London Plan) are two new proposals on energy – as set out in Chapter 5 ‘London’s Response to Climate Change‘. [to be clear- the blue text in the FALP are the proposed changes to the main 2011 London Plan. It is this text that is being consulted upon].

The first is interesting, and innovative, and relates to the Mayor wanting to see the use of demand side management technologies in new developments. This broadly relates to the incorporation of building energy management monitoring systems, smart meters and smart controls.

5.22a Demand side management is a further way developments can minimise their carbon dioxide emissions as well as minimise the need for additional generating and distribution infrastructure. Demand side management enables non-essential equipment to be turned off or to operate at a lower capacity to respond to the wider availability of energy in the network – that is, the wider energy demand and generation across the network. Developments are encouraged to include infrastructure to enable demand side management.

This is more of a ‘desire’ from the Mayor. The main new requirement in the FALP is however principally aimed at local authorities, in a whole new policy in the London Plan- 5.4a – on ‘Electricity and Gas supply‘. This is prefaced earlier on in the chapter with a new para 5.9a stating that “long term vision for London’s energy infrastructure is a resilient electricity network“.

Policy 5.4a  states that the “Mayor will work with the relevant energy companies, Ofgem the regulator, national Government, the boroughs, developers, business representatives and others to promote strategic investment in electricity and gas infrastructure where and when it is required to accommodate the anticipated levels of growth in London”

and goes on to state that:

Boroughs should work with the relevant energy companies to establish the future gas and electricity infrastructure needs arising from the development of their area and address them in their local plans. Boroughs should cooperate across boundaries (including outside Greater London where appropriate) to identify and address potential capacity shortfalls in the wider energy network serving their area. Where land is required for infrastructure, boroughs should allocate suitable sites.”

This is a new initiative within the Mayor’s planning framework for London, and has clearly been influenced as a result of discussions between the Mayor and  London’s electricity distribution company, UK Power Networks, through the Mayor’s High Level Electricity Working group. It will be interesting to see local authorities response to this proposed policy in their submissions to the FALP consultation.

Similar, but less detailed requirements are set out in terms of supporting London’s gas supply network (5.31F to 5.31H), which is distributed in London by two companies – National Grid and Southern Gas Networks.

The public consultation runs from 15 January to 10 April 2014

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Mayor raises concerns over CLG Allowable Solutions proposals

January 2014: The Mayor has recently posted online his response to the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) Allowable Solutions (AS) consultation, released last year. Allowable Solutions are central to the achievement of the Government’s commitment to delivering zero carbon homes by 2016, and have been under discussion for several years now, with significant delays in any Ministerial decisions being made (too much to go into here – see articles here and here) . The Zero Carbon Hub have also led on much of the detailed development behind the potential measures that could be used.

The Mayor raises a number of concerns to Government over their proposals, including:

  • London is less likely to benefit from them than other parts of the country, because London’s building stock and the complex logistics of working in London make it more expensive to install both retrofit and energy supply measures.
  • The current proposals are likely to mean that AS in London are uncompetitive. In combination with proposals under the Housing Standards Review, there is significant risk that the well established plans in London to support the deployment of decentralised energy and heat networks through the planning system will be undermined.
  • It is unlikely that district heating will be funded under AS without revisions to the proposals.The development of decentralised heat and power generation and district heating forms an integral part of London’s and other cities’ contribution to the delivery of Government’s heat strategy. It appears to be an ambition for AS that they should support district heating and it might often make sense for a developer to contribute to a district heating network if his/her future developments could in turn receive low carbon affordable heat from that network. However, except perhaps if the central fund route were the sole option, it is difficult to see how the proposed options would support district heating.

London boroughs are already making significant headway in establishing their own allowable solution mechanisms as a consequence of the Government’s delay in setting out their own policy – see details of  Islington’s Carbon Offset Fund here.

See article in Building magazine also detailing the Mayor’s response.

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