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Tag Archives: Westminster
June 2013: “A scientific experiment to prove or disprove green-building theories is to be undertaken by Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster’s property company. Two almost-identical grotty hotels in Belgravia are the test bed.
Two weeks ago, Grosvenor obtained permission to rebuild 119 Ebury Street using the latest energy-saving materials. The Grade II-listed shell will be converted into three rented flats, and the energy use monitored.
Number 125 Ebury Street was converted into two rented flats last November. The five-storey listed block was rebuilt to meet present energy-saving standards. The apartments will be monitored to provide benchmark data.”
“Number 125 meets the current 40% carbon-saving target,” says Starr. “At number 119, we hope to meet the 2050 target of an 80% saving. That should translate into a 40% saving on the energy bills.” Those wishing to double glaze their listed home or flat in Westminster will have to be patient. Work on 119 will not finish until 2015. The two addresses will then be monitored for two years to prove the case — either way.”
Read full Evening Standard story here. Further information on technologies to be employed at 119 Ebury St – which include solar PV, solar thermal, air source heat pump and ‘phase change’ internal wall insulation, can be found on the following planning report by Westminster Council – and a lot more detail can be found on the development’s sustainability planning application reports here.
1 May 2013: The Financial Times today highlights concerns raised by London’s West End businesses on the reliability of electricity supply to the centre of the capital. Philippa Roe, leader of Westminster City Council, comments in the article that : “It is a real issue, not just for Westminster but for London. The problem is not generation, it’s distribution. It seems foolish not to be able to plan for our future energy needs.”
Issues related to climate and energy are set out in sections on infrastructure and the environment in a report published yesterday by the West End Commission. The report recognises the impact that climate change could have on businesses in the West End and sets out a number of significant changes to how lower carbon energy systems could be put in place to supply heat and power. These include:
- The transition to a low-carbon economy must also become one of the key objectives of the West End partnership, including coordinating underpinning programmes as they relate to retrofit of buildings, new energy and waste systems [para 23]
- The new West End partnership should also conduct an analysis to assess the appropriateness for the area of different forms of low carbon energy generation [para 24]
- Some early priorities are to… plan for a low carbon and more energy efficient West End [page 32]
- The development of new, high quality, energy efficient, mixed use/office space is a key factor in maintaining the West End’s ongoing economic competitiveness. [page 43]
- There is a concern amongst developers that the current approach to investment in the network must be improved if the West End is going to have a secure energy supply over the long-term. In its evidence the Westminster Property Association highlighted that ‘security and resilience of energy supplies area growing concern. This is an issue which goes to the heart of UK energy generation, distribution and regulation. The needs of the West End are quite exceptional, in national terms [page 43]
- The current regulatory system provides limited incentives for investment ahead of demand,creating uncertainty for developers and often additional cost if new power substations are needed to guarantee energy supply. Through their statutory spatial planning process and setting of a Community Infrastructure Levy, the boroughs have the mechanism to identify and prioritise infrastructure requirements. However, boroughs do not have the power to mandate investment in electricity infrastructure and electricity supply will only be improved if the regulator allows investment ahead of demand.The Commission believes that swift action should now be taken to implement a new approach to investment in energy supply ahead of demand that builds on the well-established body of evidence. Such an approach should include looking at greater use of innovative sources of energy supply such as the use of hydrogen fuel cells, block or district combined heat and power networks, anaerobic digestion and waste to energy. [page44]
- The report concludes that – In view of the pressing demand for a more resilient supply of energy to the West End,the new West End partnership should explore whether better use can be made of local decentralised and low carbon sources of supply such as district combined heat and power schemes, anaerobic digestion, energy from waste and hydrogen fuel cells, and whether more could be done to retrofit existing buildings to improve their energy efficiency and reduce demand. [page 46]
The West End Commission was convened by Westminster City Council in summer 2012 to review, explore and set out recommendations for the continued and future success of the West End of London.
22 April 2013: A useful update on some of London’s key decentralised energy (DE) projects being supported by the Mayor has been produced for the GLA Investment and Performance Board meeting taking place tomorrow (23 April). The Mayor’s Decentralised Energy Project Delivery Unit (DEPDU) is a three-year programme set up in August 2011 with €3.3m funding, 90% of which was secured from the European Investment Bank’s ELENA facility.
The paper (link to paper, direct here) sets out that the GLA has a contractual target with the EIB to deliver £67.23m of DE projects to market before the 3rd of August 2014. The following projects as of 31st December 2012 have been taken to market through the GLA’s Decentralised Energy for London programme and, as agreed with the EIB as eligible projects. Together, they represent £42.3m, or 64% of the final ELENA target.
|Project||Eligible CAPEX (£)||Construction completed||CO2 savings (t/year)||Project stage|
|Islington Bunhill Phase 1||£6,499,107||2011||2,950||Operational|
|Crystal Palace CHP||£1,490,000||2011||1,850||Operational|
|Olympic Fringe Extension||£1,350,000||2011||960||Operational|
|Brent South Kilburn||£17,170,000||Unknown*||835||Procurement|
|Lewisham Goldsmiths College||£1,911,706||2014||947||Construction|
The paper states that when “fully developed and in operation, these projects will contribute with 4.7 MW of installed electrical capacity (and 35.7 MW of installed thermal capacity (enough to provide heat and power to 6,000 homes) to London’s generation from DE sources and will save up to an estimated 12,800 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
“In addition, the DEPDU is also currently supporting the development of an additional 22 projects with a combined value of £304m. Of these, five are in advanced stages of development, and are expected to be brought to market within the following 12 months.”
|Project||Estimated CAPEX (£)||Construction completed||CO2 savings (t/year)||Project stage|
|Westminster PDHU / Whitehall||£5,480,000||2015||5,500||Business case|
|Haringey North Tottenham||£8,060,000||2016||5,148||Pre-feasibility|
When fully developed and in operation, the paper states “these projects will contribute with 3.2 MW of installed electrical capacity and 90 MW of installed thermal capacity (enough to provide heat and power to 14,000 and 4,500 homes respectively) to London’s generation from DE sources and will save up to an estimated 20,200 tonnes of CO2 per annum.”
The paper goes on to say that the “paper does not include projections on jobs created. However, it is our intention to incorporate estimates of jobs created for future reporting and we will work with GLA Economics to establish a robust methodology.”
Further information on many of these projects can be found by searching on this website.
March 2013: DECC have just announced that the department has signed up to the Mayor’s RE:FIT public sector energy efficiency retrofit programme. Signing up to RE:FIT will allow DECC to access guidance from the RE:FIT Programme Delivery Unit (PDU). Support from the PDU is funded by the GLA and is only available as a no cost service to public sector organisations in the London region. Organisations can then use the procurement framework established under RE:FIT – and the PDU can also help facilitate access to available funding sources, such as Salix, the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF), and the Public Works Loan Board amongst others.
The GLA have recently reported that “the RE:FIT programme was considered to be a highly effective, low cost model that the Department for Energy and Climate Change were considering as a model for a national scheme.“
It should be noted that the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (agreed in June 2012 and required to be fully implemented by Spring 2014) includes an obligation on the central government estate to meet annual targets for building renovation – the majority of this will of course be in Whitehall (see page 16 of the recent DECC Energy Efficiency Strategy from 2012 for background).
14 March 2013: The GLA has recently approved a process to secure a junior – or ‘lite’ – electricity supply licence – the benefits of which are set out in an earlier post here.
The Mayor recently updated progress on this work stating that:
“Technical assessments of the services to be procured from the electricity market and regulatory matters needing to be addressed have been made. The GLA met Ofgem (the electricity regulator) at the beginning of February 2013 to enable a formal application for a licence.”
And the FT has today reported on this work stating: “The GLA is the first public authority to apply for a so-called Licence Lite, an electricity supply permit that would allow it to buy excess electricity from London’s boroughs and sell it back at cost price to other public bodies in the capital, such as the police or NHS hospitals.” The GLA press release is available here.
The report goes that:
“Several London boroughs run generators to power public buildings, such as Islington’s Bunhill Heat and Power project, which uses a gas-fired generator to heat homes and local swimming pools. Westminster operates two gas-fired generators in Pimlico that heat homes, businesses and three schools. Excess energy produced at these sites is returned to the National Grid through a mainstream supplier at a variable wholesale rate of about 5 pence per kWh. The GLA would offer 20 to 30 per cent more for the boroughs’ excess as a way of encouraging growth in the low-carbon energy infrastructure. Ofgem, the energy regulator, brought in Licence Lite in 2009 but no permit has yet been issued. Some blame uncertainty over the legal obligations a new supplier would face, as well as lack of interest from existing industry suppliers. Licence Lite holders are required to contract with a mainstream supplier to provide regulatory and operational support.”
“A dozen London boroughs, which together are capable of producing 76MW, could benefit from the scheme, which is intended for launch in 2014, the GLA said. If the measure is a success it would also be considered for private sector energy producers in London. By raising the returns on the energy produced by small suppliers, the GLA said, the move could help attract more than £8bn of investment in electricity infrastructure in the capital up to 2025.“
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
The article highlights that “the mayor of London’s energy team worked with all the boroughs to produce a map of the city’s heat demand and found that heating networks are best suited to dense, urban areas where lots of homes or businesses can be connected without installing lengthy pipes.” These borough heat maps and associated reports are all posted in full on the London Heat Map website.
The article also helpfully details the history and plans for growth of the Pimlico District Heating Undertaken (PDHU). Heat for this system was originally taken from Battersea Power Station, which – until the DH system came into being -simply pumped waste heat into the Thames. The article sets out that “Work began on the north side of the Thames on Churchill Gardens, a 1,600-home social housing estate. A savvy decision was made to contain all the waste heat from Battersea Power Station, pump it under the Thames and use it to heat the estate. A 132-foot glass accumulator tower was built to store extra heat until it was needed.”
Read the full article here.
July 2012: With the weather we’re currently experiencing, it’s interesting to read this Bloomberg article setting out that “More than 130 port cities around the world are at increasing risk from severe storm-surge flooding, damage from high storm winds, rising and warming global seas and local land subsidence. Poorly planned development often puts more people in vulnerable areas, too, increasing risk. About $3 trillion of assets are at risk today, a tally on track to reach $35 trillion by 2070, according to an ongoing study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.” Click through the slides to see the 20 port cities most vulnerable to climate extremes – which doesn’t fortunately include London.
London is however likely to face increased challenges associated with flooding – as set out in chapter 3 of the Mayor’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy which highlights that:
- Nearly 15 per cent of London lies on the former flood plains of London’s rivers”
- A significant proportion of London lies within the Thames tidal floodplain and without the protection afforded by the tidal flood defences, much of that area would flood twice a day, everyday on each high tide
- The last tidal flood in London was in 1928, when 14 people drowned in Pimlico. In 1953, London narrowly escaped damage whena tidal surge inundated large parts of Kent and Essex, killing over 300 people. This resulted in the construction of the current Thames tidal defences, an integrated system comprising the Thames Barrier, 185 miles of floodwalls, 35 major gates and over 400 minor gates.
- The Thames Barrier has been operational since 1982 and has been closed over 100 times to protect London from flooding
The Museum of London’s 2011 ‘Postcards from the Future’ exhibition imagined what London might look like as a result of a number of future stress factors, including climate change. The 14 striking images, which include wind turbines in Piccadilly Circus, a nuclear power station in Kew Gardens and palm oil cultivation in Hyde Park, can be viewed here.
1 March 2012: Westminster council is planning to roll out solar panels across 10 of its estates in partnership with its ALMO CityWest Homes. Roofs on the Amberley Estate in West London is the first of the schemes to benefit and now features 114 solar panels, capable of generating up to 21.6 kilowatts of power. The £1.5 million project is funded by Westminster City Council in partnership with CityWest Homes and is set to be rolled out across ten Westminster estates by March 2012. Full details here.
7 February 2012: DECC yesterday announced on their Community Energy Online website that 155 community energy projects across the country have won a share of £5.1 million of funding from the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF). The full list of Local Energy Assessment Fund (2nd Round) projects can be downloaded here. Only scant details of the winning projects are provided in the list however zooming on London in DECC’s ‘interactive map showing winning community projects‘ provides further information on the 14 winning projects in London. A summary of this information follows below:
- South Kenton Preston Park Residents Association who will run
a local home energy assessment of the energy consumption in
the area. Further information www.skppra.co.uk
- Community Education Forum who will deliver a community-led energy
saving programme aimed at the Bangladeshi, Somali and African and African Caribbean communities around Hammersmith and Fulham. Further information www.cefuk.co.uk
- Sustainable Merton will train community members to carry out
a community energy efficiency survey and train local champions already engaged in energy reduction to work on implementation. Further information at: www.sustainablemerton.org
- EcoLocal based in Merton will work to create a mobile home energy
efficiency demonstration with models of wall insulation, and many other home energy saving devices, to go to engagement events as means of communicating the Green Deal to householders. Further information at: www.thecei.org.uk
- Zero Carbon Hackbridge in Sutton will set up an energy saving network with local community groups. Volunteers will be trained to enable them to spread the word about energy saving to their friends and neighbours and offer free appointments with an Energy Doctor. Further information here.
- Hyde Farm Climate Action Network near Tooting will conduct a feasibility study for retrofit community heating and CHP into the neighbourhood. Further information at: here.
- Brixton Energy Co-op will develop the Brixton Energy Solar 1, a flagship community investment project in the Loughborough Estate in Brixton, deploying an 80kw photovoltaic array on the roofs of the estate. They will also conduct feasibility studies, engage with the community and lay the groundwork for the further renewable energy cooperatives across South London. Further information at: www.transitiontownbrixton.org
- Transition Peckham’s,Repair, Re-build, Renew, will deliver solid wall demonstration projects to five households, targeting those at risk of being in fuel poverty. Further information at here
- Shrinking the Footprint is the Church of England’s national environment campaign. They will run the project in three Dioceses around Southwark where no work has yet been done using the sMeasure and iMeasure on-line energy management software tools developed at the University of Oxford. Further information at: www.shrinkingthefootprint.org
- Waterloo Community Development Group will develop a youth-led programme to empower trained home energy assessors to lead on efficiency and sustainable retrofit, including the Green Deal and ECO, through an awareness and engagement programme in Waterloo. Further information at: www.wcdg.org.uk
- Camden and Westminster Refugee Training Partnership (CandWRTP) will work with refugees, asylum seekers, BME individuals especially women and organisations to identify and collect data on current energy saving measures and behaviour through a survey and a public consultation event. Further information at: here.
- Local Space Housing (LSH), based in Islington, will aim to develop a 2 year tenant-led energy efficiency strategy for the association.
- The Sustainable Home Survey Company C.I.C. aims to create three Green Deal Ready community groups Further information here.
- The London Borough of Tower Hamlets will work on resident engagement and discuss setting up an Energy Co-Op. This will lead on to a feasibility survey for such a Energy Co-Op and creation of a working group to take it forward.
- Poplar HARCA and Tower Hamlets manage c.10,000 homes in Poplar. They will purchase home energy management systems to link energy data for analysis. Further information: www.poplarharca.co.uk
- St. John on Bethnal Green will undertake energy surveys here and in other local faith buildings as well as domestic properties and prepare a report on findings. Further information at: www.faithintowerhamlets.com
- Hackney Co-operative Developments CIC will provide external wall and roof insulation to a large managed workspace building used by charities, social enterprises, co-operatives, cultural entrepreneurs and locally-owned start-ups. Further information at: www.hced.co.uk
- The Arcola Theatre Dalston Energy Angels project will work in Hackney to create a network of members with different needs, skills and offers who can support each other to create and service demand in for energy efficiency and renewable energy. They will use the Theatre to educate people about electricity consumption and create a Waste Wood Heating Network to run a wood-fired boiler. Further information here.
- The HEET Project works with older and vulnerable people across the
borough of Waltham Forest in north east London. They research, develop and pilot innovative ways to achieve higher energy savings for fuel poor households. Further information at: www.theheetproject.org.uk
February 2012: Paper presented at the most recent GLA Investment and Performance Board evaluating the progress of the Mayor’s RE:CONNECT programme which established 10 ‘Low Carbon Zones’ across London.
The ten zones are in: Barking Town Centre (LBBD), Muswell Hill (Haringey),Archway (Islington), Brixton (Lambeth), Lewisham Town Centre (Lewisham), WandleValley (Merton), Ham & Petersham (Richmond), Peckham (Southwark), Hackbridge(Sutton), Queens Park (Westminster). The largest zone is in Archway with around 3,000 buildings; the smallest is in Hackbridge with around 300 buildings.
The programme is essentially a series of local scale demonstration projects that seek to deliver a 20% CO2 saving across the buildingsin a neighbourhood over a three year period (September 2009 – September 2012) and to provide an understanding of the factors that are required to deliver high coverage of energy efficiency measures and more efficient energy usage at a local scale.
January 2012: The Carbon Trust is hosting an Energy Efficient Breakfast for local businesses in the London Boroughs of Camden, Westminster, Southwark and Lambeth, in partnership with Camden Council on 27 March 2012. Registration and breakfast will open at 7:30 am, the session will start at 8 am, and will finish at 10:00 am with an optional carbon surgery with the trainer for half an hour afterwards. Further details on the content of the event and how to register posted on the Carbon Trust’s website.
A further event in Sutton is also being held on 6 March 2012.