Submission from the London Climate Change
Agency and the London Development Agency
1.1 This paper is a combined submission
of evidence from both the London Climate Change Agency and the
London Development Agency. London is taking the lead in tackling
climate change and this submission sets out the background to
this work and the practical action that London is now undertaking,
including renewable energy and hydrogen technologies, from which
other cities and local authorities can learn from as well as the
identification of barriers that government must address if the
UK is to meet and go beyond its climate change and renewable energy
2. LONDON CLIMATE
2.1 The Mayor committed to establishing
the London Climate Change Agency (LCCA)
in his 2004 election manifesto to implement projects in the sectors
that impact on climate change, especially in the energy, transport,
waste and water sectors. The LCCA is playing a key role in helping
to deliver the Mayor's Energy Strategy and Climate Change Action
Plan. The LCCA is a municipal company owned by the London Development
Agency (LDA) and led by the Mayor as chairman.
3. LONDON ESCO
3.1 One of the LCCA's key projects was the
establishment of the London ESCO,
a public/private joint venture energy services company between
the LCCA Ltd (19% shareholding) and EDF Energy plc (81% shareholding)
to design, finance, build and operate decentralised energy systems,
including renewable energy and fuel cell CHP systems. The author
is the LCCA's director on the London ESCO Board.
3.2 The first tranche of immediate projects
will double London's CHP capacity and implement both large and
small scale renewable energy projects at an investment value of
some £100 million and deliver a reduction in CO2
emissions of approximately 310,000 tonnes pa.
4. LONDON PLAN
4.1 The London Plan
is used as a positive planning policy tool to stimulate the take
up of renewable energy technologies by requiring developers to
provide 10% of the development's energy requirements from on site
renewable energy. The Further Alterations to the London Plan
will go one step further by specifically requiring developments
to have energy supplied by combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP)
or trigeneration wherever feasible and to reduce their CO2
emissions by a further 20% through the production of on site renewable
energy. This key change in moving from an energy led approach
to a carbon led approach was necessary since not all renewable
energy technologies reduce CO2 emissions by the same
amount and some may even increase CO2 emissions in
4.2 However, having a groundbreaking London
Plan does not necessarily guarantee increases in renewable energy
and other low and zero carbon technologies unless it can be shown
that there is a low carbon energy industry in London. Prior to
the 2004 Mayoral election this was an area of market failure,
hence the need for the establishment of the LCCA and the London
ESCO which in itself has begun to catalyse the market and attract
new ESCO players into London.
5. THE MAYOR'S
5.1 The Mayor's Climate Change Action Plan
was published in February 2007 which set a target to reduce London's
CO2 emissions by 60% below 1990 levels, not by 2050
but by 2025, if CO2 emissions are to be stabilised
at 450ppm and catastrophic climate change avoided. However, 50%
of this target depends on government taking action through such
measures as removing the regulatory barriers to decentralised
energy and carbon pricing.
5.2 London's electricity and gas consumption
is responsible for 75% of London's CO2 emissions. This
is normally not separately identified but smeared across end use
energy consumption but it is important to realise where CO2
emissions are actually coming from since it is no fault of the
energy consumer that centralised energy is so inefficient, otherwise
the wrong policy actions and effort will be set in place and the
primary cause of climate change not addressed.
5.3 The Mayor's goal is to enable 25% of
London's energy supply to be moved off reliance on the national
grid and on to local decentralised energy systems by 2025 with
more than 50% of London's energy being supplied in this way by
2050. Of the 2025 target 15% of energy will come from biomass
and waste and 38% of energy will come from local heat and power
networks and microgeneration some of which will also be renewable
6. LONDON DEVELOPMENT
6.1 The LDA is a regional development agency
(RDA) whose functions have been delegated to the Mayor. The LDA
is leading from the front in helping to deliver the Mayor's Climate
Change Action Plan in low and zero carbon developments and by
requiring decentralised energy to be incorporated in its own developments
in advance of and as part of the procurement of delivery partners
to develop its developments. With the assistance of the LCCA the
LDA has established a Decentralised Energy Team to help deliver
this strategy which sets an important example of `show by doing'
to the development community in London and to other RDA's.
6.2 However, the delegated powers, obligations
and budgets should be reviewed for RDA's to enable them to support
(and achieve) government targets for renewable energy and CHP.
CHP and CCHP
7.1 Combined heat and power (CHP or cogeneration)
and combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP or trigeneration) are
important technologies for renewable energy both now, by providing
an economic infrastructure for renewable energy technologies to
interconnect to, and in the future, where such energy infrastructure
can be re-energised with renewable gases/fuels or renewable hydrogen.
For example, a CCHP system installed today fuelled by a low carbon
fuel such as natural gas can be re-energised with a renewable
fuel in the future when the primary energy plant requires replacement
since the CCHP system infrastructure will last typically three
to four times longer than the primary energy plant.
7.2 A further sophistication of this approach
is to provide dual fuel primary energy plant so that the plant
can take advantage of natural gas today but switched over in say
five years time to a renewable gas when a renewable gas infrastructure
has been developed for the purpose. This is the approach that
is being taken on some London projects. In either event, such
an approach will provide future proofing for renewable gases and
fuels and enable a rapid upscaling for both renewable heat and
electricity within a relatively short timescale.
7.3 Photovoltaics (PV) is an important technology
for an urban environment like London since one thing that a city
has a lot of are roofs and other locations (eg, glass/glass PV
for canopies, atria and rooflights and PV/wind energy lighting
columns) upon which PV can be installed. PV is also a complimentary
technology to CHP, particularly for residential, since the two
technologies operating together provide complimentary reverse
summer/winter overlapping energy profiles with peak electricity
in the summer from PV and peak electricity in the winter from
CHP. This is one of the achievements in Woking where PV was made
more economic by taking a holistic approach to decentralised energy
7.4 PV is one of the more expensive renewable
energy technologies but it has a very long life, typically 3 times
longer than other renewable energy technologies. Therefore, PV
has significant lifetime CO2 emissions reduction capability.
It is important for London to stimulate and catalyse the PV market
because of its huge potential to generate renewable electricity
local to where the energy loads exist. For this reason, the LCCA
and the GLA Group have implemented a number of photovoltaic projects.
The LCCA is also working on potential inward investment projects
as manufacturers/suppliers take advantage of the low carbon energy
economy in London.
7.5 Wind energy is another important technology
that also, like PV, has a complimentary reverse summer/winter
overlapping energy profile with CHP.
7.6 The potential for non building integrated
wind energy is more significant than would be imagined for a city
like London. The London Energy Partnership wind energy study identified
that the wind energy capacity for the Greater London area was
predicted to be 50.34MW, generating 144.5 GWh annually and reducing
147,015 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, taking account
of various constraints in London. However, the potential for wind
energy could be more significant than this, particularly if advantage
was taken of the River Thames corridor.
7.7 The UK has 50% of Europe's wind energy
resource and yet the UK lags behind other European countries such
as Denmark, Germany and Spain who have much less wind energy resource.
7.8 The potential for building integrated
wind energy could also be significant for a city like London.
However, this is an emerging technology that will require supporting
if it is to achieve its potential. The LCCA demonstration project
at Palestra is an example of this technology which is currently
undergoing re-engineering by the manufacturer.
Solar water heating
7.9 Solar water heating has the potential
to deliver up to the equivalent of 80% of domestic water heating.
However, it is important to understand that "equivalent"
is not the same as "actual" since it only takes a few
hours to heat a domestic hot water cylinder, particularly in the
summer, so even if solar energy is available for many more hours
in a day it cannot be fully realised unless there is a continuous
hot water demanddifficult for most working households.
More solar energy production and consumption could be realised
if thermal storage was utilised in conjunction with solar water
heating, particularly in the summer.
7.10 Unless solar water heating displaces
a high carbon fuel such as electricity, coal or oil water heating
it will not achieve a significant reduction in CO2
emissions against a low carbon fuel such as natural gas. It should
also be noted that solar water heating is not a complimentary
technology to CHP, particularly for domestic CHP.
Ground source heat pumps
7.11 Ground source heat pumps are a partial
renewable energy technology deriving low carbon, low temperature
renewable heat from the ground which is then increased by a heat
pump connected to the high carbon national grid. This increase
in temperature is determined by the coefficient of performance
(COP) of the heat pump. Although manufacturers often quote high
COP's (typically a COP of three or four) it is important to understand
that these are instantaneous peak values in the most advantageous
7.12 The average annual COP of a good heat
pump is typically two which will reduce energy consumption by
50% over the year as a whole. However, this does not necessarily
mean that this will reduce CO2 emissions. For example,
a ground source heat pump with an average annual COP of two connected
to the grid will have a CO2 emission factor of 0.422kgCO2/kWh
x 50% = 0.211kgCO2/kWh compared with natural gas high efficiency
condensing boilers with efficiencies up to 97% and at this efficiency
the CO2 emission factor will be 0.194kgCO2/kWh @ 97%
efficiency = 0.200kgCO2/kWh, ie, 5.2% less CO2 emissions
than a grid connected ground source heat pump.
7.13 Where CHP or CCHP is the alternative
technology these will achieve a far greater reduction in CO2
emissions than ground source heat pumps simply because the CHP
or CCHP will be displacing high carbon grid electricity (as well
as co-generating heat) rather than consuming high carbon grid
electricity. Ground source heat pumps could be connected to and
supplied by on site PV or wind energy but this would not be a
good overall use of renewable energy which would otherwise displace
grid electricity for lighting and appliances.
7.14 Nonetheless, ground source heat pumps
have their place in reducing CO2 emissions, particularly
for rural environments, where there is no gas grid and the alternative
fuels are grid electricity, coal or oil.
7.15 Large scale hydro electricity is a
mature technology in the UK. However, run of river hydro is an
under utilised resource in the UK compared to Germany which has
over 5,500 small scale hydros.
7.16 In London, there may also be scope
for large scale hydro if a Thames Barrage is required to protect
London from rising sea levels brought about by climate change
over and above what the Thames Barrier can protect. If a Thames
Barrage is required a holistic approach should be taken towards
the project and what else it could be used for. The LCCA has carried
out some pre feasibility work which shows that a barrage could
be designed to also generate hydro electricity. It could also
be used as a transport link across the River Thames which taken
together could provide a significant financial contribution towards
the project and add to London's renewable energy capacity and
associated reduction in CO2 emissions, combining both
climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
7.17 Biomass is non fossilized biodegradable
organic material originating from plants, animals and micro-organisms.
Energy from biomass or bioenergy and its relationship to climate
change is a complex subject and must take account of any negative
implication on food production, biodiversity, habitat loss and
7.18 Biomass is claimed by some to be carbon
neutral since the carbon released is replaced by the carbon stored
in replacement planting. However, this assumes that there will
be replanting to replace the carbon released and it ignores the
energy consumed to re-grow, harvest and transport the biomass.
For example, some biomass projects in the UK import forest biomass
from Scandinavia and Canada or even sugar from Brazil or palm
oil from the tropics. It also ignores the time taken to store
the carbon through replanting so there would be a net increase
in CO2 emissions until the biomass had been fully re-grown.
For example, a quick growing tree like Poplar would take 50 years
to recover the carbon released into the atmosphere through burning
the tree which may take only a few hours to release its carbon
into the atmosphere.
7.19 Unless these issues are taken into
account and properly assessed and accredited energy from biomass
may actually increase CO2 emissions rather than reduce
CO2 emissions. For example, some tree wood species
have higher carbon contents than coal (eg forest trees) and can
take many years to sequester their carbon whilst other biomass
can have very low carbon contents and have annual or three yearly
replanting (eg, cellulosic biomass or willow coppicing) or are
biomass wastes where the waste needs to be dealt with in any event.
For example, California, having initially stimulated the corn
ethanol market and found little CO2 benefits arising
from this form of biomass, introduced the California Low Carbon
Fuel Standard in January 2007. The standard is measured on a lifecycle
basis in order to include all emissions from fuel consumption
and production, including the `upstream' emissions that are major
contributors to the global warming impact of fuels.
Renewable gases and synthetic fuels
7.20 In an urban environment like London
renewable gases and synthetic fuels from the organic and residual
fractions of industrial, commercial, sewage, municipal and biomass
wastes is a far greater renewable energy resource than transported
solid biomass. It also significantly reduces, if not virtually
eliminates, waste to landfill and incineration, treats waste as
a resource, converts a renewable resource into a form of renewable
energy that can be stored and pipelined, creates a common energy
carrier for both buildings and transport, can create a macro renewable
energy infrastructure for zero carbon development and transport,
reduce London's traffic congestion through the minimisation of
transport movements for both renewable fuels and wastes, increase
London's indigenous renewable energy footprint and significantly
reduce London's CO2 and toxic pollutant emissions.
7.21 For example, if all of the London waste
that currently goes to landfill (where it emits greenhouse gases
such as methane) were utilised, it could generate enough to provide
electricity to two million homes, and heat up to 625,000 homes.
The LCCA and the LDA are working to develop a renewable gases
and liquid fuels market in London through the support, development
and funding of demonstration projects. Early work on these projects
suggests that they could be more commercially viable than landfill
or mass burn incineration and deliver significant reductions in
CO2 and toxic pollutant emissions. See also Hydrogen
and Fuel Cell Technologies.
8.1 The Mayor considers that government
targets for reducing the carbon intensity of the national grid
are insufficient and that a greatly accelerated programme of developing
large scale renewable energy must be set in place to deliver this.
8.2 In particular, the Mayor supports the
development of the large scale off-shore wind turbines in the
Thames Estuary (London Array, Greater Gabbard, etc). The locational
benefits of these projects should be recognised, taking account
of the reduced transmission and distribution losses, etc, through
supplying London and the surrounding area rather than the UK as
9. HYDROGEN AND
9.1 London is in the lead in the deployment
and implementation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Transport
for London trialled three hydrogen fuel cell buses as part of
the CUTE Programme and following the successful performance of
these buses a further 70 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are currently
being procured to be introduced in London by 2010.
9.2 The LCCA has also carried out a feasibility
study to implement a fuel cell CHP trigeneration scheme in Palestra.
The project is now being considered for implementation in conjunction
with Transport for London, the head lessee of Palestra.
9.3 The LCCA is also working on a potential
fuel cell inward investment project and renewable gases and liquid
fuel projects. Renewable gases and liquid fuels derived by anaerobic
digestion, gasification and/or pyrolysis are hydrogen rich fuels
and so can be developed into renewable hydrogen either now or
in the future. See also Renewable Gases and Liquid Fuels.
10. REMOVAL OF
Regulatory barriers to renewable energy
10.1 In order to stimulate the rapid economic
uptake of decentralised energy (CHP, CCHP, renewable energy and
hydrogen fuel cells) the regulatory barriers to decentralised
energy must be removed.
This will require the further relaxation of the exemption from
the requirements for a licence limits, in particular, the 1MW
domestic barrier on individual private wire networks and the 5MW
(including 2.5MW domestic) aggregate barrier over public wire
networks for smaller decentralised energy systems, similar to
Woking, and the introduction of a new vertically integrated decentralised
energy (stripped down) licence for operation on larger decentralised
systems such as in London and other major cities.
Planning barriers to renewable energy
10.2 There should be a much firmer direction
to local planning authorities on the need for renewable energy
and possible intervention by regional planning authorities (or
the Mayor in London) or government, as appropriate, where it can
be shown that renewable energy projects are being unnecessarily
delayed or rejected for no good reason which can be set out in
new planning guidance.
Allan Jones MBE
Chief Executive Officer, Chief Technologist
22 London Climate Change Agency-www.lcca.co.uk Back
London ESCO-www.londonesco.co.uk Back
London Plan, February 2004-The London Plan-the Mayor's Spatial
Development Strategy, February 2004, http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/planning/strategy.jsp Back
Further Alterations to the London Plan, consultation, September
2006, Draft Further Alterations to the London Plan, http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/strategies/sds/further-alts/docs.jsp Back
The Mayor's Climate Change Action Plan-Action Today to Protect
DTI/Ofgem Review: Distribution Generation Call for Evidence-London
Climate Change Agency Submission of Evidence www.dti.gov.uk/files/file36363.pdf Back