Friday, October 16, 2009

London Mayor proposes move towards more decentralised energy

Wednesday 14 October 2009

London Mayor proposes move towards more decentralised energy
Boris Johnson has a target to supply 25% of London’s heat and electricity from local sources by 2025 
The Mayor of London has today (October 14) detailed steps to boost locally generated energy to cut carbon emissions, create 'green collar' jobs' and save money off fuel bills.

Boris Johnson today outlined a package of initiatives designed to attract investors as well as help developers and borough councils to build more local energy schemes, which could included renewable sources and combined heat and power (CHP) stations. This follows on from the ten Low Carbon Zones the Mayor announced in September (see this NewEnergyFocus story).

The Mayor's office has a target to supply 25% of London's heat and electricity from local sources by 2025, but currently, the vast majority of London's energy comes from power stations miles away from the city, which can see up to two thirds of it lost before reaching its point of use.

Today, the Mayor launched a prospectus showing the potential for more decentralised energy in London, a 'London Heat Map' to help investors pinpoint specific areas for decentralised energy, and a 'Decentralised Energy Centre of Excellence' to provide expertise and support to boroughs.

Mr Johnson said: ‘I want to position London as the world's leading low carbon economy. There are massive opportunities flowing from the shift away from our fossil fuelled lifestyles including new 'green collar' jobs and financial savings from becoming less wasteful.

"We are working hand in hand with the business community and London's boroughs to create the ripe conditions to revolutionise the way we power our city. This is a fertile alliance between private and public organisations which will reap significant dividends for Londoners," he added.


The London Development Agency has allocated up to £16 million for decentralised energy projects over the next four years and is currently working on 14 projects across the capital, including the London Thames Gateway Heat Network, which is set to capture low carbon heat from Barking Power Station to supply up to 120,000 homes and properties with their heating and domestic hot water requirements.

Separately, Guys and St Thomas' hospitals have launched a CHP system that is set to deliver £1.5m a year in cost savings and cut carbon emissions by 20%, while the building housing TfL and LDA staff set to have a CHP system including a hydrogen fuel cell operational later this year, reducing the building's carbon emissions by 30% from its building regulation target levels.

The Mayor hopes to build on these projects with the prospectus announced today, entitled 'Powering Ahead'. It is aimed at the private and public sector, and sets out the potential for more decentralised energy in the capital as well as containing information and advice for organisations who want to implement local energy schemes.

Councillor Sean Brennan, London Councils Executive Member for Sustainability said: "There is huge potential to get investors on board in the fight against climate change and this prospectus will prove vital in informing them about the benefits of decentralised energy and how they can get involved."
The Mayor added that a 'Decentralised Energy Centre of Excellence' within the London Development Agency (LDA) would help boroughs identify potential opportunities for decentralised energy generation, as well as providing ongoing support on procurement, legal and financial considerations to delivery the projects.

Also announced was the London Heat Map, an interactive web-based map designed to help public organisations, property developers, registered social landlords and private investors identify the potential for decentralised energy opportunities in specific areas of London.

The map includes details of major energy consumers, energy supply plants and community heating networks and heat density. It will be regularly updated and allows users to contribute content to the map.

The measures were welcomed by Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First and the Combined Heat and Power Association (CHPA)

"A low-carbon energy infrastructure can help to secure a sustainable future for London. Locally generated power at sufficient scale will notch up a sizeable chunk of the carbon savings London needs, to meet national and European targets," Baroness Valentine said.

Graham Meeks, director of the CHPA, said: "The measures announced today should be applauded. They are another addition to a long and growing list of examples where effective coordination and collaboration by partners across London has enabled development of decentralised energy schemes for the mutual benefit of residents, businesses and the environment alike."

"By bringing local energy generation into communities across the capital, London has set itself on a trajectory to become a world leading low carbon success story," he added.

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