London is ready for a brighter future Solar generated electricity Why are we missing out?

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1 London is ready for a brighter future Solar generated electricity Why are we missing out? A report by Jenny Jones AM, Green Party Member of the London Assembly, July 2014 (This response sets out my individual views as an Assembly member and not the agreed views of the full Assembly) The amount of generated solar electricity has almost doubled in the UK over the last year, yet London has the lowest uptake of solar panels of any region on mainland Britain. Solar could meet a fifth of Londoner s electricity needs, so why are people in the North of England and Scotland installing more solar, when sunny Londoners are ignoring this golden future? You have to walk around a lot of London streets to find a solar panel, as only 1 in 260 London households [i] have gone ahead with solar panels and signed up to the Government s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) [ii]. Compare that to the South West where every 1 in 32 houses is generating its own electricity and easing itself out of the grip of the big six energy providers and you see we are losing out. Jenny Jones AM Solar panels on City Hall What is really annoying for any Londoner who cares about the environment is that the Mayor of London has failed to recognise the opportunity, with Londoners missing out on at least 21 million of revenue from the FIT scheme which encourages solar panel take up. All electricity users contribute to this scheme, which adds about 7 to an annual 1,300 household energy bill [iii], but most of this money heads elsewhere, rather than being spent in the capital. The Mayor should be learning from the success stories around the UK, or from countries like Germany, which has a similar climate to southern England and recently broke its own record of generating 50% of its total electricity needs from solar energy. Solar panels are easy to install on all shapes and sizes of buildings. If you like them and they earn you money then it s easy to install more. And unlike nuclear, or fracked gas and oil this clean renewable energy source has the greatest public support of any energy generating technology and without the environmental risks. Many people in London may think it will be difficult to do because of planning regulations, or they are not sure if the finances will add up. That is why we need a City Hall team who can visit residents in flats, community groups, or business with advice and kick-start support. We need to harvest solar generated electricity from the underused and empty roof tops of London s commercial and industrial businesses, supermarkets, car parks, schools, transport and public buildings and other spaces. I want individual Londoners, community groups, London businesses to be part of an energy industry worth hundreds of millions of pounds. I want a London industry which relies on tens of thousands of micro electricity generators for its success and breaks the stranglehold of the big energy suppliers. Baroness Jenny Jones AM

2 The potential for solar power in London London benefits from some of the highest solar exposure in the UK, giving us a huge untapped resource 1. Solar photovoltaic panels on London roofs could deliver about 20% of the capital s electricity needs 2. But despite the technical potential of this clean, renewable energy source and at least a 50% price reductions in the last few years, London has recently been overtaken by the North East, leaving it as the region with the lowest levels of installed photovoltaic capacity of mainland Britain. 3 Even the North East and Scotland, with the lowest solar exposure, have more installed solar PV capacity and more panels per home than London 4. One consequence of this is that we don t get our fair share of Feed-in-Tariff revenue, only pulling in 4m of the 164m of pay-outs in the last quarter of If London had the same proportion of solar PV installations as it does homes in the UK, we would have received an extra 21 million in those three months 5. British Crown copyright 2014, the Met Office. Since the introduction of the Feed in Tariff in 2010 the installed PV capacity across the UK has risen rapidly, reaching 2.7GW (gigawatt) and with the potential to reach 5GB by the end of the financial year. Even this is small scale compared the 36GW PV capacity in Germany, which enjoys a similar climate to southern England 6 7. This chart shows how London has failed to seize the opportunity created by the Feed in Tariff, with only 13,000 installations generating up to 49 megawatts, enough to supply the annual electricity needs of 12,000 homes. Our record is in stark contrast to other parts of southern England the South West has 451MW installed capacity, enough to power 110,000 homes Scotland Installed solar PV capacity (on feed in tariff register) MW (megawatts) North East Yorkshire & Humber East Midlands East of England London South East South West Wales West Midlands North West Source: data obtained from Ofgem Feed in Tariff update reports 8

3 The potential of community and commercial installations The Mayor of London has an ambition to generate a quarter of London s energy needs from local energy sources. He is predominantly focussed on developing large Combined Heat and Power and district heating systems 9. But he could kickstart a solar revolution in London, making us the equal of the South West. This could complement the Government s recently published plan to turn the UK s rooftops into solar power stations 10. The aim would be to massively expand small community and commercial installations and the larger mid-scale installations across London. The Mayor could get panels installed on the panels installed roof tops of London s commercial and industrial businesses, supermarkets, car parks, schools, transport and public buildings. Unlike the UK, where the overwhelming majority of PV deployment is domestic, the majority of Germany s deployment is in the community, commercial and industrial sectors We used to have a larger municipal energy system in the UK, with around 600 Scale of solar activity in London energy companies in the 1940s, but today we are dominated by (on feed-in-tariff register) the Big Small-scale Mid-scale Repowering London 14, Abundance Generation 15 and Solar Schools 16 are among those trying to get more investment into community and commercial solar installations in London and the rest of the UK. But the Mayor doesn t have a plan to help this sector rapidly expand. Brixton Energy emerged from one of the ten Low Carbon Zones, which the Mayor dropped in He has helped housing associations fit solar panels to 4,300 homes through his Homes in Croydon Still a rare sight! Only one in 260 homes in London have solar PV installations Smaller than 4kW upto 50kW On housing, small commercial and community buildings installations Larger than 50kW upto 1MW On commercial and industrial, public and community buildings Total installations = 12,837 (domestic 12,101, other 736) Total installed capacity = 49,014kW (domestic 36,565kW, other 12,449kW) RE:NEW framework, and through planning policy has secured 7MW of solar PV capacity 17. There is clearly a place for much more energetic Mayoral leadership in this area, particularly on the existing roofs as by 2050 approximately 60-80% of buildings in London will still be in use. 18 Kick-starting a solar revolution in London Perhaps most important of all, the Mayor should set-up a high-level working group to develop a London equivalent of the Government s solar strategy, producing an action plan with solar capacity targets by the end of 2014/15. City Hall, Greater London Authority (GLA) Complementing this solar working group, a GLA based unit to kick-start this community and commercial deployment. The unit would provide a package of support to community groups and companies to unlock many more solar PV installations.

4 This package could include support for: identifying potential sites and developing a database of opportunities brokerage with roof top owners, investors, suppliers and installers regulatory, planning, contractual and tenancy/ownership issues financial planning The Mayor could also use his new electricity License Lite to buy any electricity they produce, selling it on to public organisations like TfL and local councils 19. This would create a guaranteed market for any installation, removing another barrier or risk. Initially the electricity might be bought at cost price, given that the Feed in Tariff still gives a financial incentive. Profits from the sale of electricity could meet the ongoing costs of the unit, meaning the Mayor would only need an upfront investment to get this going. The larger the profits, the larger the funds available for investing in more solar energy start-ups. The Mayor could leverage existing GLA Group schemes to maximise its impact: link this up with existing programmes such as the Better Building Partnership, his RE:NEW framework for retrofitting homes, and the RE:FIT framework for retrofitting public and commercial buildings, which could bring in roof space for tens of thousands more solar panels commission existing and emerging community-owned renewable energy projects to help set up new community-owned renewable energy projects work with the UK Power Networks, the distribution network operator covering London to understand how they are helping connect PV installations quickly and identifying where on London s grid addition PV would be useful to help support the grid their work, and the potential of solar, could be reflected in the work of the Mayor s London Electricity High-level Working Group 20 use Transport for London advertising space to stimulate interest and investment, and to promote solar panels to homeowners who have an important role to play in realising this ambition of a far more secure energy future link employment, training and apprenticeship programmes up with existing solar companies and the likes of Repowering London to support more young unemployed people to get into the sector ensure that GLA supported major infrastructure projects support maximum deployment, such as future phases of Crossrail stations. seek low carbon innovation prize entries that develop more visually acceptable installations that look like conventional tiles and slates and which fit seamlessly with existing roofs and in conservation areas, and new energy storage technologies. Network Rail s, Blackfriars Station bridge produces enough Solar PV energy to supply the equivalent of 333 homes all year round. (in collaboration with Solarcentury) photo credit: Network Rail

5 The Mayor is also well placed to help bring more money into the sector: bring together pension funds, including the London Pension Fund Authority, local authorities, the London Green Fund, crowd funding platforms and other investors to plough big money into viable schemes to complement the little guy investor establish a Community Energy Solar Fund, which could provide small grants to help with feasibility and start up costs The Mayor could use his planning powers to encourage more developers to put money for zero carbon allowable solutions 21 into community and commercial solar PV groups. The Mayoral solar working group should examine my proposals, and review barriers identified by the industry such as: higher costs of installation in London landlord and tenant barriers. A deterrent to mid-scale deployment and unlike Germany where legal ownership of solar arrays means that it can be dismantled and moved elsewhere if the business moves to new premises. London s proportion of flats compared to other regions. Almost three times compared to the South West with the greatest solar PV uptake. However uptake is greater by a factor of eight compared to London. political and policy uncertainties for long term investment and concerns about constant Government reviews of schemes and changes to tariffs. For example, the Government reduced the FIT in April 2014, and only one month later it announced the removal of subsidies through Renewable Obligation regime for larger solar installation from The replacement Contracts for Difference policy is believed to be far less accessible for SMEs that are prevalent in the solar sector 23. annual limits of DECC s Levy Control Framework and potential future caps Interlocking Solar roof tiles 24 Photo credit: Solarcentury

6 Annex Solar Photovoltaic installations confirmed on the Central Feed-in Tariff Register There is a big variation in the take-up rate between boroughs. For instance LB Waltham Forest has one solar PV installation for every 88 homes, whilst neighbouring LB Enfield has one for every 362 homes. Local Authority installs domestic installs total KW domestic KW total How many homes are there for each PV installation * Estimated no. of homes output could supply ** Waltham Forest 1,090 1,118 2,714 3, Barking and Dagenham ,114 1, Bromley ,613 2, Havering ,821 2, Ealing ,010 2, Richmond upon Thames ,254 1, Croydon ,338 2, Kingston upon Thames ,025 1, Sutton ,380 1, Bexley ,176 3, Harrow ,205 1, Redbridge ,080 1, Merton , Hounslow ,230 1, Hillingdon ,147 1, Barnet ,367 1, Brent , Lewisham , Haringey ,023 1, Islington , Enfield , Greenwich Lambeth , Wandsworth , Hackney , Camden Newham Westminster , Southwark , Hammersmith and Fulham Kensington and Chelsea City of London Tower Hamlets London Total 12,101 12,837 36,565 49,014 11,882 Source: table 3 & 4, DECC's 'Feed in Tariffs: Sub-National Statistics' quarter 1 (as at end_march)

7 * How many homes are there for each installation. For instance one installation for every 1155 Tower Hamlet homes. ** Figures based on each 1kW system producing roughly 800 kw units per year and the typical 3-bedroom house using just over 3,000 kw units in a year. Research: George Raszka Press contact: Ian Wingrove [i] Calculated from, DECC statistics sub regional feed-in-tariff confirmed on the CFR statistics, end of March 2014, Table 1. Cumulative installations confirmed on the Central Feed-in Tariff Register by Region1 [ii] [iii] GLA Decentralised energy capacity study, Oct 2011 phase 1 technical assessment. Page xii states that PV has the technical potential of providing 19% of Greater London s electricity consumption. 3 Calculated from, DECC statistics sub regional feed-in-tariff confirmed on the CFR statistics, end of March 2014, Table 1. Cumulative installations confirmed on the Central Feed-in Tariff Register by Region1 4 Calculated from, DECC statistics sub regional feed-in-tariff confirmed on the CFR statistics, end of March 2014, Table 1. Cumulative installations confirmed on the Central Feed-in Tariff Register by Region1 5 Based on household figures from DCLG and latest FIT pay-out figures from Ofgem FIT newsletter, March 2014 for period 1 Oct to 31 December _to_a_brighter_future_08.10.pdf 8 Installed solar PV capacity data obtained from FIT update reports, over 15 quarters (15 newsletters) London Assembly Environment Committee, 26 March 2014, transcript of item 6: mayoral carbon reduction targets %20Transcript%20Wednesday%2026-Mar-2014% %20Environment%20Committee.pdf?T= Solarcentury:

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