Inaugural Roadshow open to all launches in Rutland

Ground Source Heat Pump Association

The Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) has chosen the County of Rutland to launch its inaugural event on Wednesday 10th May at The Rural Business Community in Seaton, Oakham to kick off its roadshow designed to educate, promote and raise awareness of Ground Source Heat Pumps. This event, which is chaired by John Findlay of Rutland based Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd and Chairman of the GSHPA will be the first in a series of regional roadshows to encourage the uptake of Ground Source Heat Pumps and to provide a networking forum for all existing installers.

The event, which takes place from 2pm at The Rural Business Community in Seaton, Oakham (LE15 9HT) is free and open to all local installers, plumbers, heating engineers, architects, building developers and building related contractors, or indeed anyone interested in renewable energy, wishing to gain valuable information from a group of experts in their field. To secure a place, please register your attendance by emailing jen.billings@gshp.org.uk. There will be an opportunity to ask technical questions to the impressive line-up of speakers, who will be taking part in a Q & A panel discussion. The speakers include;

• John Findlay of Rutland based Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd, a Chartered Engineer with over 35 years of international engineering project management and geosciences experience. He has worked with blue chip companies around the world to deliver all aspects of installation from design to end user. As well as Chairman of the GSHPA, John is also a technical advisor to OFGEM and provided input to the Environment Agency Good Practice Guidelines, the BGS open loop screening tool and the CIBSE code of practice for WSHPs.

• Chris Davidson, who is only one of a few certified GeoExchange Designers operating in the UK and has overseen over 200MW of system installations from individual houses to multi-award winning projects such as One New Change in London. Chris recently founded GeniusEnergyLab, which brings a fresh approach to low carbon system design and consultation to the UK. He also Chairs the Policy Development Team at the GHSPA.

• Kevin Cox, Contracts Manager of J. Tomlinson Ltd who has considerable experience in installing GSHPs in a number of Housing Association developments.

• Alex Driver, Managing Director of Orangehouse Renewables, Stamford are local renewable energy installation specialists.

The event would be of interest to a Local Authority or nearby Housing Associations needing to explore all the options in providing heating and potentially cooling in developments, where the GSHPA can offer independent advice and guidance on the most suitable course of action.

The location of the event itself, The Rural Business Community in Seaton, is heated by a Ground Source Heat Pump so there will be an opportunity to see this in action.

The GSHPA would be delighted to welcome you should you wish to find out more information about anything Ground Source Heat related. All you need to do is register your attendance by emailing Jen Billings at jen.billings@gshp.org.uk or phone 07576 550877.

Ends

For Further Media Information, please contact:
Charlotte Hassenstein – Charlotte@carbonzeroco.com or 07770 444 051
Notes to Editors:
GSHPA has over 100 members and our principal aim is to encourage the growth and development of the ground source heat pump industry in the United Kingdom by:
 Promoting the efficient and sustainable use of ground source heat pumps
 Raising awareness of the benefits of ground source heat pumps
 Developing ground source installation Standards
 Encouraging high standards of training for the industry
 Providing a forum for information interchange
 Liaising with related organisations to benefit the ground source industry
 Lobbying for Ground Source Energy industry in matters of local, national and international interest to members

For further information visit our website at www.gshp.org.uk or email info@gshp.org.uk

No better time to consider renewable heat!

Our quarterly rant: Despite everything, there has never been a better time to install a Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) of the provision of renewable heat.

The UK does not have targets for the increased provision of renewable heat; rather a requirement to lower carbon emissions across the board. The UK’s fifth carbon budget, due for parliamentary approval this year, recommends a 57% reduction in UK emissions from 2028-2032 on 1990 levels.

The committee for climate change (CCC) recently commented that ‘Heating and hot water for UK buildings make up around 40% of our energy consumption and 20% of our greenhouse gas emissions. It will be necessary to largely eliminate these emissions by around 2050 to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act and to maintain the UK contribution to the Paris Agreement. Progress to date has stalled. The Government needs a credible new strategy and a much stronger policy framework for buildings decarbonisation’.

Progress has indeed stalled since the Brexit referendum, cabinet reshuffle, scrapping of DECC and absorption of all things carbon/renewable into the catchily named new department of ‘Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’ (DBEIS). It is likely that we will be told a little more about the fate of the RHI and renewable heat in early December. We await with great interest what BEIS have taken 6 months to mull-over!.

The UK’s long term aim for the provision of heating for domestic and commercial premises is to utilise low carbon (and ultimately zero carbon) electricity to provide renewable heat via heat pumps. Great strides have already been taken to reduce the ‘carbon intensity’ of mains electricity. Coal, the worst possible option for emissions of CO2, has rapidly become a minor contributor to our mix of power sources with gas, nuclear and renewables providing the bulk.

Just 3 years ago, the carbon intensity of grid electricity was often in excess of 500g of CO2 for every kilowatt-hour (500gCO2/kWh). Now, with increased contribution from renewables and gas, the average has fallen to 300gCO2 or less.  This will continue to fall as more renewables are brought on line, and eventually more nuclear – although I fear Hinckley and other nuclear projects have further hurdles to jump before they power-up your heat pump!

The major ‘fuel’ source for a GSHP is, of course, the ground. A well-designed and maintained borehole or trenched ground array will provide renewable heat for 100 years or more – provided nobody digs it up! As such a ground array acts as a very long term capital asset for the system owner. With the significant reduction of carbon emissions from electricity production, there has never been a better time to install heat pumps.

There is ongoing technical demand and client desire to utilise GSHP systems, but in a government incentivised market, there is an urgent and absolute requirement for clarity and certainty from DBEIS. To read more from Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd, visit our news section. 

Water Supply Boreholes: An Outline For Development

Making use of groundwater to save your business money can seem like a daunting process. Here is a simple guide outlining the process from feasibility to installation – and how we can help you.

 
1) Firstly, determine how much water you will need to abstract. This needs to be an estimate of daily and hourly demand – as well as the peak (instantaneous) rate required for your process or business. The amount of water required will affect viability, borehole design and other areas such as licensing. (If you abstract more than 20m3/day you will need an Abstraction License from the Environment Agency). If you are unsure how much water you will need, we are more than happy to help with assessment.

 
2) Initial geological assessment; unlike many companies, as part of our initial contact we will provide a short geological assessment to determine viability of water supply – before you have to spend any money! If we think your site is a candidate for further assessment, we will say so. If it is not worth the outlay – we will tell you that as well.

 
3) The next step is a hydrogeological survey to determine the amount water that is likely to be available from a borehole at your location, the quality of water, potential treatments required for the purpose you require, budget costs and design of the borehole. Not all sites within the UK are able to support a private water supply – but we will maximise your chances to obtain one.

 
4) Once our hydrogeological assessment has been completed we will help to make the decision to proceed with construction. We will then assist in agreeing a contract with a suitably qualified and competent driller. We have longstanding relations with trustworthy drilling companies with the right expertise and plant for a particular project. We can also provide specifications and tender documents to obtain competitive quotes.

 
5) Once the borehole has been drilled we provide the work necessary to test your borehole to confirm sustainable flow rate and water quality. Furthermore, if you are to abstract more than 20m3/day we help with the application process to obtain an abstraction license. Carbon Zero Consulting will help you to meet all regulatory requirements for a private water supply.

 
A well-designed and installed private water supply borehole will meet your needs for many years to come. We provide monitoring and maintenance services for some boreholes that have operated for nearly 100 years! You will not only significantly reduce costs but also have greater security of supply compared to mains water.

 
If you have any questions, please call us on: 01572 729510 or email: john@carbonzeroco.com
Carbon Zero Consulting Ltd, www.carbonzeroco.com

Hottest April on record globally

Global temperature records show that April was the hottest on record – this follows March breaking the same record. Furthermore, it is the seventh month in a row to break global temperature records, this all but guarantees that 2016 will be the hottest year on record.

April’s temperature smashed the previous record by 0.24°C and was 0.87°C above the average baseline. Scientists are now becoming worried that it may be impossible to meet the 1.5°C temperature cap agreed at the Paris summit with doubt even being raised on a 2°C cap. This worrying trend of smashing temperature records shows the need for immediate action to reduce our carbon emissions.

UK national grid uses no coal for first time in over 100 years

The UK’s national grid has been producing electricity without any assistance from coal fired power plants for the first time since 1882. This historic event occurred late Monday 10th May and spanned into the early hours of Tuesday morning. This was again repeated over the weekend.

The government has stated its plans to phase out coal power by 2025 as it is has a significantly higher ‘carbon intensity’ compared to gas (and of course energy from renewables and nuclear has zero carbon intensity). The reduced reliance on coal is excellent news for heat pump owners as reduced grid carbon intensity will see the carbon efficiency of heat pumps improve even further.

UK Grid Carbon Intensity on 14/05/2016

UK’s Solar Power Generation

The UK’s solar panels generated more electricity than coal for the first time. On Saturday 9 April, solar generated 29 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, 4% of the total power used that day and more than the 21GWh output from coal (3% of demand). This pattern was repeated on Sunday, with solar (6%) outpacing coal (3%). In reality, the coal consumption was unusually low – but this does demonstrate some of the major changes and improvements being made to the UK’s power supply.

Our Quarterly Rant: The fate of UK energy supply

Coal power generation accounts for about 20% of our total requirement. The UK has committed to remove coal from our mix of power sources by the mid-2020s. So what will fill the gap?
In the right conditions; power from wind, solar and hydroelectric generate nearly 20% of the UK’s requirement with corresponding reduction of ‘carbon intensity’ of our electricity supply. By their nature, these sources rely on the weather – and so are intermittent and require a backup of some kind. Although there is plenty of new wind power to come, we sit shamefully toward the bottom of the league table for renewable energy deployment. With the painfully slow progress of new nuclear and gas power construction, a major ‘energy gap’ looms when coal and ageing nuclear generators go off-line within 10 years.

Our DECC Minister had hardly stepped off the plane from the Paris climate conference before she announced an end to onshore wind development, huge cuts to solar, scrapping of carbon capture research and cessation of sustainability measures. In the same breath she announced enhanced support for oil and gas producers – and even subsidies for diesel power generation! DECC are saying one thing in public and moving 180° from this direction in reality.
It seems that coal power will be replaced by gas derived from dwindling domestic resources, imports – and shale gas. This will allow DECC to claim a reduction of CO2 output, albeit through replacing one fossil fuel with another. The amount of economically producible shale gas in the UK is entirely unproven and highly unlikely to make more than a fleeting difference to our strategic gas resources.

Nuclear power, a British invention, must be a major part of our future (zero carbon) power supply. We are financially guaranteeing the Chinese and French to design, build and operate new reactors. Do we really know enough about the Chinese economy, or our relationship with the Chinese state in 10 years, let alone 50 years, for this to be a safe, rational solution? Why we cannot trust British engineers to provide nuclear power, given the same degree of financial backing, is quite beyond me.
The potential for domestically engineered tidal power is untapped – and enormous. We live on a windy island in a large ocean, so tidal energy is always available and is zero carbon, secure, predictable, can provide thousands of UK jobs and has no waste product. Why are we not building them by the dozen?

A criticism of renewable heat and power technologies is their need for subsidy to incentivise uptake. It is not widely known, and certainly not broadcast by government, that nuclear and fossil fuel technologies are subsidised to a higher degree than renewables ever could be. In fact, just this week the government have granted £250M to the oil industry in Scotland to prop it up while oil prices are low. (the oil industry won’t pay this back when prices rebound – so why is the tax payer baling out oil companies?!).
The November budget announced (quietly) that the renewable heat incentive (RHI) would continue to be funded up to 2021 – although with a cut of up to 40%. This at least gives renewable heat providers a degree of stability – and we are already seeing an increase in demand for ground source heat pumps.

The ‘anti-renewable’ stance and continued delay of nuclear construction puts at risk our ability to generate our own power. We should not be in this position. We have all the engineers and natural resources we need to provide our own sustainable heat and power.

Feasibility assessment of a large water-source heat pump for Nottinghamshire County Council

Carbon Zero Consulting completed the Stage 1 feasibility and options assessment for a potential renewable heating system to replace gas boilers at Nottingham County Hall on the river Trent.

An assessment of river flow and temperature confirms the Trent is certainly capable of providing sufficient water for an open-loop water source heat pump (WSHP) to replace the majority of heat currently provided by gas boilers.

Our detailed report on the viability of this system covered initial aspects of the existing heating and heat distribution system, water intake and discharge works in the river and regulatory issues.

Our findings were presented and well received by Councillors and the engineering team. We have now been asked to make proposals for the 2 Stage feasibility assessment.

UK Renewable Power Generation and Grid Carbon Intensity

Since 2nd June 2015 we have been monitoring the contribution of renewable power generation and carbon intensity of the UK National Grid. A ‘spot’ reading is taken at midday each day.

The addition of wind, solar and hydro-power to existing power generation (gas, coal and nuclear) is starting to make real inroads into the average carbon intensity of the national grid (the amount of CO2 emitted for each unit of electricity generated).

Coal power stations are to be phased out of the UK by 2023 meaning that it is likely that more gas power stations will have to be constructed (new nuclear power installations will take a minimum of 10 years to come on line). The current UK government has put a stop to further onshore wind installations, but there are likely to be more constructed offshore. Likewise, the rate of installation of solar PV, ground source and biomass systems will slow radically with the planned major reduction of tariff payments.

Wind, solar, hydro and nuclear power do not emit CO2 to the atmosphere, while coal and gas emit CO2 with coal being significantly worse than gas.

Graph of UK Grid Carbon Intensity (Nov 4)

As stated in the last article the Carbon Trust states that in all calculations 500 gCO2/kWh is to be used for computation of carbon emissions for heat pumps. However, the value found over the past 4 months is significantly lower than that with an average closer to 385 gCO2/kWh. The result of this is that Ground Source Heats Pumps provide significantly greater environmental benefit than the data published by the Carbon Trust would suggest.