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

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.

UK Power Generation Grid Carbon Intensity

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The UK is committed to phasing out power generation by coal (and much later gas) and to increase the contribution from nuclear power and renewable technologies (wind, solar, hydroelectric and tidal). The goal is for power generation to become ‘zero carbon’ by 2050 when all power will be generated by renewable and nuclear means.

Since 2nd June 2015 we have recorded (once per day) renewable power production and the ‘carbon intensity’ of the UK National Grid. The graph shows the percentage of total power generation being met by renewable energy (wind plus hydroelectric) and the resulting carbon intensity of energy produced.

It can quickly be seen how renewable energy generation impacts directly and significantly on the Nation’s Grid carbon intensity.

UK Grid Carbon Intensity

We do not include contribution from nuclear power in the ‘Percentage Renewables’, but nuclear power is also a zero-carbon power generator. Currently, nuclear power provides about 20% of total power produced.

Continued reduction of grid carbon intensity will reduce the UK’s impact on the global rise of CO2 and average temperature. The benefit of lower grid carbon is further enhanced when used to heat our homes and businesses via electrically powered heat pump technologies, such as Ground Source Heating.

Currently, the Carbon Trust states that in all calculations of CO2 emissions from heat pumps, a grid intensity of over 500gCO2/kWh is to be used. However, our findings clearly show the average value is closer to 375gCO2/kWh.

We will continue to plot this data to show the beneficial impact of renewable power implementation.

Busy doing soil surveys!

There has been a bit of a rush on soil thermal conductivity surveys this month. We normally perform 2 or 3 a month, but we’ve done 5 already in July!
Our surveys provide in-situ measurement of soil thermal conductivity at the depth at which a proposed GSHP ground array is to be installed.
We successfully completed domestic scale surveys, a large golf club array near Durham, and another for a new poultry farm in Cheshire.
We are also working with De Montfort University in Leicester on an exciting new piece of research to assess heat storage in soils; we were asked to perform a baseline survey with excavation and measurements down to 2m depth on the 2 hottest days of the year …..a fine welcome to the world of Carbon Zero Consulting for our new recruit, Lawrence Scott!

Politics and ‘renewable hot air’?

Despite an election campaign that failed to mention UK renewable energy policy, the recent G7 meeting made a commitment to pursue ‘deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions’. Good news? Yes, probably, although cynics might suggest this does no more than delay commitments made previously to reduce emissions by 50% before 2050! Rhetoric will no doubt increase toward the ‘UN climate show’ in December; a major objective of which is to limit global temperature increase to 2°C.

John Findlay of Carbon Zero Consulting, explains ‘the UK’s efforts in reducing CO2 emissions rely on replacing coal (and later, gas) with increased power output from nuclear, wind, solar, tidal – and through massive uptake of renewable heating. The latter continues in a rather surprising direction. Recent figures show that 93% of all non-domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI) applications have been for biomass systems. On the domestic front the story is more mixed but shows that the predicted renewable market as a whole is well below where it needs to be.
Major changes are needed to the RHI to breathe life into the renewable heating market, to correct the imbalance of technology uptake and to allow movement toward the stated aims of the UK Climate Change Act.

Proposals to address these factors have been developed by the ground source heat pump association (GSHPA). These can be found at GSHPA_Manifesto Briefing. Findlay adds that “although recent reductions to biomass RHI will help the situation, we must ensure renewable technologies are selected on sound engineering principles – and not simply on short term RHI gain”.