London launches £500 million climate fund • Emission Trading Scheme to include EfW emissions • Wrexham Glyndwr University receives £80,000 • Read more about the developments in sustainable heating and cooling in this month's news update from the UK
London is stepping up to significantly contribute to a greener future through the launch of a major new investment scheme, the London Climate Finance Facility. The programme will support the wider political ambition of a net-zero city, which in turn requires substantial investments to be made. It is projected that the total amount of capital needed to reach the target will exceed £75 billion by the year 2030.
The London Climate Finance Facility is powered by the Mayor’s Green Finance Fund, inaugurated during the London Climate Action Week in 2023. The fund is dedicated to investing up to £500 million into projects that align with London’s commitment to net-zero emissions.
To qualify for financing, projects must fall under one of three categories – energy efficiency, clean transportation, or renewable energy. Furthermore, they should offer considerable reductions in carbon emissions and positively impact the climate. Potential recipients include the GLA Group, Local Authorities, social housing providers, NHS bodies, and educational institutions in London.
The fund will provide flexible loans starting from £1 million, with loan tenures reaching up to 25 years. Attractively, the interest rates are set below those offered by the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB), making the Green Finance Fund an appealing option for sustainable initiatives.
The UK government has confirmed that energy from waste and incineration plants will be integrated into the Emissions Trading Scheme from 2028. This development is set to have significant implications for energy-from-waste (EfW) plant operators, potentially resulting in annual costs of up to £800 million for the sector.
While the government acknowledges the cost implications, it plans to explore the extent of cost pass-through between operators and their customers before finalising the exact policy design. The scheme, launched in January 2021 to replace the EU’s scheme, is still in its early stages.
The decision has been influenced by numerous reports, including the Climate Change Committee’s 2021 progress report, which highlighted the need to address the rising emissions from and use of EfW.
According to the government’s response, EfW and waste incineration will be incorporated into the UK ETS from 2028, allowing a five-year preparation period for the sector and its customers. A two-year phasing period, from 2026 to 2028, will be considered, during which installations will monitor their emissions. The government intends to explore the inclusion of other greenhouse gases in the future, such as methane.
Wrexham Glyndwr University has been awarded a £80,000 grant by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study for the establishment of a low-carbon heat network. It is set to cover its Plas Coch campus in Wrexham, as well as the surrounding business district. This grant, a part of the Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) initiative, aims to assist public sector bodies transition towards renewable energy solutions.
The study will evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of deploying a low-carbon heat network. If successful, this initiative will be a cornerstone in the university’s commitment to assist the Welsh Government in meeting their 2030 public sector carbon neutrality goal and achieving a net-zero status by 2050.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is focused on keeping the UK aligned with its legally binding Net Zero commitments and boosting energy efficiency in residences, businesses, and public sector buildings throughout the nation. With this supportive funding Wrexham Glyndwr University will make a significant contribution towards a more sustainable future.
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