£400m projects aim for 40 per cent carbon cuts

Barbara Hammond of Oxford’s Low Carbon Hub group

Barbara Hammond of Oxford’s Low Carbon Hub group

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

A MAJOR scheme to try to attract £400m worth of low carbon projects to the county is being launched today.

Council bosses hope the cash from investors and institutions will help cut city carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2020.

The OxFutures initiative, which is backed by £1.2m EU funding, will launch at Said Business School.

It is being led by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council.

Cash could go on projects like solar panels and hydroelectric turbines, said the city council’s John Tanner.

He cited a hydroelectric unit at Osney Lock, Oxford, which is to use water to drive turbines to generate electricity.

The Labour councillor said: “We are entering a new world where we are serious about saving energy.

“This is a helping hand from the EU to enable Oxford to do this better.

“The city and the county council recognise the importance of creating a low carbon society and we want to work with the enthusiasm of local action groups to help bring that about.

“We have more money to invest, we can use our buildings as sites for solar panels, we can make sure planning permission doesn’t stand in the way of low carbon projects and we can act as an example to businesses in Oxfordshire.”

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He pointed to last year’s closure of Didcot A Power Station after 40 years because it could not meet EU emission laws.

He said: “We have already closed one power station and the idea of burning fossil fuels to produce energy and not talking about how much energy we use, those days are rapidly ending.”

Green leaders and investors are expected to attend the conference.

They will include environmentalist Jonathon Porritt and Barbara Hammond, chief executive of the county’s renewable energy group Low Carbon Hub.

The project has already won £1.2m from Intelligent Energy Europe, under its Mobilising Local Energy Investment programme.

Barbara Hammond of Oxford’s Low Carbon Hub group, said: “The money can come from a number of sources, such as individual investors, council funds and other institutions.

“What we are hoping is that we can replace the need for Didcot A, which we lost last March, by reducing our energy demands and developing new renewable energy projects as well as getting local jobs to build a low carbon energy infrastructure.”

Dr Hammond is among those behind the Osney Lock hydro project, which raised £320,000 in 10 days by selling shares in the scheme.

When completed this year it will generate 165,500kwh of electricity a year, enough to power 50 houses.

Comments (9)

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11:35am Fri 24 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

£400M low carbon project...

I suspect that £400M would go a long way towards an electric* rail line between Carterton/Witney & Oxford...

So let's do some arithmetic...

"Average" family car releases 139g of CO2 per kilometre
It's a 32 kilometre round trip between Witney & Oxford
So that's a 4.45Kg per return journey

Approx 500,000 return journeys per annum on the A40

2,225,000Kg of ongoing CO2 saved every year if the local authority goes for a high profile major decarbonisation project...

Or they could do lots of wishy-washy stuff that'll lose £Ms in administration costs.


*Green or Nuclear generated of course.
£400M low carbon project... I suspect that £400M would go a long way towards an electric* rail line between Carterton/Witney & Oxford... So let's do some arithmetic... "Average" family car releases 139g of CO2 per kilometre It's a 32 kilometre round trip between Witney & Oxford So that's a 4.45Kg per return journey Approx 500,000 return journeys per annum on the A40 2,225,000Kg of ongoing CO2 saved every year if the local authority goes for a high profile major decarbonisation project... Or they could do lots of wishy-washy stuff that'll lose £Ms in administration costs. *Green or Nuclear generated of course. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 2

1:51pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Patrick, Devon says...

Thanks Andrew, its fairly obvious where the carbon emissions are coming from, and how to reduce them, while at the same time making business more efficient and the air cleaner.

Token projects and expensive toys alone will not do. The £400m would build the line you suggest, and another similar amount would take it all the way to Headington via a tunnel. And it could all be payed for out of a development levy, if the Council is allowed to borrow.
Thanks Andrew, its fairly obvious where the carbon emissions are coming from, and how to reduce them, while at the same time making business more efficient and the air cleaner. Token projects and expensive toys alone will not do. The £400m would build the line you suggest, and another similar amount would take it all the way to Headington via a tunnel. And it could all be payed for out of a development levy, if the Council is allowed to borrow. Patrick, Devon
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Fri 24 Jan 14

EMBOX2 says...

Well, we closed Didcot A and put 200 people out of work, and lost a very cheap (and yes, dirty) way of generating power.

Only a quarter of this £400m would have paid for the necessary equipment to be installed in Didcot A and allow it to continue generating much more cleanly.

But no, it's closed, and Didcot B's & all other CCGT generators' rip off power is what we're paying for now....
Well, we closed Didcot A and put 200 people out of work, and lost a very cheap (and yes, dirty) way of generating power. Only a quarter of this £400m would have paid for the necessary equipment to be installed in Didcot A and allow it to continue generating much more cleanly. But no, it's closed, and Didcot B's & all other CCGT generators' rip off power is what we're paying for now.... EMBOX2
  • Score: 1

3:14pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Patrick, Devon says...

EMBOX2 wrote:
Well, we closed Didcot A and put 200 people out of work, and lost a very cheap (and yes, dirty) way of generating power.

Only a quarter of this £400m would have paid for the necessary equipment to be installed in Didcot A and allow it to continue generating much more cleanly.

But no, it's closed, and Didcot B's & all other CCGT generators' rip off power is what we're paying for now....
I wouldnt say the coal at Didcot A was cheap. It may have been when it came from pits in the midlands, but for years now it has been imported via Avonmouth docks, and with the global price going up, it would have been risky to commit an expensive upgrade.

Energy prices are going up and thats incontravertible. Saving energy and using it more efficiently is not just about carbon, its about an economically sustainable future too.
[quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: Well, we closed Didcot A and put 200 people out of work, and lost a very cheap (and yes, dirty) way of generating power. Only a quarter of this £400m would have paid for the necessary equipment to be installed in Didcot A and allow it to continue generating much more cleanly. But no, it's closed, and Didcot B's & all other CCGT generators' rip off power is what we're paying for now....[/p][/quote]I wouldnt say the coal at Didcot A was cheap. It may have been when it came from pits in the midlands, but for years now it has been imported via Avonmouth docks, and with the global price going up, it would have been risky to commit an expensive upgrade. Energy prices are going up and thats incontravertible. Saving energy and using it more efficiently is not just about carbon, its about an economically sustainable future too. Patrick, Devon
  • Score: 0

4:42pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Bicester retired says...

We closed Didcot A when the German are building more and more coal power stations. With the latest technology, coal power stations are not dirty at all. (By the way, we are going to build a large scale incinerator near Bicester to burn all kinds of rubbish. Also, maybe another one near Buckingham. ) Carbon dioxide occupies only 0.04% of the atmosphere and is not a pollutant or dirty. Low carbon is all about the catastrophic global warming predicted by computer models, saying that global temperature will increase rapidly if carbon dioxide continues to increase. The reality is that global temperature has not risen as predicted for more than 17 years while carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to increase.
We closed Didcot A when the German are building more and more coal power stations. With the latest technology, coal power stations are not dirty at all. (By the way, we are going to build a large scale incinerator near Bicester to burn all kinds of rubbish. Also, maybe another one near Buckingham. ) Carbon dioxide occupies only 0.04% of the atmosphere and is not a pollutant or dirty. Low carbon is all about the catastrophic global warming predicted by computer models, saying that global temperature will increase rapidly if carbon dioxide continues to increase. The reality is that global temperature has not risen as predicted for more than 17 years while carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to increase. Bicester retired
  • Score: 1

5:16pm Fri 24 Jan 14

nat-obz says...

The project sounds good and a good way of spending EU funds maybe here in S/C. For sure Hydro is much better than incineration. Water is renewable rubbish is not.
The project sounds good and a good way of spending EU funds maybe here in S/C. For sure Hydro is much better than incineration. Water is renewable rubbish is not. nat-obz
  • Score: 1

5:54pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Patrick, Devon says...

The rubbish which climate science denialists spout seems very renewable. The hydro project quoted will power 50 houses. How many houses in Oxford? The Germans are building zero energy houses, and their existing ones are far better insulated than ours.

David Mackay's "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air" is a very good read.
The rubbish which climate science denialists spout seems very renewable. The hydro project quoted will power 50 houses. How many houses in Oxford? The Germans are building zero energy houses, and their existing ones are far better insulated than ours. David Mackay's "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air" is a very good read. Patrick, Devon
  • Score: -1

6:45pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Oxonian says...

Patrick, Devon wrote:
The rubbish which climate science denialists spout seems very renewable. The hydro project quoted will power 50 houses. How many houses in Oxford? The Germans are building zero energy houses, and their existing ones are far better insulated than ours.

David Mackay's "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air" is a very good read.
Please don't dismiss so haughtily as "rubbish" the opinions of those who would disagree with you. And don't confuse climate change with "global warming". I accept that the climate changes but I am sceptical about "global warming" being caused by carbon release.

Yesterday's Oxford Times printed a letter quoting a report on the extensive 1852 floods in Oxford (oxfordehistory.org.
uk/floods), no doubt caused by all those nasty motor cars and power stations.
[quote][p][bold]Patrick, Devon[/bold] wrote: The rubbish which climate science denialists spout seems very renewable. The hydro project quoted will power 50 houses. How many houses in Oxford? The Germans are building zero energy houses, and their existing ones are far better insulated than ours. David Mackay's "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air" is a very good read.[/p][/quote]Please don't dismiss so haughtily as "rubbish" the opinions of those who would disagree with you. And don't confuse climate change with "global warming". I accept that the climate changes but I am sceptical about "global warming" being caused by carbon release. Yesterday's Oxford Times printed a letter quoting a report on the extensive 1852 floods in Oxford (oxfordehistory.org. uk/floods), no doubt caused by all those nasty motor cars and power stations. Oxonian
  • Score: 3

10:53pm Thu 6 Feb 14

EMBOX2 says...

Patrick, Devon wrote:
EMBOX2 wrote:
Well, we closed Didcot A and put 200 people out of work, and lost a very cheap (and yes, dirty) way of generating power.

Only a quarter of this £400m would have paid for the necessary equipment to be installed in Didcot A and allow it to continue generating much more cleanly.

But no, it's closed, and Didcot B's & all other CCGT generators' rip off power is what we're paying for now....
I wouldnt say the coal at Didcot A was cheap. It may have been when it came from pits in the midlands, but for years now it has been imported via Avonmouth docks, and with the global price going up, it would have been risky to commit an expensive upgrade.

Energy prices are going up and thats incontravertible. Saving energy and using it more efficiently is not just about carbon, its about an economically sustainable future too.
Coal is less than half the price of natural gas. Most of what Didcot A burned in the last 5 years came from South America. Most of the gas we burn comes from Russia - that lovely regime run by Mr. Putin, who turned off the taps to Ukraine when they had a disagreement.

Gas is expensive, which is why Didcot B is only used at peak times when it is economically viable to do so. We also have a good supply of coal in the UK. Expensive to get at, yes, but at least it's on our own shores.

Also, you may have missed that Didcot B is scheduled for closure in 2023....
[quote][p][bold]Patrick, Devon[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]EMBOX2[/bold] wrote: Well, we closed Didcot A and put 200 people out of work, and lost a very cheap (and yes, dirty) way of generating power. Only a quarter of this £400m would have paid for the necessary equipment to be installed in Didcot A and allow it to continue generating much more cleanly. But no, it's closed, and Didcot B's & all other CCGT generators' rip off power is what we're paying for now....[/p][/quote]I wouldnt say the coal at Didcot A was cheap. It may have been when it came from pits in the midlands, but for years now it has been imported via Avonmouth docks, and with the global price going up, it would have been risky to commit an expensive upgrade. Energy prices are going up and thats incontravertible. Saving energy and using it more efficiently is not just about carbon, its about an economically sustainable future too.[/p][/quote]Coal is less than half the price of natural gas. Most of what Didcot A burned in the last 5 years came from South America. Most of the gas we burn comes from Russia - that lovely regime run by Mr. Putin, who turned off the taps to Ukraine when they had a disagreement. Gas is expensive, which is why Didcot B is only used at peak times when it is economically viable to do so. We also have a good supply of coal in the UK. Expensive to get at, yes, but at least it's on our own shores. Also, you may have missed that Didcot B is scheduled for closure in 2023.... EMBOX2
  • Score: 0

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