Energy and Waste

Model what a net-zero energy and waste Devon looks like in the long term.

Involve communities. Everybody needs to be encouraged to do what they can.

Wind is the cheapest form of energy – lobby nationally to remove planning restrictions.

Regulate commercial waste better.

Reduce electricity demand and upgrade the electricity grid to allow more renewable energy generation.

Public sector should purchase renewable energy from local generators.

Participants

Co-Chairs

Kerry Hayes

Kerry has a broad range of experience from across the renewable energy sector and is the marine and offshore energy sector lead at Regen. Her experience also spans heat networks, energy policy and innovation in the solar sector. Kerry studied Ocean Science and Marine Renewable Energy at the University of Plymouth and has subsequently given lectures on marine energy for postgraduate students as an Associate Lecturer.

Hannah Lawrie

Hannah is Chair of the South West Council of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and is also an Associate Director within Ricardo Energy & Environment’s Resource Efficiency and Waste Management practice. Hannah studied Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford, has 20 years’ experience within the waste management sector and specialises in waste collection, technology and infrastructure services, contracts and procurement.

Ian Hutchcroft

Ian is Chair of Plymouth Energy Community and has been involved in energy for over 25 years. His current focus is buildings; previously Head of Local Delivery (England) at the Energy Saving Trust, Ian’s present role is with the ZebCat Project, trialling a Dutch retrofit model in Devon called Energiesprong.

Witnesses

Paul Jewell

Paul has worked in the electricity industry since graduating in 1988.  He joined the South Western Electricity Board in the nationalised industry, and has experienced the changes through privatisation and market separation.  He remains with his original employer, now Western Power Distribution (WPD) and part of the New York Stock Exchanged listed PPL group.

Paul trained as an operational engineer and experienced all aspects of distribution network maintenance, replacement and construction.  In 1995 he became a Distribution Manager and was responsible for service delivery, operations and performance in a geographical patch which covered most of Devon.

In 2011 Paul left his operational roots to take up responsibility as Policy Manager for WPD.  In this role he brought innovative solutions into a business as usual world whilst retaining the more traditional elements of management of an electricity distribution network.  In 2019 Paul’s focus moved to the new Distribution System Operator (DSO) area for WPD and he is currently DSO Development Manager. Paul is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology

Jodie Giles

Jodie Giles is a senior project manager responsible for leading Regen’s community energy programme and champions the democratisation of our energy system nationally. She’s an expert in local supply, flexibility, new community energy business models, facilitation and stakeholder engagement. Jodie has led community energy engagement programmes with Western Power Distribution and the Energy Networks Association, focusing on connections, innovation, flexibility and Distribution System Operator transition. She’s developed content and chaired over 40 events with Distribution Network Operators, facilitated discussions, delivered consultations, and written plain English guides to network innovation and flexibility, supporting communities and local energy stakeholders to participate in our energy system and collaborate with Distribution Network Operators. Jodie is currently working on Open Demand Side Response, a domestic demand side response trial exploring a community energy aggregation service. She has also worked on innovation projects to explore new local energy business models for microgrids, peer to peer trading, and battery storage with communities.

David Rose

David is Energy and Carbon Manager for our local water and wastewater service provider South West Water. With over 20 years’ experience in carbon accounting and reporting for the company David has witnessed how climate change mitigation and adaptation has evolved from a relatively fringe activity to become a critical component of the company’s business strategy. David studied Environmental Engineering at Cardiff University and Environmental Science at Bath University, followed by a stint in renewable energy research at Imperial College. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Environmentalist.

Gabriel Wondrausch

Gabriel had a very environmentally-conscious upbringing through his mother and was gifted a creative streak by his grandmother, Mary Wondrausch, who was awarded an OBE for services to the arts. He initially qualified as a renewable installer at another company, but quickly began to feel that there was a gap that could be filled by a better quality offering. So, in 2005, he founded SunGift. Gabriel knew that the industry needed a pioneer, to provide top quality energy installations that were suited to customers’ needs. Driven by this, and believing strongly that renewable energy made sense both environmentally and financially, the rest was a matter of hard work and dedication. Within 4 years, SunGift had won its first award and could properly call itself an industry leader. In 2013, Gabriel’s personal achievements were recognised when he was named Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year at the Devon Environmental and Business Initiative Awards. In some respects it’s been a bumpy journey for renewable energy over the past few years. But, Gabriel’s passion for all things renewable and for remaining at the forefront of the fast-moving clean energy sector, has allowed him to steer SunGift to success. His insight into the sector is second to none and he’s frequently invited to speak at events, both about the industry and entrepreneurship.

Chirs Clark

A Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of both the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers and the Energy Institute. Chris has over 30 years’ experience within the UK energy industry and is currently Energy Strategy Director at Wales & West Utilities. Chris is responsible for the Wales & West Utilities Future of Energy Strategy and the long term approach to asset investment and has recently led multiple research projects on the lowest cost pathway to decarbonise heat, power and transport.

Richard Palmer

Richard is responsible for delivering and optimising Roadnight Taylor’s behind the meter energy solutions for industrial, commercial, local authority and farming clients. He has over 20 years’ energy industry experience holding senior commercial roles at one of the Big Six energy supply companies involving hedging and trading strategies, renewable generation, retail pricing, product development and risk management. He also provided professional consultancy services to niche green supply and energy trading businesses. In 2007, Richard completed a Masters in Real Estate at the University of Reading and subsequently qualified as a Chartered Surveyor to bring his energy expertise to the rural land market. He worked in rural practice for ten years for international, national and regional firms including a role where he launched an energy department and was Head of Energy and Rural Business Management. More recently, he developed an energy services proposition at a national property firm.

Wendy Barratt

Wendy is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Waste Manager having worked in the waste industry in Local Government for 20 years. As County Waste Manager she heads up the waste management team at Devon County Council leading a team of 20 professional staff and is responsible for an annual budget of around £38m.

As a Waste Disposal Authority, the County Council manages around 370,000 tonnes of Local Authority Collected Waste of which 55% is currently recycled/composted. The remainder is largely sent for energy recovery with only a small fraction continuing to be sent to landfill. Through a number of contracts the County Council manages waste collected by 8 District Councils, provides a network of 19 Household Waste Recycling Centres, promotes behaviour change through key campaigns and waste education under the ‘Don’t Let Waste go to Waste’ banner as well as having some responsibility for 58 closed landfill sites.

Tony Norton

Tony Norton is Head of the Centre for Energy and the Environment at the University of Exeter. Founded in 1978 by public sector partners in the region, the Centre is a multi-disciplinary team which undertakes a broad range of research and consultancy in energy and the built environment. Prior to joining the Centre in 2004, Tony spent 25 years in the energy industry in a range of technical, commercial and managerial roles.

Sonya Bedford

Sonya is a Partner with Stephens Scown solicitors; a Non-Executive Director at Regen SW; a Director at Exeter Community Energy, Bath and West Community Energy and South Dartmoor Community Energy; was awarded an MBE for services to community renewable energy and is on the committee for her local branch of the Energy Institute. She has an MSc in Renewable Energy at the Centre for Alternative Technology. Sonya is an expert in all renewable energy technologies and currently acts for over 20 community energy groups – from set up/funding/site acquisition to development and subsequent generation. Sonya is experienced in dealing with grid connection agreements and issues, funding of energy projects and dealing with the Energy Performance Contracts and Operation & Maintenance Agreements for these sites. With Sonya’s leadership, Stephens Scown’s Energy Team has gone from strength to strength over the last six years, now being responsible for over 800MW of renewable energy projects.

Winston Reed is the CEO and Chair of the GFL Group of companies. GFL encompasses renewable low carbon fuels, low emission farming and sustainable construction. Winston is a farmer by trade but went on to build out 11 renewable energy plants in the UK and now owns his own at Willand in Devon.

This plant is one of the most advanced in Europe able to take in organic wastes and high cellulosic materials converting them into Renewable Natural Gas and biofertiliser. The plant is on target to produce zero-carbon fuels in 2020 with its own filling station for heavy goods vehicles and farm machinery with two more stations planned for the South West.

Winston now leads the role out of plants for two major petroleum businesses in Europe and North America producing renewable natural gas of minus 100 grams of carbon dioxide per Mega Joule of energy.

Awaiting bio. LinkedIn Profile.

Awaiting bio. LinkedIn Profile.

Key Points Summary

Key Outcomes

  • Model what a net-zero energy and waste Devon looks like in the long term. This will help identify the actions that are ‘no-regret’ that can be delivered now.
  • Involve communities. Everybody needs to be encouraged to do what they can.
  • Wind is the cheapest form of energy – the National Planning Policy Framework needs strong, joined-up lobbying to remove this restriction
  • Grid reinforcement is necessary, combined with storage, flexibility services and demand reduction to minimise the extent of reinforcement
  • Public sector has an opportunity to fill the void left from the removal of subsidies by purchasing energy direct from new generation
  • Commercial waste is a problem – needs better regulation and more incentives to move up the waste hierarchy

Key Actions

Quadruple renewable electricity supply in order to meet the UK Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) recommendations to reach net-zero heat and transport.

Barriers

  • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) essentially embargoes new onshore wind development (the cheapest form of energy).
  • Grid is approaching capacity in certain locations
  • NIMBYism
  • Subsidies have been withdrawn, and the subsidy-free business models are only just emerging, not helped by uncertainty over future prices of grid electricity
  • Competition for land – about 10% of Devon’s agricultural land will be required to produce onshore renewable energy
  • We’ve got institutions with vested interests that prevent rapid change.
  • There is no smooth, coordinated process to take renewable energy projects through a consenting process. There is capital investment waiting but there isn’t clarity on how and when to connect.
  • Devon County Council discourages schools from using Salix finance for low cost loans for renewable energy schemes
  • Fossil fuel energy is too cheap

Overcoming the Barriers

  • Lobby government to fundamentally revise the NPPF, quickly
  • Grid reinforcement
  • We need to get battery projects brought up the queue for grid connections as this would enable more renewable energy to be connected using flexibility services
  • Community energy projects need further support – local authorities to put loan funds in place.
  • Encourage public-sector consumers to pay a small premium for renewable energy through Power Purchase Agreements direct with local generators to encourage local development of new capacity
  • Emphasise the energy demand reduction and energy efficiency messages to minimise the amount of new generation we will require – 62% of the measures in the CCC’s scenario require behaviour change at individual level.
  • Incentivise commercial renewable energy deployment through business rate relief
  • Minimise VAT on renewable energy technologies
  • Focus on communities and their needs. People do not seek to use energy or create waste – they need services – cooking, warmth, lighting. How do we provide these in the lowest CO2way? We need narratives that are empowering that will bring excitement to enable change. We have to talk about inequality at some stage – some people don’t have enough; others consume too much – we have to bring about change that is fair to all.
  • Make the consenting process for new projects more straightforward and transparent.
  • Encourage Devon County Council to enable schools to use Salix funding
  • Project payback has to be considered holistically and include health and carbon benefits.
  • Develop guidance for renewable energy developers to help them understand the requirements of the planning system
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks can be appropriate for the sighting of onshore renewable energy
  • Council tax changes could be used to incentivise renewable energy retrofit to homes

South West England is currently the green gas capital of the UK. This has a role to play in decarbonising transport and heat, particularly as part of a hybrid heat-pump and gas solution.

Barriers

  • Bleeding-edge innovation
  • Need to understand the land-take implications
  • Restrictive regulation – e.g. Wales and West can’t charge domestic heating consumers to get revenue to improve the gas distribution network for fuelling vehicles

Overcoming the Barriers

  • Research the extent to which biomethane can be integrated into a holistic energy and spatial-planning system
  • Lobby OFGEM for necessary changes
  • Learn from Nottingham – operating a fleet of gas buses

Reduce, reuse, recycle, energy recovery, landfill. (30% of waste in household residual bins is food waste – 7 of the 8 local authorities are already collecting this)

Barriers

  • Markets for recycled products
  • Need more local recycling and recovery facilities in the south west
  • Commercial waste has much less regulation than local authority collected waste, and much still goes to landfill
  • Quality of recyclate needs improving – right waste in the right bin

Overcoming the Barriers

  • Recycling is currently incentivised by weight. Instead, incentivise the materials by their carbon intensity.
  • Work with communities to improve understanding of recycling systems & how to use them effectively

Barriers

  • Business case to recover landfill gas long-term is not good enough

Overcoming the Barriers

  • Provide incentives to landfill operators to recover landfill gas

Barriers

  • There is no business case for carbon capture and storage currently

Overcoming the Barriers

  • Provide incentives to the Energy from Waste operators to use carbon capture technologies

Encourage individuals to take personal responsibility to calculate their carbon footprint.

Barriers

  • Funding

Overcoming the Barriers

  • Use payments from developers to raise awareness locally of carbon issues
  • Environmental levies tend to be placed on electricity bills. Perhaps these should be reallocated to other energy forms to encourage behaviour change?

Barriers

  • Spatial planning system is not designed to respond to a climate emergency – it doesn’t allow onshore wind, it doesn’t allow local energy standards for new buildings, it measures performance of local authorities on housing numbers not quality of place. Changing it will take a long time.

Overcoming the Barriers

  • Learn from local examples such as Cranbrook. But caution is advised – even if every home in Cranbrook had rooftop solar PV, 30ha of land would be required for solar PV to meet the energy requirements of the buildings.

Barriers

  • Fund managers are required to manage the funds for the best return

Overcoming the Barriers

  • Help fund managers identify diversification opportunities