A sustainable energy study for Plymouth City Centre and Derriford

Minimising carbon emissions arising from Plymouth’s urban redevelopment

Project duration: April 2009 to September 2009

Like most urban centres in the UK, large-scale redevelopments are underway in the city of Plymouth.

And, as elsewhere, Plymouth council and its planning department are being strongly encouraged - e.g. by government guidelines such as the Planning and Climate Change supplement to the Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1) - to adopt clear positions with respect to reducing carbon emissions from such developments.

It was in this context that CSE, in partnership with Wardell Armstrong, was contracted to assess the potential for sustainable energy in two districts – the northern suburb of Derriford and the city centre itself.

The full final report, running to some 100 pages and including large amounts of statistical data and extensive annexes. Click here to download.

The project was led by Martin Holley, a senior technical project manager at CSE. The first task was to predict the energy requirements (or ‘heat and power demands’) of the proposed  developments at Derriford and in the city centre. This was based on an understanding of what the law is likely to demand of new developments in the short and medium term in view of government targets for CO2 emissions.

Having established an energy demand forecast, various energy-supply solutions for meeting these demands were then modelled and compared to a baseline scenario of carbon reduction targets likely to be implemented through Building Regulations.

An additional factor effecting Plymouth is that the council has an ‘on-site generation’ policy that requires larger-scale developments to include sufficient renewable energy generation to result in 10% CO2 reduction, rising to 15% for the period 2010-2016.

Overall, the energy demands for the Derriford area are estimated to be 55GWh/yr heating and 68GWh/yr electrical. For the city centre the figures are 15GWh/yr heating and 32GWh/yr electrical. (The electrical load is much higher than the heating load in the city centre because of the cooling requirements caused by a mainly retail and office mix.)

So, how to meet this energy demand?

The next stage of the project was to assess the options for meeting the energy demand forecasts in ways that would lead to cuts in carbon emissions and contribute to government targets.

Our assessment took in both energy efficiency, micro-generation of renewables and macro-generation, including large scale wind turbines coupled to heat pumps and gas/wood/waste fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants coupled to district heating systems.

Overall, the best option was considered to be the prioritization by Plymouth’s Local Development Framework the of CHP and district heating networks from the start of the redevelopment process.

CSE has conducted further Local Development Framework studies for Bristol and West Sussex. Details of these will appear on the website in due course.


*© jeff collins | Creative Commons

For further information contact:

Martin Holley | 0117 934 1419

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