Highgate Eco Pop-up and Mini TED Talks

At the Highgate Eco Pop-up in the foyer of Lauderdale House there were posters and flyers on a full range of Eco themes – Electricity, Buildings & Heat, Biodiversity, Transport, Politics, Communities & Councils etc.

Click here for videos of the miniTED Talks and other details.

The event was sponsored by the Transition Networks Bounce Forward Programme with the National Lottery and by Transition Highgate. Highgate straddles both Camden and Haringey, so materials relevant to both areas was displayed.

The Electricity "board"
The Electricity “board”

BBC Money Box – Community Energy Projects

Our very own Tanuja appeared on this special edition of BBC Radio 4’s Money Box

BBC Sounds player
Tanuja starts at 06:44.

Released On: 30 Jun 2021 – Available for over a year

Would you like to generate your electricity through a local, renewable energy project rather than buying it from a big supplier?

In this episode, Adam Shaw and guests consider the costs and practicalities of setting up and running community-led energy projects, do such initiatives make financial and environmental sense? Joining Adam are:

Jodie Giles, head of community and local energy at Regen
Tanuja Pandit, director of Power Up North London
Steve Shaw, the director of Power for People

First PUNL Community Energy Fund – a feminist orchard

The first PUNL Community Energy Fund project came to fruition at the beginning of May when pupils from Parliament Hill School planted a “feminist orchard”.

Thirty students from Years 7 to 9 helped plant 11 fruit trees in a circle, laid wildflower turf and dug a pond. 

The names of the trees will be submitted by pupils and decided on by the school’s climate action group.

PUNL set up the Community Energy Fund in 2020. It uses surplus funds from the business activity of Power Up North London to encourage and support community action in reducing carbon in our atmosphere. The fund is administered by a committee formed of PUNL shareholders and members of our board of directors.

PUNL awarded London Community Energy Fund grants

PUNL has been awarded several grants from the London Community Energy Fund to enable energy efficiency and carbon savings on two important projects in Islington.

The Caxton House project aims to reduce carbon emissions from space and water heating for the community centre by installing an air or ground source heat pump. The heat pump will reduce carbon emissions by c80% and gas consumption from the grid (for heating and hot water) by 100%. The heat pump will deliver estimated net carbon savings of 21t – 23t a year. The grant is for £50,000. In parallel PUNL is working with Caxton House to improve energy efficiency by replacing windows, fixing draughts in doors, and upgrading the building management system. The work complements the former and is for £13,400.

The Paradise Park children’s centre project is for LED lights to achieve financial and carbon savings. The lower electricity consumption will help reduce electricity costs by c30 – 40% and the savings will be used to improve service provision. It is estimated the project would save £1,256 annually in running costs. The grant is for £2,252.

City farm success | LUX hopes | Caversham roof | Energy workshops | Hydro here?

Kentish Town City Farm success


The planning application for 42 solar pv panels on the roof of the existing stable block at Kentish Town City Farm was successful.

Pv panels will cover the southern roof-slope of the existing single storey stable [each panel measures 991mm by 1.65m with a depth of 35mm].

The report said: “Due to their siting, they [the panels] would not be visible from the public realm. It is considered that their design, scale and siting is acceptable and would not cause harm the character and appearance of the host building, surrounding area, strategic views, open space and SINC designations or amenity of neighbouring properties.”

There were nine letters of support and no objections. The installation is set to provide 11.34kWp of renewable energy.

LUX planning application in

A planning application has been submitted for 127 solar pv panels at the LUX Centre in Waterlow Park:


The proposed installation has a capacity of 34.29 KWp and is estimated to provide 22.82 MWh of electricity which can be used on site to reduce energy costs, saving over 12T of carbon dioxide emissions.

PUNL estimates that between 60% to 70% of the 22.82 MWh generated by the panels can be used on site, resulting in financial savings for LUX and London Borough of Camden, through reduced energy supply costs. PUNL proposes to investigate the possibility of installing battery storage to cover night-time electricity use, including the charging electric vehicles to help tackle pollution in the park.

Thanks to those who have submitted communications in favour of the panels.

Caversham Practice project progressing well


On the Caversham Practice proposal, the structural survey was sound, meaning pv panels can be put on the roof.

The next phase will be determining the optimal Kwp of the PV array and fundraising.

PUNL organises energy efficiency workshops at Caxton House

PUNL, with the help of a grant from Islington Council, and Thinking Works organised two energy efficiency workshops for local residents at Caxton House.

Attendees were shown the various different parts electricity bills and what they actually mean in practice, including obscure clauses, and then some common appliances and how much energy on average they consume. Information about switching supplier was also provided.

PUNL features in Camden New Journal on potential hydro project


Lucidpipe Power System

PUNL features in the Camden New Journal (July 5 issue, page 8) on its thoughts on a potential hydro-electric project in the area, using the underground river Fleet as the power source.

The article points out that hydro-power was used in the area historically. PUNL is investigating the possibilities and feasibility.



… And they’re off! What are London’s Mayoral candidates promising on renewable energy?

Renewable energy has had a rough ride since May 2015 – so with Greenpeace recently reporting that London could generate 20% of its own energy from solar alone, we thought we’d take a look at what the leading four Mayoral candidates are promising to help us get there.

 Sadiq Khan, Labour

Part of Sadiq’s manifesto promise will be to make London a “low carbon beacon”. To do this, he will

  • Set a target for London to become a zero-carbon city by 2050 – this means running on 100% carbon free sources. Labour councils in 50 other cities have also made a 100% pledge.
  • Establish a not-for-profit company to provide “a comprehensive range of energy services to help Londoners generate more low-carbon energy and increase their energy efficiency, support local and community energy enterprises and buy clean energy generated across the city, using it to power GLA and TfL facilities.” This includes providing “advice and support to those wanting to set up community energy projects, and acting as a dating service for those wanting to be part of a community energy projects with commercial premises with space for solar panels.”
  • Purchase energy generated across London and use it to power public buildings and transport
  • Ban fracking in London
  • Produce a solar energy strategy for publically owned and TfL owned buildings
  • Ensure low carbon, energy efficiency and sustainability standards for new developments and increase renewable energy generation on social housing


Zac Goldsmith, Conservative


Zac Goldsmith has produced a fully costed “Living Environment Manifesto” for London which covers transport, housing, air pollution, and policing. On renewable energy, Zac promises to:

  • Source 25% of London’s energy from “low carbon sources” by 2025, with the aim of reaching 100% by 2050
  • Generate 10% of London’s energy from solar by 2025
  • Work with developers to include solar generation in new build flats and houses
  • Ensure that “large developments on publicly-owned land will come with solar panels by default.”
  • “Give community energy co-operatives the right to generate solar power from under-used public space, such as the roofs of bus stops and sports halls.”
  • “Help community energy co-ops set up their own green energy projects, with a new programme of ‘Solar Powered Estates’.”
  • Match community energy projects with investor finance
  • Set up a new clean energy company which will buy energy from low carbon generators across London and sell it to businesses and housing estates
  • Explore potential for building ultra-efficient homes capable of producing 75-100% of their energy


Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrats

In a noticeable departure from the other candidates’ manifestos, Caroline Pidgeon hasn’t officially announced any policies on renewables so far. Her campaign is focused heavily on housing and transport – an area in which she has made an impact as chair of the GLA Transport committee.

However, in The Green Alliance hustings earlier this month Pidgeon mentioned some previously unannounced policies of possibly introducing a London Feed-in Tariff, establishing a “solar task force” to audit the GLA’s property estate, and challenging large private organisations to adopt solar, especially on industrial estates.


Sian Berry, Green Party

Sian Berry has put forward the highest target for renewable energy generation of the candidates, pledging to set up a renewable energy company that will operate as a subsidiary of Transport for London which she says will deliver at least 30% of London’s energy needs from zero or low-carbon sources by 2030. The clean electricity generated will be used to power Crossrail.

According to Sian’s website the company would “start by putting solar panels up across TfL’s own 5,700-acre estate of stations, depots, offices, other commercial units and brownfield sites. It will go on to put them on large commercial roof spaces across the capital and on solar farms on London’s fringe, and it will work with community groups, the public sector and businesses to generate low-cost renewable energy from a variety of sources across the capital.”



It’s great to see that Khan, Goldsmith and Berry have chosen to put renewable energy high on the agenda as they look towards City Hall. Being able to buy energy from local renewable sources to power public buildings or sell on to business is a model that could and should be replicated across major UK cities, as it is clear that at a national level the Government does not plan to include solar in its plans to fill the energy supply gap into the 2020s and beyond.

We will be keeping up to date with further announcements over next six weeks, but so far a big thumbs up to all candidates for taking solar in London seriously!

PUNL awarded £20k funding by Urban Community Energy Fund

The Power Up North London team is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant of £19,982 from the Urban Community Energy Fund to deliver two community energy projects in 2016.

The Urban Community Energy Fund is set up to fund feasibility costs for community energy projects in urban environments. It is funded through the Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and is managed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and Pure Leapfrog.

Power Up North London is a joint project between Transition Dartmouth Park, Transition Tufnell Park and Transition Kentish Town. The Transition Towns movement in the UK aims to make communities stronger, greener and more self-reliant. Following in the steps of community groups in Brixton and Hackney, we will generate locally owned renewable energy and use the profits to benefit our community.

Our plan is to deliver one small and one large solar project in 2016 in North London and more details on these projects will be published as they develop.

PUNL will use the £19,982 provided by UCEF to kickstart these projects. We will partner with a local solar installer to perform detailed feasibility studies to find out the solar capacity of potential roofs. We will also begin the planning permission process and partner with legal experts to set up our precedent and project-specific legal documents. In addition to that we will be refreshing our website and undertaking further community consultation to get a broader view of what our community needs when it comes to social, financial and environmental impact. Get in touch now if you have any views on this that you want to share with us! All of this support will help us tighten up our financial models and create a credible business plan. This grant money will enable us to reach a position where we can launch our share offer where we will ask you, our community, to invest in the capital costs of our projects, becoming investors in your community and owners of clean, local power generation.

Power Up North London now has a working group of around 20 people working on our first projects. There is a huge amount of exciting work for us to do over the next few months, so if you are passionate about climate change and community enterprise, we would love you to get in touch, come along to meetings, and help us to bring real positive change to North London.

Get in touch on powerupnorthlondon@gmail.com