Transportation News

Hold the Beef. More Broccoli Please: Why Hong Kong’s Green Monday Movement Is Building a Flexitarian Globe

(3BL Media and Just Means)- After 13 years of pescetarianism, I might be reconsidering prosciutto and fried chicken. Tragic, to my purist, animal-loving friends, yes. But I feel like I don’t see the industrialization of animal production ending because I substitute tofu for chicken on my bacon-less Cobb salad. When I was a young twenty-something, I quickly gave myself to the anti-climate change, animal-loving campaigners at my university.

Florida’s Untapped Solar Power

(3BL Media/Just Means) I've spent the summer living in historic St. Augustine, Florida. The surf is great, the people are friendly and the sun shines brightly every single day. The sun is powerful here, powerful enough it seems to produce enough solar energy for most of the nation.

Three Aspirations for Long Distance EVs

Guest Blog by Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman, IDTechEx

All the publicity currently goes to the race to make regular and premium cars have longer range. This is because most people want only one car so it must be capable of the long distance trip however rare. That must be achieved despite the inadequacy of charging points in number, speed and compatibility of interface and payment means.

Breakthrough Approaches to Create More Sustainable Cities

Guest blog by Mark Wallace, UPS

More and more of the world’s population is moving to cities. According to the UN, by 2050 nearly two-thirds of the global population will live in cities, and urban populations will increase by two billion people. While this mass migration will bring new, exciting opportunities for city residents, it also brings daunting challenges to urban environments and the businesses operating there.

How the Dutch Are Moved By Wind

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — Man’s first use of wind technology goes back some 5,000 years when wind-powered boats were first seen on the Nile. For centuries wind-driven ships plowed the waves, as some still do. In time, wind was put to work pumping water and grinding grain. The Dutch refined this technology in the 15th Century, using it to drain lakes and reclaim land that had eroded into the ocean, creating polders, where millions now live. The first wind turbine for electric generation was invented by Charles Brush, in Cleveland, Ohio in 1888.

Wind power. Transportation. Holland. In a nutshell, that’s our story for today.

The Royal Schiphol Group, the aviation company that owns and operates several major airports in the Netherlands, including the Amsterdam airport bearing its name, the 14th busiest in the world, has just made an announcement. As of January 1, 2018, all their business units will run on sustainable power.

The announcement states that the group will purchase 200GWh of electricity from Eneco Group of Rotterdam for the next 15 years. The intent is that, in time, all of the wind power will be produced in the Netherlands. Eneco, while not well known in the US, has interests in Germany as well. The company was ranked #8 in the 2017 Sustainable Brands Top 100.

Included in this agreement are Schiphol (Amsterdam), Rotterdam The Hague Airport, Eindhoven Airport and Lelystad Airport. All will receive sustainable power. Together, the airports consume around 200 GWh, which is roughly equivalent to the consumption of 60,000 households.

Britain Joins the Green Wave in Swearing Off Combustion Engines

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — A surprising announcement has come out of London—to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel-fueled cars and vans, beginning in the year 2040. The plan was announced in response to concerns about public health as the result of air pollution. Ministers claim that air pollution is the number one public health risk with costs in recent years reaching $3.5 billion annually .

The announcement is similar to the one made by France on July 6,  but different in that, while the French ban was primarily intended to address climate change, with public health as a secondary benefit, the British ban is being framed more in terms of public health. The French announcement came just one day after Volvo announced that it would stop producing gasoline or diesel cars beginning in 2019. But while Volvo plans to continue making hybrid cars, along with all-electrics, the UK ban includes hybrids as well, as does the French plan. India has proposed a similar ban.

While the ban might seem like a drastic measure, many analysts, like Stanford economist Tony Seba, whose recent report predicts the collapse of  internal combustion engine and the oil industry, said that “Banning sales of diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2040 is a bit like banning sales of horses for road transportation by 2040: there won’t be any to ban.”

Likewise, many in England felt the move would not produce results quickly enough. Some had lobbied for vehicles to be charged a fee in order to enter "clean air zones," but ministers have been reluctant to add new taxes and fees.

Can the Power Grid Handle the Increased Demand from Electric Cars?

(3BL Media/Justmeans) — There’s an old saying, “be careful what you wish for, you might get it.” True enough, it cautions us to look beyond near-term results. There are those like Adam Vaughn, writing in the Guardian, now saying exactly that about electric cars. Certainly, Vaughn and others are not wrong. Big increases in EV utilization will tax our current electric supply. In his case, he’s quoting National Grid saying that EV growth in the UK could exceed the capacity of the Hinckley Point C nuclear power station by 2030.  The idea that the 3.2GW plant, which is still under construction, could fall short of meeting demand that soon, is certainly a disturbing one.

When the plans for the plant were being drawn up, no one anticipated that the number of electric vehicles could possibly grow from 90,000 today, to nine million in 2030, a one-hundredfold increase. According to National Grid, these vehicles could add as much as 8 GW of additional demand, if they are not charged smartly.

What they mean by charging smartly is the idea that demand and supply can be tightly coordinated. You could get some inkling of this by imaging a conductor leading an orchestra, signaling  each instrument when it’s time to come in. The art, if one were to call it that, is known as demand management. Demand management, according to EIA is, “designed to encourage consumers to modify their level and pattern of electricity usage.”

Generally, this is achieved either by technology or with pricing incentives.

The incentives are by far the simplest. Most industrial and commercial ratepayers, have sophisticated power meters that measure both consumption and demand.  This allows utilities to charge more for electricity during periods of high demand.  This encourages these large customers to minimizes their demand during high peak periods. They can use renewables, onsite storage, or other methods like thermal storage to shift things like their cooling loads from noontime till evening. However, demand pricing is generally not used for residential customers.

Sustainable Brands Detroit 2017 Sets Out to Redefine the Good Life


(3BL Media/Justmeans) — Sustainable Brands kicked off their 2017 event in downtown Detroit with a record crowd of over 2,000 attendees.  After a day filled with extended interactive workshops, the official welcome ceremony featured a who’s who of sustainability thought leaders. Koann Vikoren Skrzyniarz, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Brands, welcomed the crowd that packed the Cobo Center’s main hall. She set a somewhat sober tone for the event, citing that we live in an age of unintended consequences, and that we have clearly gotten off track in our pursuit of happiness. “Our push for productivity and efficiency has inclined us to forget how inextricably connected we are.”
But, she said, “Businesses are uniquely equipped…to help us shape our collective future.” Describing the decision to move from San Diego to Detroit, she called the actively rejuvenating Motor City, ‘a fantastic living lab.” Indeed Detroit could be the poster child for a place where the industrial age has run its course and is now ready for what comes next. Citing Harris poll data, she said that a clear shift is happening across the US in the definition of the good life.


Next, Kim Patel Ford’s VP of Sustainability spoke. Quoting her boss, Bill Ford, who she was standing in for, she said, “You can do good work for the planet and for the company.” Describing the company’s shifting commitment to mobility, she quoted Mayor Mike Dugan, who said, “Great if you have a good job, but if you can’t get there, what’s the point.” 

 
Cradle to Cradle originator Will McDonough made a number of terse, but punchy points.   
How do we make the world better because we are here?
Being less bad is not being good.
We need to think differently about carbon. There are three types: Fugitive carbon, Durable Carbon, and Living Carbon  We need less of the first one and more of the other two
By 2050, the weight of plastics in the ocean will be equal to the weight of all the fish.
As a roadmap for making things better he suggested five goods, to take the place of the numerous less bads.
Good Materials are safe, healthy, biological.
A Good Economy is circular, sharing, and shared
Good Energy is clean and renewable.
Good Water is clean and available.
A Good Life is creative and dignified.
What’s next is what’s now.
How much can we give for all that we get?  
Goodness is a living things.
It’s going to take forever, but that’s the point.

Some Facts Regarding the Safety of Oil and Gas Pipelines

(3BL Media/Justmeans) —Within the next few days, the US Army Corps of Engineers will grant an easement allowing Energy Transfer Partners to move forward with the controversial and much-opposed Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL). President Trump has signed the order. Opponents have shifted their tactics to pressuring the banks financing the project, but it might be too late, as binding contracts have already been signed. Meanwhile, protestors have pledged mass resistance. If the project moves forward, it will be against environmental prudence, good judgment, or any concern for social justice. Like many decisions being made these days, facts seem to have little bearing on their outcome.

The fact is, these pipelines pose a considerable threat, to people, water supplies and the environment, not to mention the cultural impacts being delivered, yet again, to this country’s first inhabitants. In return for the risks, the benefits are small by comparison, with the exception of the considerable profits funneled to a small number of investors

The company behind DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners, currently manages some 62,500 miles of natural gas pipelines, and they are planning quite a few more. Just after election day, Sunoco Logistics, which is also involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline agreed to acquire ETP, for a reported $21 billion.

An environmental advocacy group called the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LBB) held a conference call last week in opposition to a 162-mile long Bayou Bridge pipeline being planned by the two companies that would connect refineries with export facilities on the Gulf coast. Note that despite the rhetoric about energy independence, this pipeline will be used for shipping American oil and gas overseas.

Climate-Smart Transport is Pivotal to a Sustainable World

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Transport accounts for 23 percent of global energy-related GHG emissions, and is one of the sectors where emissions are rising the fastest. Ironically, the transport sector is also one of the victims of climate change, with transport infrastructure being particularly vulnerable to the effects of higher temperatures, increased precipitations, and flooding.

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