Transport and energy

Separating fact from fiction in newest U.S. federal ethanol study

corn ethanol SUV (photo Nyenyec)

The latest ethanol study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture mixes facts with fictions, writes John DeCicco of the University of Michigan. The study contains fundamental errors that undermine its claims that the use of corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions. … [Read more...]

Carbon Tracker: no growth for oil and coal from 2020, gas can flip-flop

carbon bubble protest (photo Susan Melkisethlan)

Falling costs of electric vehicle and solar technology could halt growth in global demand for oil and coal from 2020, finds a new report co-authored by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative launched on Thursday. The future of natural gas is highly uncertain in this new scenario analysis. … [Read more...]

The next EV revolution: think trucks and buses

Proterra catalyst bus

Most of the talk around electric vehicles centres round Tesla’s, Chevy Bolts and other passenger cars. But the financial and environmental case for the electrification of big vehicles, such as buses and garbage trucks, is actually much more compelling than for small cars, writes Chris Denny Brown. According to Brown, founder of job site Cleantekker, this is where the electric transport revolution should have begun. … [Read more...]

Despite the hype, batteries aren’t the cheapest way to store energy on the grid

Tesla Powerwall installed in garage

There are many different kinds of energy storage technologies, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Lithium ion batteries are the most popular form of storage at the moment, but according to Roger Dargaville, Deputy Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute, they are not always the cheapest option. Nevertheless, lithium ion will probably be the dominant option, not because of economics, but because of human behavior. Courtesy of The … [Read more...]

In China low-speed electric vehicles are driving high-speed urbanisation

chinese-low-speed-ev-8-1

The Chinese government is making a major effort to boost the sales of small, low-speed EVs, which are to play a major role in the country's rapid urbanisation, writes Dennis Zuev of Lancaster University. According to Zuev, many countries around the world are likely to follow China's lead. Courtesy of The Conversation. … [Read more...]

India wants to become a solar superpower – but its plans don’t add up

Ban Ki-moon inaugurated Canal Top Solar Power Plant in Gujarat India Oct 2015 (photo UN)

India aims to build 1 terrawatt of global solar power – four times the current worldwide total – and become a 100% electric vehicle nation by 2030. Those are great ambitions, but they still far short from what is needed for a true energy transformation away from coal, writes Dénes Scala of Lancaster University. Courtesy of The Conversation. … [Read more...]

Biofuels turn out to be a climate mistake

Great Lakes BioEnergy Research Center in 2008 (photo Open University)

Biofuels are usually regarded as inherently carbon-neutral, but once all emissions associated with growing feedstock crops and manufacturing biofuel are factored in, they actually increase CO2 emissions rather than reducing them, writes John DeCicco of the University of Michigan. According to DeCicco, biofuels are actually more harmful to the climate than gasoline. Courtesy of The Conversation. … [Read more...]