Transport and energy

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...]

Europe’s renewable transport targets need biofuels, they can’t be met with EVs alone

biofuels photo Robert Couse-Baker-slider

The decarbonisation of the transport sector presents a huge challenge for Europe, writes Paul Deane of the Environmental Research Institute in University College Cork, Ireland. Many people believe electric vehicles (EVs) are the answer, but according to Deane biofuels will need to deliver most of the targets for the time being. “EVs will have their day but it may be further down the road than we hoped.” … [Read more...]

Peak car ownership will speed up peak oil demand

driverless car (illustration Rocky Mountain Institute)

In a new report, the Rocky Mountain Institute makes the stunning prediction that car ownership will peak by 2020. New ownership models and technological advances such as driverless cars will utterly transform the mobility market, concludes Fereidoon Sionshansi, president of Menlo Energy Economics and publisher of the newsletter EEnergy Informer. The big casualty will be oil companies, which are still in denial. … [Read more...]

Electric car revolution may drive oil ‘investor death spiral’ 

(photo ajmexico)

Advanced batteries could “tip the oil market from growth to contraction earlier than anticipated,” concludes credit rating agency Fitch in a new study. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has already told investors to expect the ‘big crash’ in oil by 2028 — and as early as 2023. Joseph Romm  Joseph Romm, founding editor of the influential weblog Climate Progress, warns of the “investor death spiral” that may await the oil industry. Article … [Read more...]