It would be helpful if the science of climate tipping points gave clear answers to what temperature rise will trigger a runaway catastrophe: knowing that temperature rise X will cause calamity Y should focus everyone’s minds to do the right thing. But there’s simply not enough data for the science to do that, though it is clear that destabilisation is underway and major tipping points are approaching. That means we are in the danger zone, says … [Read more...]
E-fuels for cars are expensive, and pollute the air as much as petrol
MEPs and governments are currently deciding on an EC proposal for all new cars sold from 2035 to be 100% zero-emissions. Here, T&E present test results that show e-fuels should not be allowed to replace petrol. T&E are concerned that e-fuels are being promoted as a way to prolong the life of ICE vehicles. But their tests show that e-fuels produce just as much NOx, three times more carbon monoxide, and twice as much ammonia. Though e-fuels … [Read more...]
The 10 big problems with simply replacing fossil cars with electric
The planned rapid transition to electric vehicles has major challenges. Schalk Cloete compiles them into a list of ten, including: preserving our car-centric cities preserves its inefficiencies and societal costs; it works against much of the personal “behaviour change” we need; though BEVs (battery electric vehicles) are better in cities, when infrastructure costs are included they are less efficient than hybrids and modern ICEs for many driving … [Read more...]
Ice for storage for intermittent renewables, then for cooling
Cooling accounts for around a fifth of total energy consumption in buildings. All those air conditioners and electric fans make up a tenth of all global electricity consumption. Demand will keep rising as developing nations get wealthier. Andrea Willige, writing for the World Economic Forum, looks at ice as a seemingly simple solution. Ice can be used as an energy store like a battery, to balance the grid. Create it when energy is cheap (at … [Read more...]
How to keep winter ice off a Wind Turbine’s blades
Nearly 800GW of wind power have been installed worldwide so far, with plenty more to come. But the Texas freeze in February showed how vulnerable wind turbines are to ice. Hui Hu at Iowa State University summaries his team’s research into solving a problem that can cut generation by 20% or even shut down turbines completely. He explains why existing de-icing solutions for airplane wings offer only a partial solution. Metal airplane wings can be … [Read more...]
How do we get EV payback periods down to 4 years?
The take-off of EVs will happen when the lifetime cost of ownership falls below that for a conventional car. But let’s remember that “lifetime” for a Brit means 4 years as that’s the average period of ownership. Gerard Wynn and Arjun Flora at IEEFA show how the payback period on Gerard’s Renault Zoe ZE50 has been cut by over a fifth simply by signing up to a smart meter tariff. It’s dropped from 10 to 8 years. The UK is nearing the universal roll … [Read more...]
Lightweight Gasoline Cars: a necessary 30-year stop gap?
We should all be driving electric vehicles. But we have to wait for renewable electric grid capacity to support them all, charging points everywhere, and enough new batteries to be manufactured and put in all the new, affordable BEVs. And we’re running out of time. An interim solution has come from a study by MIT and Ford. David Chandler, writing for MIT, explains the study, which says that an interim solution – for certain regions - is … [Read more...]