These are posts, graphics and research on the impacts of climate change and the push to Net Zero.
At some point, Japan must deal with its crumbling housing problem.
You see them from time to time in the cities. Houses (mostly) where the owner has died and either hasn't passed it on or the heir doesn't claim it. Around where I live, they're not empty for long. They get snapped up, flattened [keep reading...]
The UK's latest offshore wind farm auction fell flat. No bids were received, which surprised no one. Warning signs that the auction would fail had been known for some weeks. For this year at least, no new offshore wind farm projects will be announced. With the planned Norfolk Boreas wind farm halted, the UK's offshore wind power has ground to a halt.
This isn't so much evidence that wind power is dead in the water, more that the UK Government failed to listen to industry. While construction costs are significantly lower than when the first offshore wind farms were auctioned a decade ago, the past two years has seen costs increase by 40%. A war in Ukraine, global pandemic disrupting supply chains, general inflation and rising debt costs contributed to this rise, [keep reading...]
In 1895, Evelyn Ellis made the first car journey in Britain. Yet it wasn't until 1919 that the first filling station opened. It took another three years for the second one to pop up.
Most of the 20,000-odd petrol stations at the start of the Second World War were on the forecourt of mechanic's workshops, with one or two pumps. The driver pulls up, a dirty overall wearing mechanic pops out, fills the car, takes the money and off you drive. Even though petrol stations no longer have workshops attached, it's why "Garage" is used by many [keep reading...]
A recycling scandal broke out in Singapore. The plan was to take unwanted sneakers and turn their soles into athletic tracks. It was an example of cooperation between the public and private sectors in tackling the [keep reading...]
Ever since I worked at a Drax subsidiary, I've been a little bemused by the "biomass = net zero" argument. First, the act of burning releases CO2 that had otherwise been safely tucked away, and second, it can take decades to recover "most" of what gets released.
Then there's [keep reading...]
When I posted my prediction on the proportion of zero emissions vehicles on the road by 2050, I didn't include absolute numbers. I said it could be as high as 75%, but 75% of what?
I've seen estimates putting the number of light vehicles (cars and vans, more or less) around 1.8-2 billion by 2035. My models, which are driven by factors like population, urbanisation, sales growth, policy [keep reading...]
There are approximately 1.4 billion light vehicles on the roads today. The average age for these is estimated at between 11 and 15 years, and about 80 million new ones roll off of production lines each year. Even if manufacturers hit their targets and 60-70% of all vehicles sold by 2035 are BEVs, there's still a long legacy of internal combustion engines to deal with. My research suggests even by 2050, 25-35% of all light vehicles could still be burning oil.
Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, has suggested one solution is converting these vehicles to zero emission powertrains, specifically hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen [keep reading...]
The number of zero emission vehicles on our roads will increase dramatically in the coming years. Major markets are planning bans on new internal combustion engine powered vehicles over the coming three decades. The majority are clustered around 2030-2040, some as late as 2050, others are still holding out.
This doesn't mean petrol and diesel cars will vanish from our streets overnight. The average life expectancy for a car is about a dozen years, and it can take two decades for a year's sales to find its way into scrapyards and recycling. The later the ban is enacted, the longer the [keep reading...]
Talk of zero emission travel and decarbonising can get abstract and distant from our daily lives.
Example: shipping is a major source of pollution due to its reliance on marine grade diesel. Using Liquified Natural Gas is seen as one solution to reducing emissions. But what does that mean in practice? If you take a ferry that's LNG [keep reading...]
The road twisted and turned along the lake. A tree covered sliver of dark tarmac, dappled with shade from a warm autumn sun. This was what you might call a "driver's road", challenging you to connect sharp apex with brief straight, a brief blast to the next bend forcing you to left or right. It was about managing energy, keeping momentum, being smooth on accelerator and brake. The smile on my face was wide, and even [keep reading...]