Tag Archives: Transport

Shipping industry in troubled waters

Did you know that an average of 119 ships have been lost on the high seas each year, according to insurance firm Allianz?

In the last decade around 100 large ore-carrying ships have sunk (98 between 2007 and 2017 to be exact) including four in one 36-day period leading up to Christmas 2010. Many of these sank in calm seas, so what is going on? Continue reading Shipping industry in troubled waters

Climate clippings 221

I’ve just noticed that last September I followed CC 214 with CC 115. My bad.

1. Solar, wind and hydro could power the world, at lower cost

That is according to an updated study by Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley and Aalborg University in Denmark summarised by Giles Parkinson.

    it lays out three different methods of not just providing 100 per cent renewables for electricity, but also for heating and cooling, for transportation, and even agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Continue reading Climate clippings 221

Climate clippings 180

1. Tesla car drives owner to hospital, saves his life

Missouri lawyer Joshua Neally was driving his Tesla Model X home from his office when he suffered piercing pain in his stomach and chest. Rather than call an ambulance he set his Tesla Model X in self-driving mode and headed for a hospital 20 miles (32km) down the road. He was able to park it and check himself in.

He suffered a pulmonary, a potentially fatal obstruction of a blood vessel in the lungs. Very probably, the car saved his life. Continue reading Climate clippings 180

Climate clippings 171

1. 3D solar towers

MIT researchers have developed and tested a range of 3D solar towers to achieve power output that is up to 20 times greater than traditional fixed flat solar panels with the same base area. Here is an example of two of the models tested: Continue reading Climate clippings 171

Saturday salon 23/4

1. Remembering Shakespeare

Four hundred years ago on April 1616, William Shakespeare, “widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist”, died apparently from partying too hard on his 52nd birthday. Arguably he is the world’s greatest writer. Continue reading Saturday salon 23/4

Rasa gives hydrogen car design a clean slate

riversimple-hydrogen-car-12_250

Welch company Riversimple is developing a hydrogen car, the Rasa, as in tabula rasa, which means clean slate. Rather than a design which modifies the basic layout of the internal combustion car, Rasa has a powertrain designed from scratch.

It’s certainly light, economical, and has a small carbon footprint. It may have a role in personal transport around cities, especially when cars become self-driving. Continue reading Rasa gives hydrogen car design a clean slate

Climate clippings 121

1. Denmark winds up wind

In January of 2014, Denmark got just over 61% of its power from wind. For the whole of 2014 it was 39.1%, a world record.

Their leadership is working well for them. Nine out of ten offshore turbines installed globally are made in Denmark. They plan to be fossil fuel free by 2050.

Elsewhere Germany and the UK smash records for wind power generation. Scotland hopes to be fossil fuel free by 2050.

On Boxing day rooftop solar met one third of South Australia’s demand and at least 30% from 11.30am to 3.30pm. Bonaire (pop. 14,500), a small island off the coast of Venezuela, said goodbye diesel and hello 100% renewable electricity.

California Gov. Jerry Brown last week called for

the state’s electric utilities to boost their renewable energy procurements to 50% of retail electric sales and discussed future initiatives to support rooftop solar, battery storage, grid infrastructure and electric vehicles.

As Bill Lawry would say, “It’s all happening!”

2. 2014 the hottest year

The first set of figures is in, this time from the Japan Meteorological Agency, showing 2014 as the hottest year so far:

JMA2014-cropped_600

The red line is the long-term linear trend.

The blue line is the 5-year running mean.

Australia had the third hottest year on record.

3. Chinese three-wheeler is for real!

From John D’s Gizmag collection we have the Spira4u three-wheeler car:

spira-production-version-2_500

It’s not a toy, it’s a serious car which has gone into pilot production as a 10 kW electric or a fuel-injected 150 cc version with an economy of 2.94 l/100km (80 mpg).

It has a handy parking option:

spira-production-version-14_500

And it floats:

spira-production-version-11_500

An amphibious version is under development.

4. California starts to build a high-speed rail system

The first phase of California’s high-speed rail system will be a 29-mile stretch from Fresno slightly north to the town of Madera. From there the project will link up with urban centers like Los Angeles and San Francisco, eventually allowing commuters to travel between those two cities at 220 mph and cutting the trip from nearly six hours to less than three. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations.

The full rail system should be in use by 2028.

5. Solar at grid parity in most of world by 2017

At RenewEconomy:

Investment bank Deutsche Bank is predicting that solar systems will be at grid parity in up to 80 per cent of the global market within 2 years, and says the collapse in the oil price will do little to slow down the solar juggernaut.

Quiggin at The Conversation and his place: Only a mug punter would bet on carbon storage over renewables.

6. When you are in a hole, stop digging!

From a study in the journal Nature:

“Our results suggest that, globally, a third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves, and over 80 percent of current coal reserves should remain unused from 2010 to 2050 in order to meet the target of 2°C,” write authors Christophe McGlade and Paul Ekins of University College London.

stay-in-the-ground-cropped_600

Keeping the increase in global temperatures under 2°C will require vast amounts of fossil fuels to be kept in the ground, including 92 percent of U.S. coal, most of Canada’s tar sands, and all of the Arctic’s oil and gas…

In 2013, fossil fuel companies spent some $670bn on exploring for new oil and gas resources. The figure should be zero.

7. Climate change will create more environmental refugees

Natural disasters like Typhoon Haiyan—which devastated the Philippines in 2013 displace more people than war, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center in Geneva. And as climate change sets off increasingly lethal natural disasters, so will the numbers of environmental refugees increase, Reuters reported.

It is a reality that governments must prepare themselves for. In 2013, some 22 million people were displaced by extreme natural disasters like typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis, a number three times the number of those who were forced to migrate because of war, according to the IDMC.

Earlier this summer New Zealand accepted a family who cited climate change as the reason why they had to flee their homeland, thought to be the world’s first official environmental refugees.