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LowCVP to focus on cutting emissions from trucks

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To coincide with its participation in the new Freight in the City event (27 October, Alexandra Palace) the LowCVP is calling on fleet operators, local authorities and others to join forces in building the market for heavy goods vehicles which cut carbon, reduce emissions  and lower fuel costs.

In earlier work, the LowCVP has identified three main opportunities for cutting emissions from HGVs which pointed to the need for specific interventions: independent testing to validate the effectiveness of retrofit technology; conversion to the use of natural gas/biomethane; and supporting the uptake of hybrid and pure electric vehicles, particularly for use in urban environments.

The Partnership will be holding a stakeholder workshop in late November to progress the LowCVP’s commercial vehicle activity, including the accreditation scheme for after-market technologies as well as providing opportunities for operators and others to collaborate in a new, DfT-funded test programme to benchmark vehicles powered by natural gas/biomethane. The group will also commence activity on the specific actions needed to stimulate low carbon urban freight solutions

The workshop will also provide the opportunity to connect with and influence the future work programme of the LowCVP’s Commercial Vehicle Working Group, which will drive forward these and other initiatives in the freight decarbonisation area.

One of the key opportunities identified in earlier LowCVP work for cutting carbon from HGVs in the UK was to increase the uptake of existing retrofit technology by operators in the market. Independent verification of the performance of technologies and a credible assessment of the applicability of equipment to different operational environments were identified as key requirements.

A test process has already been developed and is ready for peer review and launch. The next phase will be to develop an umbrella accreditation process for approving/certifying low carbon technologies for HGV applications. The scheme will also assess the operational characteristics of the technologies, and their applicability, for potential operators.

The scheme will provide test results and recommendations to DfT/OLEV for stimulating uptake. Its test protocol has many potential future applications in the evaluation of cleaner truck technologies.

With the Low Carbon Truck Trial (LCTT) nearing its final phase, and the emergence of Euro VI gas vehicle technology for HGVs, the LowCVP is also managing a new test programme for the Department for Transport to benchmark the latest gas trucks for emissions including methane, carbon dioxide (CO2) and NOx, and fuel consumption.

The project will compare the performance and emissions of gas vehicles (both OEM and retrofit conversions) with their direct diesel counterparts in a consistent manner using the latest PEMS equipment run over repeatable, realistic and representative track cycles. The outputs from the project will provide the comprehensive evidence-base needed on gas use in HGVs for the formation of long-term government policy options in this sector.

Collaborators in the LowCVP’s commercial vehicle initiatives include the Department for Transport, OLEV, Freight Transport Association, Road Haulage Association, Centre for Sustainable Road Freight and Green Freight Europe plus private companies including Millbrook, MIRA, Mercedes, Michelin, Stobart Group and TRL.

Andy Eastlake, LowCVP’s MD said: “In terms of road transport, most of the focus in recent years has been on cutting emissions from cars and buses. Road freight in vans and trucks is responsible for around 35% of the UK’s total road CO2 emissions and there are plenty of opportunities for the sector to make a real contribution to the UK’s climate targets – as well as helping to cut operators’ costs and contribute to improvements in air quality.”

Rachael Dillon, Climate Change Policy Manager at the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said: “Operators want better options for reducing carbon emissions from HGVs.  New opportunities for after-market technologies and further emissions testing for gas and biomethane vehicles can help identify the best steps to decarbonising the sector.”

Guy Heywood ‎Commercial Director UK and ROI Michelin Tyre PLC said: “We know from direct experience how much difference even small changes to a commercial vehicle’s specification can make.

“Simply fitting a different brand of tyre can achieve fuel savings of more than 5%, cutting significant volumes of carbon. As an industry, the more information we can provide to help operators make informed decisions on low carbon technologies, the better.”

Laura Hailstone, Freight in the City project manager, said: “It’s fantastic to see the LowCVP calling on freight operators to contribute to creating a market for low carbon trucks.

“Freight in the City is focused on enabling urban deliveries to be made as cleanly as possible but there remains little choice for operators in the market for alternative fuelled commercial vehicles. Our partnership with the LowCVP at the Freight in the City Expo is a welcome step toward to opening up a strong dialogue between the freight industry and the low carbon technology providers.”

Visit the LowCVP on stand J12 at the Freight in the City Expo for more information or to indicate your interest in attending the stakeholder workshop in late-November: secretariat[at]lowcvp.org.uk

Energy

7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption

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Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/dolgachov

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Energy

Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis

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Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/nivens

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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