Today marks the launch of the Low Emission Bus (LEB) Guide by The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) taking place at the Euro Bus Expo 2016 (1-3 November, NEC, Birmingham).
The Low Emission Bus Guide aims to be a vital reference for bus operators and local authorities, providing an overview of the benefits of a range of low emission fuels and technologies that reduce both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Guide is intended to equip bus operators and local authorities with information to aid purchasing decisions, and encourage the adoption of the most appropriate low emission bus technology and associated infrastructure for particular routes and applications. The Guide can be viewed here.
The Guide covers a range of technologies including: electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electrified ancillaries, hydrogen fuel cell, biomethane, renewable diesel and retrofit selective catalytic reduction. It outlines both the emissions performance and the operational and financial factors fleet operators should consider when procuring new buses and the associated infrastructure requirements and implications. Real-world bus operator case studies are provided to highlight and demonstrate the environmental and business cases for the range of different technologies and fuels.
Buses play a vital role in delivering sustainable transport in our towns and cities, providing rural connectivity to a broad cross-section of the population. However, existing diesel buses are a source of air pollution – an issue particularly in urban centres where many buses operate – and greenhouse gas emissions.
The UK Government is committed to limiting climate change and improving local air quality. The establishment of Clean Air Zones (CAZ) will discourage the use of older, more polluting buses, taxis, coaches and lorries by charging them to access key areas. Bus operators will be under increasing pressure to reduce the emissions impact of their operations.
As the LowCVP’s LEB Guide shows, the purchase of low emission buses can also offer life-cycle cost/total cost of ownership benefits to bus operators, demonstrating a clear business case for choosing alternative technologies.
In 2015, 40% of new buses sold met the requirements for low carbon qualification. The UK’s success in rapidly transforming the UK bus market from a significant part of the emissions problem to being a vital component of the solution in terms of clean mobility is a demonstration of effective collaboration between technology developers, operators, policy makers and other stakeholders.
The development of robust assessment processes such as the LowCVP’s Low Emission Bus Test (to show how the Euro VI emissions systems deliver real-world benefits), and the introduction of government support schemes (with LowCVP advice and support) such as the revision to the BSOG incentive1 and the series of Green Bus Funds, have been important building blocks in this process.
Transport Minister John Hayes said: “Buses are the most popular form of public transport and millions of people rely on them every day. Low emission vehicles can make a real difference to air quality in towns and cities, which is why we have committed £30m to help pay for more than 300 new cleaner buses.
“This guide will give operators and councils the information they need to adopt these greener vehicles.”
The new Low Emission Bus Guide provides clear yet comprehensive advice about which bus fuels and technologies are best suited to a range of operating conditions.
The LowCVP’s Managing Director Andy Eastlake said:
“Maintaining our ability to move around in increasingly congested towns and cities is more critical today than ever before. With road transport responsible for around a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions and up to 60% of roadside NOx pollution in many cities around the UK, the introduction of cleaner, low emission buses is a key component – and a good example – of how we can achieve a low emission transport future.
“The new Low Emission Bus Guide provides clear yet comprehensive advice about which bus fuels and technologies are best suited to a range of operating conditions.”
Stuart Cottrell, Head of Advanced Engineering, Alexander Dennis Ltd, commented:
“There are few easy answers to the complex question of which low emission technology is best for each operator, route and service requirements – no one size fits all. Whilst ADL strives to provide the best options across the cost-benefit spectrum it’s key that the whole landscape is understood. Providing clear, independent information on the range of low and zero emission technologies in the bus sector is key to driving informed debate and fact-based decisions.”
Frank Thorpe, UK Country Manager, BYD added:
“As the world’s largest maker of pure electric buses, BYD recognises the complex task facing operators as they work out which technologies to choose. We are convinced that battery-powered buses are the way forward in terms of ease and cost of operation and their related infrastructure. We welcome the publication of this Guide and the clarity it brings to the industry.”
From Carlos Vicente, International Business Development Manager, Eminox:
“I think this guide will really help bus operators to make informed choices about replacing or upgrading vehicles, and of course we’re delighted to see SCRT technology recognised for its potential to improve air quality.”
Tony Griffiths, Gas Bus Alliance said:
“The Gas Bus Alliance is proud to be part of the development of the Low Emission Bus Guide that confirms biomethane as the cleanest option available in terms of well-to-wheel emissions.”
James Salmon, Project Manager UK, HJS Emission Technology GmbH & Co. KG:
“HJS Emission Technology is pleased to have worked in partnership with the LowCVP on the production of the Low Emission Bus Guide. The Guide provides an essential insight into the air quality issues faced by the public transport industry and the environmental technologies that are available to tackle them.”
Robert Drewery, Commercial Director, Optare:
“As the leading electric bus manufacturer in the UK we are delighted to support the LowCVP’s LEB Guide. It is a much-needed source of information that will support operators in reviewing infrastructure requirements and implications as well as financial factors when considering alternative technologies. We hope the Guide will inspire the purchase of more low emission vehicles and help in the industry’s quest to limit climate change and improve local air quality.”
Adrian Felton, City Mobility Manager, Volvo Group UK Limited, concluded:
“The release of the Low Emission Bus Guide is a significant step forward in helping local authorities and operators to select the right technology for their city and operation.
“The Volvo Group has a long-standing relationship with the LowCVP which continues to develop and is delighted to have been able to support the production of the Low Emission Bus Guide. The aims of the LowCVP have many similarities with those of the Volvo Group which aims is to become the world leader in sustainable low emission transport systems.”
Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?
Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?
Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.
Is Biofuel Green?
One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.
Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?
Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.
Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.
Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.
Benefits Of Biomass
The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.
Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.
New Climate Change Report Emphasizes Urgent Need for Airline Emission Regulations
In less than two months, the United States has grappled with some of the worst natural disasters in its history. Hurricanes battered the south central United States. Fires destroyed homes throughout Northern California. Puerto Rico experienced some of the worst storms ever. A massive windstorm caused more damage to the northeastern United States then any other storm on record before winter even struck.
These recent incidents have spurred discussion on the dangers of climate change. A recent report from the University of London has shed some light on the discussion. The new report suggests that new regulations are needed, including stricter EPA regulations on Airlines.
Review of the new report
The new report was published in the British medical Journal, Lancet. The report concluded that climate change is a “threat multiplier” for a variety of social problems, including diseases and natural disasters. While numerous studies have processed the risk that climate change plays with creating natural disasters, University of London report is among the first to explore the relationship between climate change and disease.
The authors warned that the problems are becoming irreversible. They will continue to get worse if risk factors are not adequately addressed.
The most concerning part of the report is that these problems are having the most serious impact on the most vulnerable communities in the world. Countries that depend on agriculture and other issues will suffer the most if climate change escalates.
“The answer is, most of our indicators are headed in the wrong direction,”said Nick Watts, a fellow at University College London’s Institute for Global Health and executive director of the Lancet Countdown, one of the lead researchers of the paper. “Broadly, the world has not responded to climate change, and that lack of response has put lives at risk. … The impacts we’re experiencing today are already pretty bad. The things we’re talking about in the future are potentially catastrophic.”
Airline industry discovers climate change is a two-way Street
The airline industry is coping with the problems of climate change, while also coming to terms with the fact that it has helped accelerate the problem. Earlier this year, American Airlines was forced to cancel four dozen flights near Phoenix. Cancellations were called due to excessive temperatures. The air was over 120 degrees, which is too hot for some smaller jet planes to get off the ground.
One anonymous airline executive privately admitted that their business model has facilitated climate change. They warned that the problem may become twice as bad in the next few years if proper safeguards aren’t implemented. Representatives from Goindigo have echoed these concerns.
The EPA has stated that airplanes account for 11% of all emissions. They are expected to increase over 50% within the next 30 years. This could have serious repurcussions if newer, greener airplane models don’t become the new standard in the very near future.
This is driving discussion about the need for new policies.The EPA has been discussing the need for new airline regulations for nearly two years. An EPA ruling made in July 2016 set the tone for new regulations, which could be introduced in the next year.
The new policies may be delayed, due to the new president’s position on climate change. He hired an EPA chief that has sued the organization about a dozen times. However, the Trump Administration may not be able to oppose climate change indefinitely, because a growing number of people are pressing for reforms. Even younger conservatives primarily believe climate change is a threat and are demanding answers. This may force the EPA to follow through on its plans to introduce new solutions.