“EU must cut carbon emissions 3 times faster to meet targets”

A new report has calculated that the EU is only cutting carbon emissions at 1/3 of the rate which is required in order to meet the 55% cut – from buildings, transport and agriculture by 2030

While emissions are falling, they are not falling anywhere near fast enough

Over the last 30 years, carbon emissions have dropped by 32% . while this is an impressive amount, it is far short of the promise.

The best predictions for the future, are that by 2050 the EU will have cut emissions by around 43%. While this is an important step, it is far short of what has been promised.

More importantly, at the current rate, we will have only met a further 1/3 by 2050.

The job is not done – much of the carbon emissions from the last 3 decades have been easy to achieve. They have been achieved through efficiency gains, and moving production offshore. Very little change in the EU behaviour has been required.  

An easy gain, both for individual cost, and emissions is electric cars. A faster transition is likely to save countries much money too (though it is true that at the current time, there is an issue with the tax revenue coming from fossil fuel sales.

It is far cheaper to run clean alternatives, so we must make that show in the figures.

Some governments are making efforts to help, but not in every way. For instance, in the UK, you can get money towards an electric car, but not a used one (which given the reduction in price, is likely to go further and help more. On heat pump the government is doing better – with the increase in the air-source heat pump grant, the cost to individuals has reduced to around 3500 (on average buying a heat-pump as well as installing and changing radiators to work with the lower temperature (bigger) the cost is around £11,000. However, many people have missed the advertising, and are unaware. It is true that new build homes will not be allowed to install boilers after 2025. 

However, older houses with gas boilers will be unaffected by the change until 2035. But the average cost for a new boiler, plus installation is thought to be around £4000, in 2023, meaning that for many homes, it will be cheaper to replace now.

Furthermore, while an air-source heat pump is thought to be around £50 more to run each year, should something like a thermal solar panel be added, the cost is far lower.

With carefully designed rules for builders, the switch to low cost private transport, and low cost private house heating can be cheap and obvious. At the current rate, though, this is not being met.

In the UK, clearly better understanding and education is essential, and builders need to see that adding things like thermal solar panels is a must.

Will it happen? will the EU meet our 55% target? at current speed, it is clear that this will be hard work. However, if this money is not found, we are likely to need far more in the future to adapt to the world we are creating.

A new way of modelling wind turbines, could lead to an 1% increase in the amount of wind power generated – for free

Usually in order to increase the power generation from anything, it needs new hardware – if you wanted to increase the amount of power from a set of solar panels on your roof there is little you can do, without replacing them (this of course pre-supposes that the panels are in a good location, and are not in the shadow of a tree).

That is why this is incredibly exciting. The idea of being able to roll our new rules about how wind turbines work, and instantly make 1% more energy is incredible.

It is true that, currently, wind only accounts for about 6.5% of electricity generation. Conversely, it accounts for 24% of renewable generation – which is quite likely to be a percentage that grows as we move towards 100% renewable electricity generation.

So, with this change it will only account for 6.565% what difference is that?

Well, last year the world generated 28500 terawatt hours, which means that 0.065% increase is 18.5 terawatt hours extra created through 100% green sources.

Now, between 2020 and 2022, the average carbon emissions per kwh was around 370g. As such, were all of this energy created in the USA (it is not the most expensive or the least, so we are going to use it as representative – even though this power would be generated around the world) this much extra green energy would save 0.370 time 18.5 time 10 to the power of 9 (there are 1,000,000,000 kwh in 1 terawatt hour) which means that this little modeling trick would have saved roughly 7 million tonnes of carbon emissions. Now while this is relatively small in global terms (with 50 gigatonnes of emissions in 2020) it is still not insignificant – indeed, it is equivalent to the total emissions of Botswana, or indeed Latvia in 2021. That strikes me as an easy move, perhaps looking at this in a different way, perhaps more importantly, for wind farm companies, this energy is worth roughly £340 million ($450 million)

Lightyear one

The lightyear one is an incredible car. It is a highly efficient electric car, and gets over 440 miles from a battery smaller than the one in the long range tesla 3 which only has a range of 353.

This image is a wikimedia photo of the lightyear one and is shared under their standard license

This is partly because it is an incredibly efficient car – each wheel has its own, in wheel, motor. However, even more exciting, the car is covered in high efficiency solar panels – it has 5 square meters of solar panels, which is allow between 25 and 45 miles on solar power alone.

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MIT scientists have developed a process which can desalinate water using the sun

Desalination is an extremely power hungry process. Either of substantial amount of pressure is required or evaporation of the water.

However recent process by MIT looks to hugely improve the efficiency of such a system. Using a series of evaporators and condensing sections they have been able to reach an efficiency of 385% ( Due to the reusing of this ambient heat allowing an efficiency well in excess of 100%)

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