The National Grid: UK’s greenest summer and new carbon-awareness tech
The National Grid, a British multinational electricity and gas utility company, has revealed that the summer of 2017 has been the greenest summer on record in the UK.
Statistics show that between 21 June to 22 September, nearly 52% of total UK electricity generation was met by low carbon resources, up from 35% four years ago.
This has come in the wake of the Grid launching its new software, forecasting the carbon intensity of electric generation in the aim of helping people to better understand and control their carbon footprints.
“We're providing our forecast data in a format that allows technology companies to build innovative apps and software that could make a real difference to how and when people use energy, said Duncan Burt, Director of the System Operator at National Grid.
“Clear and concise information that can tell you in advance when’s best to turn on the washing machine, load the dishwasher or charge your car for example, is a step in the right direction towards a low carbon future.
“This technology puts people at the heart of it, helping everyone to use power when it’s greenest, and likely, more cost efficient.”
The National Grid is working with the Environmental Defence Fund Europe and the WWF to bring this software to the public, with the introduction of an online application and policy implications both in the works as a result of the new innovative data tool.
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.