Norway leads the charge for electric car adoption
There’s been more of an uptake in electric cars in Norway than anywhere else and by quite the margin too. With a range of benefits and incentives available to electric car drivers in Norway, it's no wonder so many people are making the switch to alternative fuel.
Electric vehicle registrations as a proportion of overall market (in the first three months of 2016):
- Norway: 24.4%
- Netherlands: 1.8%
- France: 1.5%
- UK: 1.3%
- Germany: 0.7%
Norway is the clear leader with almost a quarter of new car registrations being electric and this is thanks to a number of different factors.
Most Norwegians only drive short distances so the range concerns over electric cars don’t really apply. Even for those that do driver longer distances, electric cars are creeping up to the 200-mile range mark, which should influence new-sales figures even more.
The influence of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association
Norway is unique in that its government works closely with non-governmental organisations. The Electric Vehicle Association has been able to speak directly to the people in power to help expand the country’s charging infrastructure.
As a result, the country has a strong network of charging stations, most of which came from a real push on infrastructure over 2009 and 2010. The locations of all of these stations are publicly available online.
Benefits for electric car drivers
Norway also offer some of the best perks for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicle owners. Drivers of these cars can benefit from free parking, exemption from purchasing taxes (which are extremely high in Norway), no charges on toll roads and access to public bus lanes.
There are also all sorts of economic benefits for electric car users including the fact they can be charged at home.
Benefits for the country
While most drivers buy electric cars for the economic benefits, there are plenty more. The country as a whole pumps out fewer emissions, there’s less air and noise pollution, and Norway reduces its reliance on non-renewable energy sources.
100,000 electric cars by 2020
Norway’s parliament met its target of 50,000 zero-emission cars three years early in April 2015. At the end of the year there were 70,000 of the vehicles on the road. The next official goal is to reach 100,000 electric cars by 2020 but the Electric Vehicle Association says this is probably too modest.
Norway to ban the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2025
Politicians from both sides of the spectrum in Norway, seem to agree that 100 percent of Norwegian cars should be running on green energy by 2025. They’re not alone in this conclusion with The Netherlands soon following suit and even Germany – the heart of the European car industry – has called for a similar rule to be put in place by 2030.
Electric car sales are growing over the world and soon other countries could be catching Norway.
Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030
Carbon dioxide removal revenues could reach £2bn a year by 2030 in the UK with costs per megatonne totalling up to £400 million, according to the National Infrastructure Commission.
Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades - although costs are uncertain given removal technologies are in their infancy - and revenues could match that of the UK’s water sector by 2050. The Commission’s analysis suggests engineered removals technologies need to have capacity to remove five to ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide no later than 2030, and between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.
The Commission states technologies fit into two categories: extracting carbon dioxide directly out of the air; and bioenergy with carbon capture technology – processing biomass to recapture carbon dioxide absorbed as the fuel grew. In both cases, the captured CO2 is then stored permanently out of the atmosphere, typically under the seabed.
The report sets out how the engineered removal and storage of carbon dioxide offers the most realistic way to mitigate the final slice of emissions expected to remain by the 2040s from sources that don’t currently have a decarbonisation solution, like aviation and agriculture.
It stresses that the potential of these technologies is “not an excuse to delay necessary action elsewhere” and cannot replace efforts to reduce emissions from sectors like road transport or power, where removals would be a more expensive alternative.
The critical role these technologies will play in meeting climate targets means government must rapidly kick start the sector so that it becomes viable by the 2030s, according to the report, which was commissioned by government in November 2020.
Early movement by the UK to develop the expertise and capacity in greenhouse gas removal technologies could create a comparative advantage, with the prospect of other countries needing to procure the knowledge and skills the UK develops.
The Commission recommends that government should support the development of this new sector in the short term with policies that drive delivery of these technologies and create demand through obligations on polluting industries, which will over time enable a competitive market to develop. Robust independent regulation must also be put in place from the start to help build public and investor confidence.
While the burden of these costs could be shared by different parts of industries required to pay for removals or in part shared with government, the report acknowledges that, over the longer term, the aim should be to have polluting sectors pay for removals they need to reach carbon targets.
Polluting industries are likely to pass a proportion of the costs onto consumers. While those with bigger household expenditures will pay more than those on lower incomes, the report underlines that government will need to identify ways of protecting vulnerable consumers and to decide where in relevant industry supply chains the costs should fall.
Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we already manage our wastewater and household refuse.
"While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device in the toolkit, they are there for the hardest jobs. And in the overall project of mitigating our impact on the planet for the sake of generations to come, we need every tool we can find," he said.
“But to get close to having the sector operating where and when we need it to, the government needs to get ahead of the game now. The adaptive approach to market building we recommend will create the best environment for emerging technologies to develop quickly and show their worth, avoiding the need for government to pick winners. We know from the dramatic fall in the cost of renewables that this approach works and we must apply the lessons learned to this novel, but necessary, technology.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency estimate a global capacity for engineered removals of 2,000 to 16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2050 will be needed in order to meet global reduction targets.
Yesterday Summit Carbon Solutions received "a strategic investment" from John Deere to advance a major CCUS project (click here). The project will accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the agriculture industry by enabling the production of low carbon ethanol, resulting in the production of more sustainable food, feed, and fuel. Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with 31 biorefineries across the Midwest United States to capture and permanently sequester their CO2 emissions.
Cory Reed, President, Agriculture & Turf Division of John Deere, said: "Carbon neutral ethanol would have a positive impact on the environment and bolster the long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry. The work Summit Carbon Solutions is doing will be critical in delivering on these goals."
McKinsey highlights a number of CCUS methods which can drive CO2 to net zero:
- Today’s leader: Enhanced oil recovery Among CO2 uses by industry, enhanced oil recovery leads the field. It accounts for around 90 percent of all CO2 usage today
- Cementing in CO2 for the ages New processes could lock up CO2 permanently in concrete, “storing” CO2 in buildings, sidewalks, or anywhere else concrete is used
- Carbon neutral fuel for jets Technically, CO2 could be used to create virtually any type of fuel. Through a chemical reaction, CO2 captured from industry can be combined with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel
- Capturing CO2 from ambient air - anywhere Direct air capture (DAC) could push CO2 emissions into negative territory in a big way
- The biomass-energy cycle: CO2 neutral or even negative Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage relies on nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for use elsewhere