Jun 20, 2017

Sweden's ElectriCity electric bus success leads to expanded trial

Renewable Energy
Green Energy
Electric Vehicles
Nell Walker
3 min
Sweden's ElectriCity electric bus success leads to expanded trial
Sweden’s ElectriCity venture is set to expand its electric bus operations in Gothenburg, after two successful years of running vehicles on route 55...

Sweden’s ElectriCity venture is set to expand its electric bus operations in Gothenburg, after two successful years of running vehicles on route 55.

In June 2018, two electric high-capacity buses will begin to operate on route 16, and plans are underway to expand the demo arena with heavy vehicles for quiet and emission-free urban traffic.

Stefan Eglinger, Director of Urban Transport Administration, City of Gothenburg, said: "Gothenburg has a strong automotive industry and is the Nordic region's logistics hub. One benefit is that we get involved early in testing next-generation technology. That's exciting and we learn more together with our partners in ElectriCity than we would do alone. We take these lessons with us in our urban planning as Gothenburg grows into an attractive large city. Tomorrow's quiet vehicles emitting no exhaust gases will make the city even more appealing for people to live in, work in and enjoy. I'm happy and proud that our cooperative venture has been so successful that we now want to go further in the next phase.”

ElectriCity has been developing and testing green traffic solutions with companies, researchers, public authorities, the city, and the region since 2013. The best results have come from bus route 55, where 10 all-electric or partially electrified buses have been operating for two years. The original plan was for the tests to end in 2018, but its success has meant the trial will now continue until 2020 with the addition of new vehicles.

In June 2018, when the Volvo Ocean Race comes to Gothenburg, two electrically powered articulated buses will showcase the latest developments as they operate between Nordstan and Frihamnen. These two prototype buses will then run on route 16, which will be equipped with charging infrastructure and bus stop facilities.

"We know that the people of Västra Götaland want more electric buses, and that passengers who currently use route 55 are very satisfied," said Ulrika Frick, Chair of the Region Västra Götaland Public Transport Board, responsible for the development of public transport in Västra Götaland.

"We want more people to give up their cars, cut emissions and reduce noise levels. Electric buses help us reach these targets and our mission is to create the public transport of the future. That's why we are now looking forward to the next big step, testing larger electric buses on more frequent routes and with more passengers."

From previously focusing primarily on electrified public transport, the demo arena is now growing to encompass other electrically powered heavy vehicles operating quietly and emission-free in city traffic.

"Electrification is on the march within the global transport sector, and the next challenge is to integrate electrification with investments in future smart and sustainable cities. This is why we need to demonstrate electrified articulated buses and other heavy vehicles in the city environment. With this project Sweden can lead these developments and at the same time take a major step forward for a fossil free Swedish transport sector," said The Swedish Energy Agency's Director General, Erik Brandsma.

Within the framework of ElectriCity, work will also commence on testing solutions in automation such as automatic Bus Stop Docking and bus platooning, whereby buses run close behind one other in long trains in urban traffic.

Niklas Gustafsson, Chief Sustainability Officer for Volvo Group, concluded: "Changes to the transport sector are essential if we are to create a sustainable society and next-generation cities. We need to implement sustainable transportation of both people and goods in our cities. That's why it feels particularly gratifying that we are now expanding the ElectriCity demo arena and beginning to examine solutions for automation that can help make electrified vehicles even more efficient.”

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Jun 25, 2021

UK must stop blundering into high carbon choices warns CCC

climatechange
Energy
Netzero
UK
Dominic Ellis
5 min
The UK must put an end to a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices warns the Climate Change Committee

The UK Government must end a year of climate contradictions and stop blundering on high carbon choices, according to the Climate Change Committee as it released 200 policy recommendations in a progress to Parliament update.

While the rigour of the Climate Change Act helped bring COP26 to the UK, it is not enough for Ministers to point to the Glasgow summit and hope that this will carry the day with the public, the Committee warns. Leadership is required, detail on the steps the UK will take in the coming years, clarity on tax changes and public spending commitments, as well as active engagement with people and businesses across the country.

"It it is hard to discern any comprehensive strategy in the climate plans we have seen in the last 12 months. There are gaps and ambiguities. Climate resilience remains a second-order issue, if it is considered at all. We continue to blunder into high-carbon choices. Our Planning system and other fundamental structures have not been recast to meet our legal and international climate commitments," the update states. "Our message to Government is simple: act quickly – be bold and decisive."

The UK’s record to date is strong in parts, but it has fallen behind on adapting to the changing climate and not yet provided a coherent plan to reduce emissions in the critical decade ahead, according to the Committee.

  • Statutory framework for climate The UK has a strong climate framework under the Climate Change Act (2008), with legally-binding emissions targets, a process to integrate climate risks into policy, and a central role for independent evidence-based advice and monitoring. This model has inspired similarclimate legislation across the world.
     
  • Emissions targets The UK has adopted ambitious territorial emissions targets aligned to the Paris Agreement: the Sixth Carbon Budget requires an emissions reduction of 63% from 2019 to 2035, on the way to Net Zero by 2050. These are comprehensive targets covering all greenhouse gases and all sectors, including international aviation and shipping.
     
  • Emissions reduction The UK has a leading record in reducing its own emissions: down by 40% from 1990 to 2019, the largest reduction in the G20, while growing the economy (GDP increased by 78% from 1990 to 2019). The rate of reductions since 2012 (of around 20 MtCO2e annually) is comparable to that needed in the future.
     
  • Climate Risk and Adaptation The UK has undertaken three comprehensive assessments of the climate risks it faces, and the Government has published plans for adapting to those risks. There have been some actions in response, notably in tackling flooding and water scarcity, but overall progress in planning and delivering adaptation is not keeping up with increasing risk. The UK is less prepared for the changing climate now than it was when the previous risk assessment was published five years ago.
     
  • Climate finance The UK has been a strong contributor to international climate finance, having recently doubled its commitment to £11.6 billion in aggregate over 2021/22 to 2025/26. This spend is split between support for cutting emissions and support for adaptation, which is important given significant underfunding of adaptation globally. However, recent cuts to the UK’s overseas aid are undermining these commitments.

In a separate comment, it said the Prime Minister’s Ten-Point Plan was an important statement of ambition, but it has yet to be backed with firm policies. 

Baroness Brown, Chair of the Adaptation Committee said: “The UK is leading in diagnosis but lagging in policy and action. This cannot be put off further. We cannot deliver Net Zero without serious action on adaptation. We need action now, followed by a National Adaptation Programme that must be more ambitious; more comprehensive; and better focussed on implementation than its predecessors, to improve national resilience to climate change.”

Priority recommendations for 2021 include setting out capacity and usage requirements for Energy from Waste consistent with plans to improve recycling and waste prevention, and issue guidance to align local authority waste contracts and planning policy to these targets; develop (with DIT) the option of applying either border carbon tariffs or minimum standards to imports of selected embedded-emission-intense industrial and agricultural products and fuels; and implement a public engagement programme about national adaptation objectives, acceptable levels of risk, desired resilience standards, how to address inequalities, and responsibilities across society. 

Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner said the report is another reminder that if the UK is to meet its ambitious climate targets there is an urgent need to scale up bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

"As the world’s leading generator and supplier of sustainable bioenergy there is no better place to deliver BECCS at scale than at Drax in the UK. We are ready to invest in and deliver this world-leading green technology, which would support clean growth in the north of England, create tens of thousands of jobs and put the UK at the forefront of combatting climate change."

Drax Group is kickstarting the planning process to build a new underground pumped hydro storage power station – more than doubling the electricity generating capacity at its iconic Cruachan facility in Scotland. The 600MW power station will be located inside Ben Cruachan – Argyll’s highest mountain – and increase the site’s total capacity to 1.04GW (click here).

Lockdown measures led to a record decrease in UK emissions in 2020 of 13% from the previous year. The largest falls were in aviation (-60%), shipping (-24%) and surface transport (-18%). While some of this change could persist (e.g. business travellers accounted for 15-25% of UK air passengers before the pandemic), much is already rebounding with HGV and van travel back to pre-pandemic levels, while car use, which at one point was down by two-thirds, only 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

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