6 ways to make your small business more environmentally friendly

ways to make your small business more environmentally friendly

Businesses that make a commitment to more environmentally friendly practices can benefit from both short-term and long-term savings, better employee engagement and significant PR opportunities.

While you may have a general idea of ways to go green, you might be wondering what are some business-specific green practices?

Here are 6 easy-to-implement ideas for running a green business that you can put into practice right now to make your workplace more environmentally friendly.

1.Power down

Turn off equipment when it’s not being used. Leaving our computers on at the end of the day is a bad habit many of us are guilty of.

What you might not know, is that by turning devices off, you can reduce energy used by 25 per cent.Switching computers off at the end of the day can save you an additional 50 per cent!

2. Switch Lights off

Did you know lighting could account for up to 40 per cent of an office’s energy consumption?

By turning lights off at the end of the day or installing motion-sensitive switches you can conserve energy and save money.

3. Recycle

It’s not just about recycling containers. Some great recycling programs to implement in your small business include:

  • Educating employees on how to recycle correctly and explain how different materials find new uses.
  • Set personal recycling goals, such as reaching a 50% recycling rate in 3 months to motivate your team.

4. Cut down paper wastage

Try creating a more paperless office and encourage employees to make use of technology instead of printing. Some paper saving approaches include:

  • Reducing font size when printing
  • Encouraging communications by email
  • Producing double-sided documents

5. Remote working

Allow certain employees to work from home, part-time, to reduce commuting costs. For employees that need to be on site or in the office, try promoting eco-friendly commuting options by subsidising their transport costs.

6. Get involved

Creating a green business is a commitment. Apart from setting up an eco-friendly workplace, encourage participation in green events. Try getting involved in events that everyone in the office can participate in:

  • Devoting one workday each quarter to helping green causes
  • Community clean up days

Running a green business is not only good for the environment, but also for your business. Cutting down on waste and conserving resources saves you money.

Going green is also a great way to boost your team’s morale, and once your business commits to creating a more environmentally friendly enterprise, you may find employees present more creative ideas around the subject.

Make use of the resources already available for you and keep your team motivated around greener practices in the workplace.

Also read: Energy use in industry: electricity and energy manufacturing

Tesla mega-battery activated in South Australia

Tesla mega-battery activated in South Australia

The largest lithium battery in the world has now begun dispensing power into an electricity grid in Southern Australia.

Built by Tesla, the 100-megawatt battery was activated on 1 December, and in fact provided some power the day before this due to the demand of local hot weather.

In recent times, South Australia has been crippled with electricity problems and Tesla boss Elon Musk had vowed to build the battery within 100 days – a promise that was fulfilled.

“This is history in the making,” said South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.

The battery will counter a repeat of an incident South Australia experienced last year, where the entire state lost power and Mr Musk has described it as three times more powerful than the world’s next biggest battery.

The idea originally came about after a bet on Twitter when Mr Musk was asked if he was serious about resolving South Australia’s electricity woes.

Mr Musk added to this challenge and said that if the battery wasn’t built within 100 days, the state would receive it for free.

The countdown began on 30 September after the Australian government and regulators approved the plan. Tesla managed to build the battery in roughly 60 days.

The battery can now be found near Jamestown, about 200km (125 miles) north of Adelaide, and is connected to a wind farm run by French energy company Neoen.

When fully charged, the battery is able to power as many as 30 000 homes for an hour, however, it’s most likely that the battery will be used to support and stabilise existing electricity supplies.

The battery is made up of a grid system that runs on the same technology that powers Tesla’s cars.

In a statement, Tesla said the completion of the battery “shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible”.

Also read: Renewables set to replace gas as South Australia’s main source of electricity

 

 

Sources:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-42190358

Image source: Gizmodo

Tesla unveils an Electric lorry!

tesla

Who would have thought that Tesla, under the leadership of Elon Musk, would decide that it’s a good idea to get into the business of haulage — and in an electric truck, no less! Yet that’s exactly what Mr. Musk had in mind when he unveiled Tesla’s brand new, one-of-a-kind electric truck on November 16, 2017!

A Sign of the Times?

With global warming and preservation of the planet on the minds of so many, an electric truck actually makes pretty good sense. After all, over-the-road freight hauling is still the number one way goods are delivered to stores and businesses all over the world. Unfortunately, they’re also huge emitters of greenhouse gases.

In the U.S., big rig semi-truck trailers are by far the leading contributors for several reasons. Ironically, even as emission rules and standards have tightened on automobiles, there are more diesel-chugging big rigs on the road than ever before.

Compounding the problem is the fact that many of these trucks are older models, that are less fuel-efficient than their newer counterparts. (In the U.S., the average truck gets only 6 miles to the gallon and produces higher concentrations of pollution than cars.

According to Greenpeace Corps.com, the haulage industry as it’s currently operating is “consuming more fuel than any other, while burning that fuel with the least efficiency”! Even when drivers stop for the night, they often leave their trucks idling, meaning that they keep spouting harmful CO2 emissions whether they’re on the road or not!

Tesla’s Answer

Tesla’s new electric lorry aims to change the haulage industry in a big way, and even though the trucks won’t go into production until 2019, they’ve already had an order for 15 test trucks from retail giant Walmart — 5 for its U.S. operations and 10 for its Canadian fleet.

The new truck — the prototype of which was unveiled in Hawthorne, California — promises to significantly reduce emissions if it catches on, as Tesla believes it will. Why? Tesla claims that its new electric semi-truck, powered by a battery and almost self-driving, will be less expensive to operate than the current diesel-sippers that dominate the roadways today.

Tesla claims that its new electric truck will have a charging range of 500 miles – more than enough to serve the trucking industry, whose typical trip averages 250 miles. Furthermore, the new truck can go from 0 to 60 mph in an astonishing 5 seconds without a trailer, and in just 20 seconds when towing a fully-loaded trailer! (That’s less than a third of the more than 1 minute it currently takes most semis to get up to speed on the highway!)

Because the truck is more efficient and has fewer moving parts (no engine, transmission or drive shaft) than the trucks it plans to replace, Tesla says, it will require less maintenance, and be cheaper to operate.

The Tesla truck is powered by a huge battery that sits beneath the cab plus two electric motors that turn the truck’s rear wheels. The combination of faster acceleration and higher uphill speeds will enable it to cover more miles in less time than an average diesel truck does.

What About Charging?

To accommodate charging needs, Tesla plans to install what they call “megacharger stations” across the country, where drivers can take a 1/2 hour break while their trucks’ batteries recharge. (No word on whether those charging stations will include anything like a truck-stop diner or showers like many traditional truck stops do, however.)

State-of-the-Art Technology

In typical Tesla fashion, the new truck has a cab that’s large enough for a person to stand up in. The driver’s seat is located on neither the left nor the right side, but instead sits in the centre of the cab. Sitting on either side of the driver’s seat are two large display screens to provide scheduling and navigation data, as well as allowing for blind spot elimination and views of the area around the truck.

The driver’s seat, says Fortune Magazine contributor, Kirsten Korosec, is quite comfortable and “bouncy”, and there are plenty of cup holders and areas for storage, as well as a somewhat “stiffer, less comfortable” seat located behind the driver.

The New York Times also reports on the truck’s autopilot feature, which can automatically steer, speed up and hit the brakes for other vehicles or obstacles, although drivers still have to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the steering wheel while using the feature.

Here’s the real surprise, though: Musk claims that the new vehicle can go 1 million miles before it needs service. Can he deliver on that promise? Only time will tell!

T-Charge: Older cars in London hit with traffic charge

T-Charge - Older cars in London hit with traffic charge

Drivers with older, more polluting vehicles will have to pay nearly double the amount to drive in central London.

Last month, London Mayor Sadiq Khan introduced a £10 ‘T-charge’ on older, more polluting vehicles in the city of London.

The charge mainly applies to diesel and petrol vehicles that were registered before 2006, and covers the same area as the existing congestion charge zone – shooting up the cost to £21.50 for those affected.

The opposition said that this plan would “disproportionately penalise London’s poorest drivers”.

This is Mr Khan’s latest attempt to improve air quality in London and, according to the mayor’s office, will impact 34,000 drivers a month.

Mr Khan said: “We’ve got a health crisis in London caused by the poor quality air.

He added: “Roughly speaking each year more than 9,000 Londoners die prematurely because of the poor quality air – children in our city whose lungs are underdeveloped, with adults who suffer from conditions such as asthma, dementia and strokes directly caused by poor quality air.”

The Mayor’s office will introduce an Ultra Low Emissions Zone by 2019, which will mean a lot more vehicles will have to pay the charge – by this time it’s hoped that pollution will be reduced by as much as 50 per cent.

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone will extend from the North Circular in north London to the South Circular south of the river by 2021.

The mayor has also called on the government to implement a diesel scrappage scheme to help those affected by the charges to switch to cleaner vehicles.

Black cabs, whose diesel engines have been accused for up to 18 per cent of air pollution in London, are exempt from the charge. The taxi drivers are eligible for financial assistance to switch to less polluting vehicles.

Friends of the Earth air pollution campaigner Jenny Bates said: “Clearly, the last thing individuals want is a new charge for moving around, but the grim reality is that nearly 10,000 early deaths are caused in London each year by the capital’s toxic air, so the mayor is right to try to dissuade drivers bringing the oldest, dirtiest vehicles into central London.”

She added: “It’s only one small step towards clean air though – we urgently need a programme of meaningful financial assistance to help drivers of the dirtiest vehicles switch to something cleaner, and bold policies to cut traffic overall.”

Elsewhere, the mayor is also seeking new control to ban wood burning in the most polluted areas of London.

Also read: Diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned by 2040 in the UK

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5010513/Toxicity-charge-hit-drivers-older-vehicles-London.html

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-41695116

Image source: Friends of the Earth

5 future electric vehicles to look out for

HyperFocal: 0

With the UK planning to ban petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2040 the future of electric vehicles is bright.

Electric cars have already established themselves as a popular pick on Britain’s roads, with a number of all-electric models being available to buy right now.

Many of these vehicles are simply electric versions of fuel-powered cars, but in the near future, we’re likely to see new designs on the road.

Here are 5 electric vehicles you can expect to see in the showrooms and when you’re out driving in the next few years.

Audi e-tron Quattro SUV

Electric_vehicle_1

The Audi e-tron Quattro SUV is likely to launch in 2018. It will go head-to-head with the Tesla Model X (which is on sale now).

Audi has said that its vehicle will be able to travel 300 miles on a single charge, can be fully recharged in 50 minutes, and can reach 0-60mph in under 5-seconds.

BMW i Vision Dynamics concept

Electric_vehicle_2

BMW’s Vision Dynamics concept coupe was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The car has been designed to sit between the i3 and i8, and is likely to be named the i5 when it launches in 2021.

The family car will be capable of reaching 60mph in less than four seconds, achieve a speed over 120mph and be able to last up to 372 miles on a single charge.

Jaguar I-PACE SUV

Electric_vehicle_3

Jaguar’s I-PACE SUV will officially be unveiled at the end of this year, and will be on roads in 2018. The electric vehicle features a 90kWh lithium-ion battery and can reach a 0-60mph time in 4-seconds.

It will take around 90 minutes to fully charge the battery, which will have a driving range of 311 miles.

Inside, the interior is futuristic with controls such as indicators and gear selector buttons found on a floating centre console. It also includes a 12-inch TFT touchscreen display, with a separate 5.5-inch display for climate controls.

Porsche Mission E

electric vehicle 4

Another electric vehicle unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2015 was Porsche’s Mission E.

The four-seater sports car will reach 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds. One of the vehicles biggest selling points though, is its recharge time of 15 minutes thanks to a 800 volt charging system.

Tesla Model 3

electric_vehicle_5

Available later this year, the Model 3 will be the most affordable Tesla you can buy. You’re likely to see plenty of these vehicles on the road, as pre-orders surpassed 276,000 within the first three days – a number that will be much higher now.

The reason for its popularity is its starting price of £26, 500. Tesla also plans to have double the number of free-to-use Superchargers dotted around, so you’ll be able to recharge and drive for longer than ever before.

Sources:

http://careers2030.cst.org/articles/future-electric-cars/

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/140845-future-electric-cars-the-battery-powered-tech-cars-that-will-be-on-the-roads-within-the-next-5-years

Image sources: Electric Motors Club | CDN | Auto Car | Automobile | Tesla

Google moving ahead with nuclear fusion technology

nuclear fusion 1

For quite some time, nuclear fusion has been widely regarded as the “holy grail” of clean energy production.

Nuclear fusion, a process that the sun has used for billions of years to fuse atoms of hydrogen into atoms of helium, may just be the solution to green energy that we have been waiting for.

If able to engineer nuclear fusion, reactors would virtually be able to provide unlimited clean energy – and the technology to achieve this seems to be just around the corner.

Google and nuclear fusion company Tri Alpha Energy, have recently developed a new computer algorithm which has significantly speeded up experiments on plasmas, the ultra-hot balls of gas at the heart of the energy technology.

The significance behind this promising technology is to create more energy from the fusion of hydrogen and helium atoms than was needed to create the reaction in the first place.

Achieving this “breakeven” point would be a “technological breakthrough, and could provide an abundant source of zero-carbon energy.”

As early as the 1950s, various companies have been trying to achieve this, but now Google and Tri Alpha Energy are taking on a different approach.

Tri Alpha Energy uses a unique scheme for plasma confinement called a field-reversed configuration that’s predicted to get more stable as the energy goes up, unlike other methods where plasmas get harder to control as you heat them.

nuclear fusion 2.jpg

Google regards Tri Alpha’s ionized plasma machine to be a “high-stakes optimisation problem” which the Mountain View’s Accelerated Science Team can aid in.

The hurdle is dealing with both equipment constraints and plasma performance, where conventional simulations do not apply and where “the whole thing is beyond what we know how to do even with Google-scale compute resources.”

As a result, Google Research has built what it calls an “Optometrist” algorithm that provides scientists with “machine settings and the associated outcomes.” In relation, human input can be used to measure the more promising candidates for further testing.

This algorithm will allow the plasma machine to function faster, from a month to just a couple hours according to the Guardian. The result is a 50% reduction in energy loss and an increase in total plasma energy.

Advances in efficiency from data scouring processes such as Google and Tri Alpha’s “Optometrist Algorithms,” means there is a possibility we could actually see an energy-positive fusion reactor constructed in the near future.

Also read: A new record for renewables in the UK

References:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/25/google-enters-race-for-nuclear-fusion-technology

https://9to5google.com/2017/07/25/google-nuclear-fusion-algorithm-collaboration/

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/news/a27484/google-fusion-energy-company-improve-plasma-reactor-ai/

Image source: Popular mechanics

Centrica’s new power stations and battery power stations in the UK

Power_Station_UK

The construction of new power stations and battery power stations has come about as a result of the changing energy landscape.

Before, energy came from reliable sources such as coal and gas, whereas now, more and more power is coming from renewable sources like solar and wind.

While this is great during windy and sunny periods, there needs to be a backup solution. Typically, fast response plants are used during periods of high demands, but there is also a need for security of energy supply during dull days.

Here’s a look at some new power stations and battery power stations that Centrica is currently constructing throughout the UK.

1. Brigg

Part of Centrica’s £180m investment into flexible power generation and storage facilities, Brigg is a fast response 50MW gas-fired plant placed next to an existing Centrica power station.

Once complete, the new plant will operate as a highly flexible ‘peaking plant’ that will be able to go from a cold standstill up to full power in under two minutes. The plant is likely to run for a few hours a day when energy demand is high.

2. Peterborough

The same facility that has been built at Brigg is being constructed in Peterborough, and is expected to be up and running in the last quarter of 2018.

The 50MW gas-fired plant will play a key role in supporting local peaks in demand, producing enough energy to meet the needs of around 50,000 homes.

The plant will be made up of five small reciprocating engines that will typically be used on weekdays to meet periods of high demand or to provide back-up power when it’s needed.

3. Roosecote

Elsewhere, the construction of a 49MW facility in Roosecote was confirmed in December 2016.

This will be one of the world’s largest battery storage facilities, located at the site of the former Roosecote power station in Barrow.

The facility will respond to changes in the grid frequency in under a second, absorbing and exporting energy as needed to keep the grid at 50Hz.

brigg_power_station

CHP

Combined Heat & Power (CHP) converts a single fuel into both electricity and heat in a single process at the point of use.

This is more efficient (around 25% more – given conventional energy generation has an efficiency of around 50%, this is a huge difference) than traditional engines because it reduces the need to have a separate gas boiler to create heat on site. Energy generated can be stored for later use, or sold to the grid.

conventional_vs_chp_generation_power_station

In addition, Centrica is also working on smaller battery projects (2MW), which will give organisations such as local authorities control over energy usage and trading.

With on site generation like CHPs and solar panels, they can store energy when there’s excess and use it for later or export it to the grid.

Also read: A new record for renewables in the UK

Image credit: Utility Week

Mercedes Formula 1 engine reaches landmark efficiency target

Mercedes Formula 1 engine reaches landmark efficiency target

During a dyno test in September, Mercedes’ Formula 1 engine hit a landmark achievement at the team’s Brixworth factory, breaking the 50% thermal efficiency barrier for the very first time.

The German automotive manufacturer’s advancement is thought to have made its M08 EQ Power+ the most efficient racing engine to date, and overall one of the most efficient car engines.

Thermal efficiency has become a key focus for modern engine developers. It is calculated by the amount of useful energy that can be produced from a given amount of heat input.

In Formula 1’s turbo-hybrid era, Thermal efficiency became particularly important as a result of the strict fuel-flow limit rate of 100kg/hour in 2014

The F1 cars are now closing in on levels of thermal efficiency reached by diesel engines used in large container ships, although gas turbines can deliver more than 60% efficiency.

This 50% mark has yet to be reached on track, but it’s much higher than a 29% efficiency peak that old normally-aspirated V8 engines produced.

Back in 2014, Mercedes’ first turbo-hybrid engine had an efficiency rate of 44% and the 2017 unit reportedly produces 109bhp more using the same amount of fuel.

A column celebrating the achievement on Mercedes’ official website said “the last time we saw these levels of power in Formula 1 was back in 2005, with a V10 that guzzled fuel at a whopping 194kg/hour” – almost double the fuel-flow rate.

Mercedes described the accomplishment of producing more power than waste energy as “a remarkable milestone for any hybrid, and especially a flat-out racing engine”.

It has used a version of its F1 engine in its new Project ONE road car, which has a thermal efficiency of 40%.

Elsewhere, Renault has promised that it’s working hard to produce a “magic” F1 engine mode for 2018, in a bid to take the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari in qualifying.

Although Renaults’ current engine is proving to be a match for rival engines in the F1, it’s lacking extra power in qualifying.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner believes the lack of the kind of engine mode that Mercedes has is making all the difference in qualifying.

Horner said: “The problem with qualifying is we don’t have the high power modes that our competitors have. I am sure there is close to half a second (a lap) in that.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul said “we don’t have that sort of ‘magic’ qualifying mode, but we are working hard on it.

“The performance of the engine will improve very sensitively for next year, not just for qualifying, but also for the race, which makes me believe that the engine will be extremely competitive,” he added.

With the United States Grand Prix taking place this weekend, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes can clinch his fourth world title if he outscores Vettel by 16 points. A second engine fault in weeks for Vettel and Ferrari in the Japanese GP has proved costly.

Also read: F1 car vs. electric vehicle: which is more energy efficient?

 

Sources:

https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/131772/mercedes-engine-hits-remarkable-dyno-target

https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/132222/renault-working-on-magic-engine-mode

http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/11072104/lewis-hamilton-could-win-f1-2017-world-title-at-the-united-states-gp

http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/11071989/japanese-gp-sebastian-vettel-suffers-engine-blow-and-retires-from-race

Image Source: James Allen on F1

Centrica’s response to Prime Minister’s Party Conference Speech

Centrica

Last week, Centrica Chief Executive Iain Conn, spoke to BBC Radio 4 in response to the Prime Minister’s party conference speech. Below  is the conversation between Conn and BBC Radio 4 presenter, Justin Webb.

Justin Webb, presenter: The energy price cap is back on. In her speech, Theresa May was pretty blunt about the monopolies and vested interests, who she said held people back and one of the greatest examples, she said, was the energy industry. Britain’s biggest energy supplier is Centrica, the company that owns British Gas. Iain Conn is their chief executive and is on the line now.

Good morning to you.

Iain Conn, CEO, Centrica: Good morning, Justin.

JW: How disappointed are you?

IC: Well, my main concern in all this is for our customers as well as for other stakeholders. It creates exaggerated uncertainty and we’ve got to remember this is a draft bill aimed at giving the regulator more powers rather than actually legislating a cap. We do agree the market needs further structural changes and we also agree the Government and regulator need to enable that change. We just don’t support price caps.

JW: Why not?

IC: Well, there is clear evidence that they don’t work. In New Zealand, in Spain, in California, in Ontario, they tend to limit choice, reduce competition, and prices tend to bunch around the cap and, in fact, we’ve seen that this year in the U.K. with a new prepayment metre cap where most prices are within £2 of each other.

JW: Is it likely that there will be fewer cheap fixed offers in order to pay for the cap?

IC: Well, look, I think the problem with… one of the problems with the market today is it’s possible to offer a really cheap deal, possibly even making a loss for the supplier, and when a proportion of the customers come to the end of that fixed deal, if they’re not watching, they can be bounced straight onto a very high priced standard variable tariff price. All standard tariffs are not expensive. Ours is cheaper than 85% in the market.

JW: But hold on a second. My question is whether those very cheap deals will go as a result of this.

IC: I think that’s one of the real risks. We’ve seen it in many markets where the cheap deals go because the mechanism for people to make money out of the market has changed and that’s what I was trying to explain.

JW: But possibly… I mean, it could well be though that people accept that that is going to be a price to pay if you don’t have people who are trapped, if you don’t have people who are… who don’t have the time or don’t have the inclination or don’t have the ability to sort themselves out in the market, if those people are protected then that is a price worth paying.

IC: So we agree some people need to be protected and in fact have done a significant amount voluntarily to protect groups of customers. The main problem with the market, if I may Justin, is the standard variable tariff and rather than cap them, which will ironically keep them going, we believe the standard variable tariff should come to an end for good. We think it is better for the long-term and it will solve these problems.

JW: Well, how would that work?

IC: Basically, what you do is the regulator would need to regulate that contracts that go on and on forever can’t happen anymore. They have got to have a fixed term, and secondly, this mechanism which is in the regulation that at the end of your fixed contract, you can be pushed onto a standard tariff, that can be changed. This would change the behaviour in the market.

JW: You have only got yourselves to blame, though, haven’t you in the big companies. You have got the Competition and Markets Authority saying that he six large firms together, people have paid an average of, I think, it is ₤1.5 billion more than they would have done under a well-functioning market over a recent period. You have got your own company making a decent amount of money. You have got your own salary hugely boosted recently. I think your total package is more than ₤4 million a year. There is just this sense, isn’t there, that politically you have messed up.

IC: I have only been in this business for the last few years, but I certainly think our industry has an element of the blame in how this market has evolved. But on this point about this overcharging by ₤1.4 billion, I just want to be clear, although the CMA came up with this, it clearly isn’t right. It is more than the entire profits made in the whole market.

JW: Again, it is your word against theirs and politically, it is quite a difficult place for you to be in, isn’t it now, because you have got Labour and you have got the Conservatives, and you have got an awful lot of your own consumers saying something has to be done.

IC: We agree, something has to be done, absolutely agree and, in fact, the regulator was consulting on this at the very request of the Government and they haven’t quite reported out yet. Just to be clear, we have been working hard with the Government and Ofgem on all of this and we have our own plans to improve this market once we hear from the regulator.

JW: In a word, your message to the Government this morning is, ‘wait, don’t go ahead with this’?

IC: Our message is, ‘wait don’t go ahead with price caps, there is a much better way of solving this market for the long run.’

JW: Ian Conn, Chief Executive of Centrica, thanks very much. Dom, our business JW was listening. Interesting idea, actually, isn’t it, Dominic that you just get rid of the whole of the variable rates.

Dominic O’Connell, business JW: This is the energy industry trying to pre-empt what Theresa May is going to do and I suspect it probably won’t be enough. Once you have a Prime Minister saying, having gone back a number of times that there is going to be price caps and there is probably going to be price caps. Having said that, we don’t quite know what form the price caps will take. We have got a draft bill next week and what Ofgem, the regulator itself proposes, and Centrica’s idea will undoubtedly form part of what that cap finally takes, what form the cap finally takes. But Conn does make a very good point in that is the structure of the regulation that has in part created this market where you go onto standard variable tariffs and they end up being expensive.

Diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned by 2040 in the UK

2040_end_of_petrol_diesel_vehicles

In a combat to fight a growing air pollution crisis, Britain announced in July this year that sales of new diesel and petrol cars and vans would reach the end of the road by 2040.

These plans follow France’s commitment to take polluting vehicles off the road as a step to Europe’s push to curb emissions and fight climate change by promoting electric cars.

Car manufacturers are also taking action, with Volvo recently saying that it would phase out the internal combustion engine in the coming years and BMW choosing to build an electric version of its popular Mini car in Britain.

However, this shift towards electric vehicles is not instant, but rather a gradual one set by Britain. Britain’s new clean air strategy, calls for the sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles to end by 2040.

Government has also said that it will make £255 million available for local governments to take short-term action, such as modifying buses, to reduce air pollution.

“It is important that we all gear up for a significant change which deals not just with the problems to health caused by emissions, but the broader problems caused in terms of accelerating climate change,” says Michael Gove, Environment Secretary.

Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling promised a “green revolution in transport,” adding that the government wanted nearly every car and van on Britain’s roads to have zero emissions by 2050.

Cars generally have a lifespan of roughly 15 years, so even if Britain follows through with its target, conventional engines are likely to be on the country’s roads more than a decade later.

Elsewhere, China is also eyed the eventual ban of petrol and diesel vehicles. The world’s largest car market is currently studying a move to eventually ban combustion engine cars.

“Some countries have made a timeline for when to stop the production and sales of traditional fuel cars,” said industry vice-minister Xin Guobin.

“The ministry has also started relevant research and will make such a timeline with relevant departments. Those measures will certainly bring profound changes for our car industry’s development,” he added, predicting “turbulent” times ahead for the auto industry.

Were China to go-ahead and provide such a deadline, it would greatly aid efforts to end the reign of the internal combustion engine.

China has the largest automobile manufacturing base in the world — producing more than 28 million vehicles overall in 2016.

Also read: Toyota Mirai: Everything you need to know about the hydrogen car

References:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/26/world/europe/uk-diesel-petrol-emissions.html?mcubz=0

https://www.ft.com/content/d3bcc6f2-95f0-11e7-a652-cde3f882dd7b

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jul/25/britain-to-ban-sale-of-all-diesel-and-petrol-cars-and-vans-from-2040

Image source: Richard Nelson