Archive for December, 2013

IEEE Transportation Electrification Initiative and Arizona State University’s LightWorks Lecture Series

The Synergy of Renewable Power & Transportation Electrification

By, Pourya Shamsi Missouri University of Science and Technology

Realization of transportation electrification at a national level demands significant scientific and technical contributions from leading industries and scientific societies. In order to bring transportation electrification closer to reality, The IEEE Transportation Electrification Initiative has started a series of seminars on challenges faced by the leading Transportation manufacturers as well as grid operators. The first of these seminars was held in Arizona State University (ASU) in October 2013. During this event, Lee Krevat, the director of smart grid and clean transportation of San Diego Gas and Electric (SD&GE) and Micheal Asutin, the vice president of BYD America presented their point of view on transportation electrification. Lee Krevat introduced the challenges that SD&GE is facing in integrating the 6000 Plug in Electric/Hybrid (PEV) vehicles into their distribution grid. Due to the high power consumption of PEV chargers, an upgrade to the infrastructures of the distribution system is of interest. Moreover, enabling the customers to optimize between cost and time of the charging has been initiated by introducing user friendly energy management software and cell-phone applications. On the other hand, Micheal Austin introduced BYD’s projects on public transportation electrification. BYD has initiated manufacturing of electric buses and taxis with less carbon footprint compared to conventional gas-based public transportation systems.

The Following Videos are Excerpts From the Event:

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Christopher L. Whaling

Chris Whalin

Christopher L. Whaling is co-founder of Synthesis Partners, LLC, a private business and technology analysis company based in Reston, VA. Mr. Whaling has lead assessment teams in all source research, analysis and delivery of technology and market intelligence decision-support products for 20 years. Recently, Mr. Whaling refined and implemented Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology to produce beta-level, scalable decision-support systems. Mr. Whaling has been invited to present analysis products, forecasting techniques and outcomes at the US National Intelligence Council (NIC), the Society for Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP), the Washington Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS), and the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. You may reach Christopher at

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Carbon targets can help UK ‘save £85bn a year’

A switch away from fossil fuels will increase energy efficiency, resulting in cleaner air, lower bills and health costs, report says

Britain could save £85bn a year if it meets its carbon targets, according to a study commissioned by the government’s climate advisers.

As well as tackling global warming, a switch away from fossil fuels and an increase in energy efficiency would result in improved air quality, lower human health costs, lower energy bills, noise reduction, wildlife benefits, better quality water, less waste, less traffic congestion and fewer road accidents, the report by environmental consultancy Ricardo AEA said. It is published alongside the the review of the UK’s fourth carbon budget by the Committee on Climate Change, which said ministers should stick to plans to cut emissions by half in the mid-2020s.

The study, which weighs up the options given to government by the committee, finds some of the biggest benefits coming from people walking and cycling instead of driving, and from switching to electric and hybrid cars. The health benefits of more walking and cycling are estimated as £2.3bn a year by 2030 with the benefit of less congestion put at £8.4bn and noise reduction nearly £1bn a year. Limiting road speeds would reduce transport emissions considerably, but would also reduce accidents.

“The significant co-benefit of avoided congestion costs should provide a further impetus for policy-makers to focus on promoting smarter transport choices, and should justify higher levels of investment in these options. These benefits can be maximised by focusing support measures (such as construction of safe cycle paths) in highly congested areas. It is likely that this would also maximise the opportunity to reduce accident risks,” says the study.

Equally, measures like reducing shipping speed and improving aviation fuels, would not only reduce emissions considerably, but would greatly reduce noise and air pollution around ports and airports. “Substantial co-benefits arise from the air quality impacts of avoided fuel combustion. The benefits are large for shipping because of the high sulphur content of marine fuels. Significant benefits could also arise around UK airports, especially at Heathrow where air quality limits for oxides of nitrogen are regularly exceeded.”

Some of the most significant benefits would come from reducing the amount of heat needed in homes and busineses. The financial benefits of millions of households draughtproofing, installing double glazing, and using less heat would be worth several billion pounds a year by 2030, the report suggests.

Significant benefits would also be seen in the countryside, the authors suggest. If farmers were to adapt to climate change by generating energy from cattle waste and biomass, and by using less oil-based fertiliser, the improved air and water quality benefits could be dramatic.

In addition to the monetary benefits, reducing fossil fuel use could increase public support for action on climate change, the report says. “The benefits [of decarbonising], such as air quality improvements, are often immediate and local, whereas climate benefits may occur on longer timesclales and mainly in a distant region, as well as being harder to demonstrate. Dissemination of the benefits could therefore strengthen public support for climate policy,” it says.

The report, seen as preliminary and incomplete by its authors, accepts that there are significant additional costs linked to an ambitious switch away from fossil fuels. These include the landscape impacts of wind and solar farms, the extra solvent production and waste generation needed for carbon capture and storage technologies, the risks of nuclear proliferation, and the impact of increased electricity generation for electric vehicles.

  • Carbon emissions
  • Climate change
  • Committee on Climate Change
  • Green politics
  • Pollution
  • Travel and transport
  • Energy efficiency
  • Energy bills
  • Energy
  • Carbon tax
  • Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars
  • Fossil fuels

John Vidal

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