Methane hydrate could save the world from fuel crisis

METHANE hydrate has been extracted from frozen deposits under the sea in a world first – raising hopes that the gas could help avert a global fuel crisis.

The form of methane gas was found by Japanese researchers about 50 km (31 miles) from the main island in the Nankai Trough.

Japing beat America, Canada and China, who have all been looking to tap into deposits to provide an alternative energy source.

“It´s the world’s first offshore experiment producing gas from methane hydrate,” said an official from the economy, trade and industry ministry.

At least 1.1trllion cubic metres of methane hydrate exist in offshore deposits, Japan said.

Methane hydrate is a form of methane gas frozen below the seabed or in permanently frozen ground, where the gas is trapped in a network of icy molecules.

There are substantial reserves in regions including the Nankai Trough off Japan’s eastern coast, the northern Gulf of Mexico and Alaska´s North Slope.

Scientists used a technology they developed to reduce pressure in the underground layers holding the methane hydrate 1,330m (4,363ft) below the sea surface.

They then dissolved it into gas and water, and collected the gas through a well. Japan has spent heavily researching the offshore methane hydrate reserves – an endeavor which has taken on more importance since the Fukushima tsunami disaster in 2011 which hit the country´s nuclear energy plans.

by JANE ATHERTON (METRO BUSINESS)

Three more articles with perspectives:

Japan extracts gas from methane hydrate in world first
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21752441
Methane hydrates – bigger than shale gas, “game over” for the environment?
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2013/03/19/methane-hydrates-bigger-than-shale-gas-game-over-for-the-environment/
Frozen Assets
http://www.monbiot.com/2013/03/14/frozen-assets/

 

Six growing trends in corporate sustainability

Ernst & Young

This report summarizes results based primarily on a survey of the
GreenBiz Intelligence Panel, consisting of executives and thought leaders
in the area of corporate environmental strategy and performance.

Ernst-&-Young

Download the report here (30 pages):
http://www.greenbiz.com/sites/default/files/1112-1315117_CCaSS_SixTrends_FQ0029_lo%20res%20revised%203.7.2012.pdf

Cycling in Reading vs Malmö vs Timisoara

Bikes are the most energy-efficient form of transport and can be faster and more predictable than car or bus for short journeys.

For example, at a relatively comfortable 10mph, you can cycle from Green Park to The Oracle in 15 minutes – burning around 100 calories in the process.

Cycling regularly can keep you fit, save you money (no tax, no fuel, no fares) and it’s one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to travel.

Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced cyclist, planning a journey to work, school or for leisure, Reading Borough Council is happy to provide copies of this cycle map. Please call 0118 937 4881 for hard copies. Alternatively it is online at http://www.reading-travelinfo.co.uk/cycling.aspx

Reading Cycle Routes
This page provides detailed descriptions of the thirteen Reading Cycle Routes along with access to downloadable maps which provide information on the on-street cycle facilities, gradients and destinations en route. Each of the cycle routes terminates in central Reading, linking through a network of central cycle links to form a network encompassing the Reading Borough Council area and beyond
http://www.reading-travelinfo.co.uk/cycling/routes.aspx

Download Reading cycle Network Route Map here:
http://www.reading-travelinfo.co.uk/media/81145/Reading_Cycle_Routes_Network_Map_V5_Nov_2012.pdf


Bicycle Malmö

Bicycle Malmö 2012 from Martin Lang on Vimeo.

 

Bicycle Timisoara

Zero emissions, reduced stress, a fitter body and money saved are the most popular individual wishes for the people wanting a sustainable urban area to live in. One human-powered vehicle can make those wishes coming true in a medium size Romanian city…
http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/big-city/133016/cycling-challenges-and-opportunities-timisoara

Original article

 

Pathways to a low-carbon economy

McKinsey&Company

Whilst leaders in many nations discuss ambitious targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), there is also an intense debate underway regarding the technical and economic feasibility of different target levels, what emission reduction opportunities should be pursued, and the costs of different options for meeting the targets.

McKinsey

Download the report here (20 pages):
http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/documents/pdf/mckinsey_summary_11-19-09.pdf

Sustainability in the NHS: Health Check 2012

Read Sustainability in the NHS: health check 2012.  This document, produced by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) highlights recent research on how sustainability is viewed by leaders in the health service and demonstrates the public’s desire for a more sustainable healthcare system.  It also indicates how sustainability can save NHS organisations money as well as saving the environment

NHS

Download the report here (12 pages):
http://www.sdu.nhs.uk/documents/publications/Sustainability_in_the_NHS_Health_Check_2012_FINAL_PRINT.pdf

Sport club organisation – Energy saving plan

Sports club organisation
Things that sports clubs can do to reduce their impact on the the environment in the U.K.

  • Recycling shower and shampoo bottles at all plants, thanks to a local ‘member firm’.
  • Showering with water-saving nozzles will help to conserve water resources.
  • By keeping the sauna / steam room to a maximum of 80°C, you help the environment by reducing energy consumption.
  • Providing recycling facilities on site.
  • Self-sorting all cans / plastic bottles, light bulbs, paper, cardboard, batteries and metal.
  • Using only ISO certified cleaning companies that use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
  • Using environmentally friendly office paper and receipt rolls.
  • Using timer-controlled ventilation where appropriate.
  • Installing motion sensor lighting in toilets in all new construction and renovation applications.

The sports organisation can also

  • Customize the lighting to environmentally friendly led lighting throughout the establishment. (also in facade signs).
  • Install motion sensor lighting throughout the resort.
  • Sign green energy contracts.
  • Install meter energy saving and auto-adjust the energy consumption.

Mr Enrique Penalosa

Swedens EPA’s mission is to ensure that environmental policy decisions are implemented. “We working hard towards sustainable environment and preventing further damage to the climate”. Their vision is for a good habitat both for humans and all other living beings now and for future generations.

This presentation by Mr Enrique Penalosa is from his speech at Klimatforum 2013, 20th March. The theme is the Climate and transports. The clip starts at 1.29 minutes.

Mr Enrique Penalosa, its a must see – Courageous! Bambuser | Klimatforum 2013 – (naturvardsverket) – LIVE at http://bambuser.com/v/3455758#t=5343s

An idea for Readings new bicycling and walking plan

FUTURE CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS

It should feel natural and safe to both walk and cycle from one neighbourhood to another. Options that make the idea more appealing  include pedestrian and bike paths, green space, lighting and safe pedestrian crossings in traffic.

The idea of ​​the future Reading is for the community to be built block by  block into a close, safe and environmentally friendly town. The goal is vibrant neighbourhoods throughout Greater Reading, not just in the inner city.

It is part of our urban mobility strategy to make it easier to cycle in Reading throughout the yea ( and for the amount of cycle-miles to increase. A new Bicycle Plan explains how to increase bicycle commuting and how it will be easier and safer to ride in Reading.

The number of cyclists in Reading has increased significantly over the past ten years. More and more people have discovered the benefits of cycling as a means of transport. The bicycle is a simple, fast, inexpensive and environmentally friendly means of transport. You also get free exercise, and enjoy the health benefits of cycling. The city is currently working on a new bike plan to improve the accessibility for cyclists.

To develop the cycle network further, Reading is developing a new bike plan, which include a range of measures to build more bike paths and bike lanes, building bicycle commuter routes to facilitate bike commuting, and improving the service by building more bicycle parking, changing the priority of traffic signals and improving operation and maintenance. The Bicycle Plan was adopted by the Transport and the Real Estate Committee and the Environment and Health Committee in October 2012 and by the Borough Council in February 2013.

 

Why not try / sign up for

Bike Week 2013

Bike Week, the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling event, had almost half a million people taking part in the celebrations of cycling across the UK in 2012.

Bike Week events offered something for everyone; from families, schools and companies, to seasoned cyclists and those who have never cycled before.

Bike Week 2013 will take place between 15 – 23 June. Don’t miss out and register your interest now to receive the latest news from us!

Business case 6 – Let´s take a closer look at Willmott Dixon Group

A  business case to study. Here is one good example that is both sustainable and climate change-friendly from Willmott Dixon Group. See links for info,

http://www.willmottdixongroup.co.uk/sustainability
(Sustainability – Willmott Dixon Group)

http://www.willmottdixongroup.co.uk/sustainability/energy-and-climate-change
(Planning for energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction)

http://www.willmottdixongroup.co.uk/videos/sunesis-school
(Learning for the future)

http://www.willmottdixongroup.co.uk/sustainability/energy-and-climate-change/travel
(Green travel policy)

http://www.fmjdata.com/2013/02/08/procuring-to-protect-the-local-community/
http://www.willmottdixongroup.co.uk/news?actv_news_news_id=240&actv_news_news_page=1
(Protecting the local community with environmental benefits)

 

https://twitter.com/WillmottDixon/status/299907141127532545/photo/1
(One of their twitter examples)

Ultra-low emission vehicles – Reducing greenhouse gases and other emissions from transport

The government has set an ambitious vision for almost every car and van to be a zero emission vehicle by 2050.

We are positioning the UK at the global forefront of ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) development, manufacture and use. Greater use of ULEVs will contribute to economic growth and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution on our roads.

Through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) we are providing over £400 million to advance ULEV technology and encourage people to buy and drive ULEVs.

Grants

  • To encourage more people to drive ULEVs we offer several grants:
  • Plug-in Car Grant
  • Plug-in Van Grant
  • domestic chargepoints
  • residential on-street chargepoints
  • residential on-street and rapid chargepoints for local authorities
  • train station car park chargepoints
  • chargepoints on the public sector estate

Investment in new technologies

We work closely with industry and other government departments to develop and strengthen the capability of ULEV manufacturing and its associated supply chain in the UK:

  • supporting automotive manufacturing and the UK supply chain

We actively participate in the joint government and industry UKH₂Mobility project, evaluating the potential for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in the UK and developing a roadmap for their commercial deployment from 2015.

  • key findings from the UKH₂Mobility evaluation phase

We fund projects targeted at low and ultra-low vehicle technologies, designed to promote research, design, development and demonstration in the UK:

  • low carbon vehicle technology research and development

Recharging infrastructure

We have set out a framework for the development of recharging infrastructure to support electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles:

  • strategy on plug-in vehicle infrastructure

To inform future development of the UK’s recharging network, we are funding the Plugged-in Places programme.

  • Plugged-in Places

Support for fleets

We provide funding and support to fleets considering purchasing low emission vehicles:

  • Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme (LCVPP) funding for public sector fleets purchasing hybrid vans
  • fleet consultancy through the Energy Saving Trust’s Plugged-in Fleets initiative
  • infrastrucutre on the government estate

Interaction with the energy system

We work with the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) and the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) to understand the interaction of plug-in vehicles with the energy system. In particular, we are mindful of the:

  • additional demands the electrification of transport might place on the electricity system
  • contribution that plug-in vehicles might make in terms of system balancing and the transition to smart grids, and energy security

New vehicle carbon dioxide emissions standards

EU regulations set out targets for emission reductions for new cars and vans. In the next few years we expect the EC to make proposals for post-2020 new car and new van emission standards, as well as a strategy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions from lorries, buses and coaches.

via Ultra-low emission vehicles – Reducing greenhouse gases and other emissions from transport – Policies – Inside Government – GOV.UK.