SUSTAINABLE LIGHT RAIL

By Prof. Lewis Lesley: Claverton Conference 24/26th October 2008

1.0 Definitions
Light rail is a passenger transport system using steel rails to support and guide electrically power vehicles, running on street with other traffic and on separate dedicated lines. Normally light rail is driven “on sight” without railway signaling, so it can share road space or road alignments, and mix safely with road vehicles.

Ideally light rail should enjoy 100% priority over other traffic, through dedicated lanes and the pre-emption of traffic lights. Sustainable light rail emits no CO2 in the operating cycle, using renewable generation. When attracted car trips are included, light rail reduces total CO2 emissions. It is also financially viable so not vulnerable to public spending squeezes. Consistent market research and experience over the last 50 years in Europe and North America shows that car commuters are willing to transfer some trips to rail-based public transport but not to buses. Typically light rail systems attract between 30 and 40% of their patronage from former car trips. Rapid transit bus systems attract less than 5% of trips from cars, less than the variability of traffic.

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Uttlesford – the most CO2 per household in England – "100% renewable is possible" says Altechnica study.

Dr Derek Taylor, Altechnica and OU Open University Energy & Environment Research Unit

The Altechnica study on Renewable Energy potential in Uttlesford (commissioned by Uttlesford Futures) study shows that it would be potentially possible to ultimately obtain all of the household electricity, space & water heating needs and power personal cars from 100% renewable energy from within Uttlesford.

Uttlesford is the East of England District located in the North West corner of Essex that borders Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire and includes Saffron Walden, Great Dunmow and Stansted Airport within its boundaries. – Prior to Uttlesford Futures commissioning the study, Uttlesford District had been reported as emitting the most CO2 per household in England.

This study showed that domestic heat provision, electricity and potentiall

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Systemic Fiscal Reform – way to beat boom and bust

By Dr Adrian Wrigley, Neale Upstone and Robin Smith (10th Sept 2008) – SystemicfiscalReform.Org

Systemic Fiscal Reform is a radical programme for the reform of taxation, subsidies and welfare. It is designed to stabilize economies, improve quality of life, and facilitates the transition to full environmental sustainability.

The reforms mainly comprise the abolition of cumbersome and wasteful tax, welfare and subsidy systems, together with abolishing the bureaucracies which implement them.

In their place, a simple integrated tax and welfare system is introduced. This includes retaining a number of existing taxes which have been found to operate effectively where they have been tried.

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Where Does The Wind Come From – And How Much Is There?

Introduction: The source of the wind is the sun. The winds come from the suns energy falling on the earth’s surface. Due to the orientation of the earth’s surface to the sun’s rays near the equator the rays strike the surface at more optimum angles. The effect is that the air near the surface in tropical regions is heated more than the air near the surface of the polar regions. This leads to convection currents in the atmosphere, ie the movement of air due to changes in its density and pressure. This air movement is the principal cause of the winds.

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European Super Grid – press release

At the fourth Claverton Energy conference, hosted by Wessex Water, Bath, international energy expert Dr Czisch outlined his strategy for a European-wide super grid that would supply all of Europe with entirely renewable electricity. Speaking at the conference Dr Czisch of Kassel University, Germany, also said the move to a renewable electricity system could cost the UK consumer the same as what is currently being paid, and, if there is the political will, he added that it could in theory be achieved in decades.

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UK ENERGY SYSTEM COULD SUFFER SAME FATE AS BANKS, EXPERTS WARN

Representatives of an independent group of over 250 international energy and financial experts are meeting this week to reveal how the UK, Europe and other continents can run on renewable electricity for a similar price to that currently paid for fossil-based electricity. The Claverton Energy Research Group is also warning on the eve of its conference, which runs in Bath from 24-26 Oct, that current world governments’ energy policies are inadequate to meet growing global energy demands, and says serious action needs to be taken now!

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