As more than one commentator has noted, we cannot convert our present motor vehicle fleet to non fossil liquid or gas fuels, because there is not enough bio-mass/arable land available, and internal combustion engines are very energy inefficient. Buses use a trivial amount of fuel compared to trucks and cars. Converting buses to run on electricity is already practical and with renewable generation, sustainable. Sadly people with cars are not willing to ride on buses. (In towns) Most journeys are short, 75% less than 5miles long, 50% less than 3miles, so short car trips could be walked or cycled, given safe and attractive routes, as in many continental cities. The Galway tram scheme (www.GLUAS.ie) has embedded renewable power generation, so the (City Class) trams will be sustainable, and as the most energy frugal in its class (1kWh/km operated) very efficient.
From Professor Lewis Lesley
Thanks for your contributions.
I have been asked to write a report about what Herefordshire (and presumably elsewhere…) could learn from global best practice in terms of ecological sustainability in general and Co2 emission reduction in particular.
My brief is extremely wide; transport, buildings, business, agriculture etc.
I was asked to do this because I already write, give talks and teach an evening class on this subject matter. But I’m not a technologist/engineer.
I’m writing the transport section now. Next week I’ll be into buildings. Just very general ideas, not detailed feasibility studies.
Electric trams/light rail will feature as one of my proposals. I’ve cited Croydon Tramlink as an eg of success. Are there better ones, especially in smallish cities of around 50-60,000.? I notice Galway is considering the City Class Trams.
I am looking for a zero carbon bus system that is up and running, ideally using hydrogen/methane/ammonia etc… I had thought of Cambridge’s hydrogen/pv system that was announced in 2001. Am I right to think that this scheme was never built?
Oslo has what I’ve heard is an excellent system of 200 (some reports say 400?) bio-methane buses, where the methane is produced at the city sewage works by anaerobic digestion.
If anyone wants to make suggestions of cities with bus fleets up and running on non-fossil-fuels then please let me know, and say why they represent global best practice.
There are many reasons for wanting less cars in our cities irrespective of their emissions. However good public transport is it will never be that effective in rural areas, and there will of course be some residual demand for cars however good the walking/cycling and public transport provision in cities. Quite what these cars will be fuelled with in 10 or 20 years time is obviously hotly contested. I understand lots of technologies are workable, just which will prove saleable and sustainable is the question.