Alaska Air and ZeroAvia Are Developing a 500-Mile Range Hydrogen-Electric Plane
The decarbonisation of aviation is one of the easiest ways to lower total carbon emissions globally. However, the decarbonisation of aviation is one of the hardest things to achieve.
Heavy batteries, relatively low energy density, and low range all conspire against making anything other than relatively short-range flights full electric.
But this is one of those situations where the hydrogen alternative would
be a better solution. In fact, hydrogen is pretty much the ideal solution for decarbonising flight. At the moment the biggest battery electric plane has a range of around 400 miles and carries 90 passengers. There is definitely a market for planes such as this. But the new collaboration between Alaska Air and AeroAvia
promises a 500-mile range and 78 passengers using a hydrogen fuel cell.
It’s still not continent-crossing in its performance, but a 500-mile range would allow pretty much the majority of the commuter flights across Europe and into US hubs to be decarbonised. That’s a win in anybody’s book.
Bill Gates Latest Big Climate Investment Is … Milk
Another huge source of carbon globally is farming. In particular dairy production accounts for 3% of global emissions. So anything that can be done to reduce this is always welcome.
Billionaire Bill Gates is now looking at providing carbon reduced milk
through a brand called Neutral. They looked at the carbon footprint at all stages in the life cycle - even down to the disposal of the milk cartons - and are reducing the carbon creation as much as possible. Anything that is left is then offset often by buying carbon credits from other parts of the industry, including larger dairies that use methane digesters, equipment that turns manure into energy, funding the expansion of digester use on those farms.
Oregon-based brand Neutral, above the brand name, the package has a short message in large print: “This milk fights climate change.” On its website, the company lists the number of pounds of CO2 that was offset to give the milk that tagline—12 pounds, in the case of a carton of organic 2% milk
China Claims Title of Having World’s Largest EV Charging Network
Everyone calls China out for its record on climate change - it is still coal mining both at home and abroad and the carbon footprint is huge.
But China is a large country with a huge population. The Chinese government is trying to reduce the amount of climate damage it is doing in a number of ways: Firstly they are electrifying wherever possible. Secondly, they are installing more renewable energy than any other country (Their solar installs this year alone dwarf everyone else)
Thirdly they are putting in the world’s largest charging network
with over 2.22 million chargers across the country. These are needed as China is electrifying its transport at a phenomenal rate with cities like Shenzhen running nothing but electric buses (40,000 of them) and electric taxis.
China’s EV charger stations have more than doubled since this period last year. The country has added nearly 240,000 public chargers so far in 2021 alone, totalling 1.04 million in all – a 72.3% increase compared to 2020. The UK - in comparison - has 17010 locations with 45869 chargers (Figures courtesy of Zap-Map
Google Flights Now Lets You See Estimated Carbon Emissions for Planned Trips
As someone with a huge personal historic carbon footprint (see The Carbon Episode of the podcast
for more detail) I can only look with jealous eyes at something such as this new innovation from Google. Given that it is estimated that individuals must have a yearly budget of 1.6 metric tons of C02e emissions to meet the Paris agreements laid down at that summit, anything that can be done to highlight the carbon footprint of someone is always welcome.
When you use Google Flights to check the prices or times of flights, underneath the price and journey timing data, a carbon emission estimate will also be given
for each airline. Any options with “significantly lower” carbon emissions will be given a green badge that you’ll spot when searching Google Flights
VW ID.4 Sets Record for Longest Journey by EV in a Single Country
It’s a little it of a con, really, as the headline
What actually happened is that a VW ID.4 visited all the dealerships in the contiguous US states and - as a result of that journey - clocked up 35,000 miles. Hardly a single journey of that distance. By that definition, my old Honda Civic travelled over 100,000 miles in a journey across the UK over 11 years…
What is noticeable is that they managed to do this using the existing charging infrastructure in the US - which, of course, for the ID.3 includes the Ionity network (or Electrify America) as it is called over there and NOT the Tesla Supercharging network.
A great achievement, nevertheless.