Decentralizing power generation

August 29, 2019 //By Matthew Stone
power generation
Could nanotechnology hold the key to addressing emissions epidemic? Many governments have made bold commitments to ban petrol and diesel vehicles from our roads to reduce CO2 emissions.

For example, UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove claimed this was achievable by 2040. Such claims are widely dismissed as impossible, in part due to our reliance on centralised fossil fuel-produced power sources.

In 2018, the UK Government published its Road To Zero strategy to reduce vehicle carbon emissions. Part of this strategy was a pledge by the Government to ensure that half of all vehicles on UK roads are hybrid or electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030, with a further goal of ending the sale of conventional diesel vehicles by 2040.

At the time of publication, the strategy was criticised by some as falling short of a previously mentioned hard ban on petrol and diesel vehicles. However, this raises a question as to how effective this strategy will be at reducing overall carbon emissions, given the reliance of the country’s infrastructure on fossil fuel-derived power.

Alongside the publication of the strategy, 2018 marked another significant moment for the UK’s reduction in harmful greenhouse gases as the country ran for three consecutive days without coal power. It also saw the country surpass 1,000 hours of coal-free power generation.

This still leaves a lot to achieve if the country is to truly reduce transport-related carbon emissions. According to a 2018 survey, the average UK car owner drives approximately nine hours per week, which would total roughly 468 hours — or 19.5 days — annually.

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