Drive green

Electricity-powered Smart car. Source: flickr

Electricity-powered Smart car. Source: flickr

Alternative fuel cars have been presented at the ‘Beyond Kyoto’ conference on Friday as a key way to significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

All day a seemingly endless line of cars cut through the misty grey of the early Danish spring and wheeled past the Aros Museum in Århus, where part of the Beyond Kyoto conference took place. Inside and sheltered from the drizzling rain, scientists, politicians, NGO’s and were busy discussing how to get these main contributors to global warming off the road and replaced by electrical cars.

Reducing emissions

“Transport represents more than 40 percent of the total CO2 emissions from energy consumption and emissions from transport have increased with 43 percent since 1990,” says Knud Pedersen, who is Vice President of DONG Energy and responsible for research and innovative affairs.

If governments around the world stick with existing policies, the world’s energy needs in 2030 would be well over 50 percent higher than today.  Oil, gas and coal would continue to dominate the fuel mix leading to a rise of 57 percent growth in global energy-related emissions of CO2.

A step in the right direction is alternatives to gas fueled transportation. Thanks to new battery technology, Pedersen claims it is now possible to have batteries as the energy source in vehicles.

“Electric cars are efficient and clean since they are powered by renewable energy,” he says.

DONG Energy is engaging in three tiers of integrating renewables into the car sector: New battery technology, a second generation of bio ethanol and biogas.

Batteries and hydrogen fuel combined

The H2 Logic A/S has developed a hybrid system for vehicles that combines a hydrogen fuel cell system with batteries for transport purposes as well as hydrogen refueling stations. The batteries ensure high energy utilization rate onboard electric vehicles whilst hydrogen fuel cells ensure fast refueling and long operation range as with gasoline and diesel cars.

According to H2 Logic the few thousand hydrogen fueled cars that we currently see on the roads of Scandinavia can rise to a 35-75 percent of all vehicles in EU being hydrogen provided by year 2050.

California, Germany and Japan are already way ahead of Scandinavia when it comes to hydrogen cars, but H2 Logic say they want to secure the home market here in Denmark by assuring this becomes one of those regions that attract the industry. Scandinavia needs to be the best place to develop and market hydrogen cars.

However, we won’t see many hydrogen cars on the market any time soon, according to H2 Logic. Within the next 20 years, the market will gradually be developed.

By Robin Saga

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