Oz Questions On Clear Aviation & Delivery: Good Vitality Council Presentation Q&A

The opposite day I had the chance to speak with a number of hundred principally Australian individuals in a Good Vitality Council webinar. It was organized to take advantage of my uncommon timezone alignment with Oz as I spend a number of weeks in New Zealand as a digital nomad. Over 600 signed up, many from different time zones to get entry to the recording, and over 300 attended. 

Naturally, there have been far too many inquiries to reply through the occasion itself. As such, the organizer Steve Blume, former long-standing President of the Council, and I believed it will be helpful to reply most of them right here and share with the registrants as nicely. That is the primary of some articles with responses, which will likely be aggregated and shared by the Council as nicely for individuals.

The framing of my ready remarks was the Radical Electrification of Transportation. I’ve revealed loads on the topic as I’ve dug by means of most modes over the previous 15 years.

Intro slide to Michael Barnard presentation to Australian Smart Energy Council webinar

Intro slide to Michael Barnard presentation to Australian Good Vitality Council webinar

To summarize my presentation, all floor transportation will electrify. That’s automobiles, vehicles, buses, utility autos, trains and mining autos. All inland delivery and two-thirds of quick sea delivery will electrify, with solely the longest routes requiring biofuels. Delivery and rail may even drop in tonnage resulting from elimination of bulk fossil fuels from hundreds. Aviation will likely be disrupted by electrical regional air mobility, autonomous flight, and digital air visitors management, and solely trans-oceanic flights would require biofuels in 50 years. 

Which means the billions of tons of fossil fuels per 12 months requirement for extraction, processing, refinement, and distribution are going away and being changed by tens of tens of millions of tons of know-how metals corresponding to lithium and cobalt, in addition to a number of hundred million tons of biofuels for aviation and maritime delivery. That’s all very doable.

The ready remarks skimmed over all of that in half-hour or so, leaving far too little time for questions, and so I’ve chosen to answer most of them in writing.

Marine Delivery

Given electrification is the longer term, absolutely there will likely be a world delivery improve for transporting batteries?

Sure, however rechargeable, reusable, and recyclable batteries are a rounding error by way of mass in comparison with present fossil gasoline demand.

Disparity between fossil fuel annual extraction of one-time use fuels vs reusable and recyclable high-tech minerals required for electrification

Disparity between fossil gasoline annual extraction of one-time use fuels vs reusable and recyclable high-tech minerals required for electrification. Embedded infographics courtesy Visible Capitalist

Extract oil, course of, refine it, ship it, and burn it, and you’re left with carbon dioxide and different air air pollution. Generate electrical energy with wind and photo voltaic, run it by means of transmission and distribution infrastructure that lasts a long time, cost a battery with it a number of thousand instances, then reuse the battery for grid storage, then scrap it for metals recycling. One ton of battery minerals lasts for hundreds or tens of hundreds of makes use of, whereas one ton of fossil fuels lasts for one use. Batteries and the upper worth minerals in them will likely be containerized, not shipped in huge bulk carriers, and are accommodated as a load within the projected container delivery improve.

Do you’ve got a lot hope for wind/sail powered bulk carriers, per the latest revelation from the mighty Cargill?

I don’t assume that wind vitality has a lot of a play in cargo delivery. The owner-operator enterprise mannequin battle is an enormous downside, however so is guaranteeing cargo ships combine with present loading and unloading applied sciences at ports, the place huge masts that stick up are contraindicated. I believe that the most certainly possibility is bow-mounted parafoils, however even they’ve been combating the owner-operator battle.

There are considerations about engineering, draft, and crew prices to be thought of as nicely. For extra on my perspective, I occurred to have pushed an article for publication simply earlier than presenting: Will Excessive-Tech Strong Folding Wings For Cargo Ships Scale Up To Huge Ships?

Which sources of biofuels will likely be vital sooner or later? Algae appears to have been deserted, corn has a significant market however considerations relating to land utilization (competing with crops).

I’ve executed quite a lot of work on this area to know feedstock sources. There are ten of them, and most of them are waste biomass from our present agriculture and meals programs. Diverting the two.5 billion tons of meals waste into biofuels, as one instance, reduces anthropogenic methane emissions considerably, because the meals doesn’t rot in landfills. Ditto the 1.4 billion tons of livestock dung in Europe alone yearly. Biofuels aren’t a local weather downside, they’re a local weather answer.

Can’t sea journey be nuclear? 

Certain, however it runs into a lot worse headwinds than wind energy for ships. The fee projections for small modular reactors are laughably naive and will likely be picked up fully by the homeowners of the ships. Non-proliferation treaties are an enormous downside for industrial nuclear technology for a very good motive, so crusing a nuclear reactor round our oceans with out an enormous armed flotilla maintaining it intact isn’t a actuality. Most SMRs thought of for nuclear industrial ships require excessive assay, low-enrichment uranium, a nuclear gasoline solely out there from Russia proper now. Full evaluation in this text

Any progress relating to rules, and worth penalties to restrict huge ship emissions?

Sure. As soon as once more, Europe is main. Its emissions buying and selling scheme contains extra maritime fuels now, in order that’s forcing change.

And the Worldwide Maritime Group has been way more energetic than its sibling the Worldwide Civil Aviation Group at on the lookout for options. They’re clearly signaling what they’re thinking about seeing international locations create rules round to mitigate and get rid of emissions, simply as they did round huge sulfur emissions.


Waste-to-Methanol to Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF): What’s your view?

Methanol processes which are remotely financial require a supply of methane. That gasoline is a huge greenhouse gasoline downside, and I’m not enamored of constructing extra of it deliberately from biomass. Methanol itself is a local weather change downside as it’s right this moment, with international CO2e emissions above 500 million tons yearly. Job one is fixing methanol, not multiplying the issue. 

Waste-to-ethanol to SAF I’m a fan of, as with pyrolysis and some different supply + know-how pairs.

I learn that contrails are literally good for reflecting daylight away from earth. Ought to they be stored and even enhanced?

Contrails range loads. About 5% of contrails are huge heating forcers. Just a few p.c are minor albedo increasers reflecting daylight. The common is that 35% of aviation’s international warming forcing is from contrails. The aviation business and tech giants like Google are teaming as much as discover easy operational flight adjustments that radically cut back contrail formation with minor gasoline utilization will increase which are very reasonably priced. And electrical aviation creates no contrails.

We undoubtedly shouldn’t be rising contrails. They aren’t a profit. Oddly, we do have an issue like that with maritime emissions. Among the smokestack emissions from ships do replicate extra vitality again, and that’s been masking CO2e warming impacts. That’s true for diesel emissions on land as nicely. As we clear up transportation air pollution, we’re going to get an undesirable aspect impact of a bit extra heating, however that doesn’t imply we shouldn’t clear up transportation, it means we have to cease burning fossil fuels.

Fascinating level about decarbonized lengthy haul air transport more likely to come at (unsurprisingly) elevated value. I’m thinking about what financial mechanism has been assumed to make it occur?

A elementary premise in my projections is that we’ll handle local weather change. That may embody pricing carbon a technique or one other. There isn’t any pathway the place aviation fuels will likely be as low cost as fossil fuels after we are allowed to make use of the ambiance as an open sewer, however that doesn’t imply options gained’t be cheaper as soon as we appropriately worth carbon.

The latest barely perceptible motion by the ICAO and the higher progress by IATA counsel the aviation business is lastly realizing it really has to alter. The inclusion of most aviation fuels within the EU’s emissions buying and selling scheme and elimination of indulgences has much more enamel, and can begin to actually chunk with the carbon border adjustment. 

Coming quickly, questions on hydrogen, minerals worth add in Australia, geopolitics, and extra. Watch this area.


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