Thursday 18 June 2009

Energy requirements of different forms of passenger transport.

more Sustainable Energy - without the hot air David JC MacKay
Figure 20.23. Energy requirements of different forms of passenger transport. The vertical coordinate shows the energy consumption in kWh per 100 passenger-km. The horizontal coordinate indicates the speed of the transport. The “Car (1)” is an average UK car doing 33 miles per gallon with a single occupant. The “Bus” is the average performance of all London buses. The “Underground system” shows the performance of the whole London Underground system. The catamaran is a diesel-powered vessel. I’ve indicated on the left-hand side equivalent fuel efficiencies in passenger-miles per imperial gallon (p-mpg).Hollow point-styles show best-practice performance, assuming all seats of a vehicle are in use. Filled point-styles indicate actual performance of a vehicle in typical use.See also figure 15.8 (energy requirements of freight transport).

Thursday 11 June 2009

Analysts: 'The recession has ended'; the continuing revolution

I really don't think we have seen the full impact of the major structural changes that are continuing to be necessary to address issues arising from the internet and climate change; reduced transaction costs impacting on supply and demand challenged through optimising/prioritising energy and water use.

During the 'debt decade', as I believe we are stuck in, we will have to learn to severely curtail our expenditure to pay off the excess of the past, and that may help us set off on the right path. It is going to mean a radical change in leadership, expectations and behaviour to make sure the UK pulls through which I'm not sure many of us fully realise and the government its really in a position to be too open about.

For me we need to be really taking out waste in the economy - including excessive consumerism, inefficient energy cycles and unfettered long distance travel - plus we need to put more detailed thought into the full life cycle cost of assets and services. At the same, we have processes and organisations which need radical overhaul; e.g. aspects of local government which is by anyone's measure in need of becoming more efficient and effective and simpler to access.

This implies revolutionary change in employment models, forms of employment itself, our use of transport modes and in our wider economic activity internally and globally. We are ill prepared for this change as we know as little about the direction of travel and the means to get there as people did at the start of the industrial revolution!

The good news is that I believe the UK has many strengths in our favour;
- a temperate maritime climate in a relative benign region free from material, sudden climatic and seismic events
- a reasonably secure source of potential future energy and fresh water supply
- a free-ish market based and educated democracy that values participation in society
- being on a naturally attractive and fertile island!