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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MG-9.1-2015 | Award Amount: 2.87M | Year: 2016

Global socio-economic and environmental megatrends are urging for a paradigm shift in mobility and transport that involves disruptive technologies and multimodal solutions. The individual transport sectors face diverse technical and non-technical requirements and rather individual, sometimes contradicting challenges. An action plan for the coherent implementation of innovative transport and mobility solutions in Europe is thus urgently needed and should be sustained by a wide range of societal stakeholders. The MOBILITY4EU project will develop such a plan taking into account all modes of transport as well as a multitude of societal drivers encompassing health, environment and climate protection, public safety and security, demographic change, urbanisation and globalisation, economic development, digitalisation and smart system integration. In order to obtain a widely supported and consensusbased action plan a Multi-Actor Multi-Criteria Analysis (MAMCA) methodology will be used to consult a broad stakeholder community representing the main societal actors including vulnerable to exclusion citizens in Europe. This stepwise and scientifically sound approach will allow the consortium of the MOBILITY4EU project to involve a large group of stakeholders in the process. The participation will be strengthened by a visualisation-based story map process. The successful implementation of the vision for the future transport and mobility system of Europe will require a continuous cross-modal and inter-stakeholder dialogue and collaboration. For this purpose will the developed action plan also contain the blueprint for the implementation of a sustainable and continuous European Transport and Mobility Forum beyond the duration of the project, e.g. in the form of a new European Technology Platform. The work will be complemented by extensive networking and engagement activities and by dissemination with special focus on young generations and transport users in general.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SST.2013.3-2. | Award Amount: 2.19M | Year: 2013

Transport is a key enabler of economic activity and social connectedness. While providing essential services to society and economy, transport is also an important part of the economy and it is at the core of a number of major sustainability challenges, in particular climate change, air quality, safety, energy security and efficiency in the use of resources (EC 2011: Transport White Paper). The overall mission of this project is to support the uptake of innovative sustainable urban mobility solutions in Europe and other regions in the world, in particular in Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean. The call text has identified several regions in the world, policy areas and previous and on-going projects relevant for addressing the topic: Implementing innovative and green urban transport solutions in Europe and beyond (SST.2013.3-2). SOLUTIONS will address all regions and policy areas, and will link into all projects mentioned in the call text. We believe that this approach generates the greatest synergies, which will be for the benefit of participating cities and the projects SOLUTIONS will link to and build upon. While SOLUTIONS will build strongly on previous and on-going projects and initiatives, as is the nature of a coordinating action, it also aims to provide added value that goes beyond summarising and facilitating knowledge sharing and research and technology transfer. SOLUTIONS aims to bridge the implementation gap between the potential of innovative sustainable mobility and transport solutions and packages of solutions and the actual level of up-take and quality of the deployment mechanisms.


News Article | March 11, 2016
Site: www.washingtonpost.com

On Friday, United Airlines will launch a new initiative that uses biofuel to help power flights running between Los Angeles and San Francisco, with eventual plans to expand to all flights operating out of LAX. It’s the first time an American airline will begin using renewable fuel for regular commercial operations, and the occasion is part of a bigger movement when it comes to clean transportation in the U.S. The renewable fuel used to power United’s planes will be coming from a Los Angeles refinery operated by AltAir Fuels, which is using the facility to produce both renewable jet fuel and diesel fuel using a technology developed by Honeywell UOP, a major supplier and technology licenser in the petroleum industry. Back in 2013, AltAir and United announced their partnership, in which United will purchase up to 15 million gallons of biofuel over a three-year period. Friday’s launch will be the first application of that agreement. The flights will use a mixture of 30 percent biofuel and 70 percent traditional fuel, and United says that the biofuel will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 60 percent compared with regular fuel. In general, the idea behind renewable fuels is to use a biological source — for example, plant or animal matter — rather than a geological one, like oil. The Honeywell UOP technology that’s being applied at the AltAir refinery can utilize a range of difference sources, from used cooking oil to algae. The technology has been in the works since 2007, when the company was awarded a grant from DARPA to develop green jet fuel, according to Veronica May, vice president and general manager of renewable energy and chemicals at Honeywell UOP. Currently, its technology allows for the production of diesel fuel that can be used in any proportion with existing diesel engines — up to 100 percent. Its jet fuel can replace up to 50 percent of petroleum fuel in existing aircraft. Altogether, both fuels can offer up to about an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with traditional fuel, the company says. “This is a long-term investment toward the future of sustainability for our company and for our communities,” said Angela Foster-Rice, United’s managing director of environmental affairs and sustainability, adding that “it’s also very business-smart and helps our community with clean energy jobs as well.” The announcement comes at a time when interest in using biofuel to cut down on carbon emissions in the transportation sector is climbing — but also when it has been beset with controversy. The Environmental Protection Agency already requires refiners to mix a certain amount of renewable fuel, mainly corn-based ethanol, into their gasoline — and just last November, the agency chose to increase those standards in a move that inspired has considerable criticism from the petroleum industry, which has been sparring with the nation’s ethanol producers for the past several years. So when it comes to biofuels for motor vehicles, the issue remains fraught with controversy. Renewable jet fuel, on the other hand, constitutes a relatively untapped opportunity. But while United may be first U.S.-based airline to launch regular biofuel-powered commercial flights, it will likely not be the last. Both Southwest Airlines and FedEx have reportedly contracted with a company called Red Rock Biofuels to start buying renewable jet fuel. And marine transportation may be just starting to jump on board as well. At the end of January, the U.S. Navy formally launched its “Great Green Fleet,” a deployment of warships also powered by renewable fuel supplied by AltAir. AltAir is reportedly contracted to supply 77 million gallons of the fuel overall by September of this year. When it comes to both marine and aircraft transportation, there’s been a great deal of discussion recently about how to slash emissions, both through renewable fuels and through other forms of technology, said Dan Rutherford, marine and aviation program director at the International Council on Clean Transportation. Aircraft currently contribute to a little over 1 percent of all the world’s carbon emissions and climbing, and Rutherford said shipping accounts for a slightly higher proportion — about 3 percent. Aviation, in particular, has received considerable attention recently because of the expected rapid growth in its global emissions over the next several years if action is not taken. And planes are especially difficult to decarbonize because they are so difficult to power by alternative means. A few manufacturers have experimented with electric aircraft, but the technology is in no condition to be used for commercial means any time soon. In an attempt to start addressing the problem, just last month the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) proposed the world’s first carbon dioxide emissions standards for aircraft. And back in 2011, according to Rutherford, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) passed a set of fuel efficiency standards for new ships, which went into effect last year. However, while each move was an important step forward, both the marine and aviation standards applied only to new crafts, meaning existing planes and ships have not been required to upgrade. ICAO was roundly criticized by environmentalists over this issue when it released its proposal in February, and Rutherford noted that there is also “a big discussion within IMO about whether there should be efficiency standards for existing ships.” But the use of biofuels is one possibility for existing machines to cut down on their emissions without having to upgrade their engines or other aspects of their design or engineering. “Drop-in” fuels are renewable fuels that are designed to work safely with existing engines, although as in the case of the United flights, they sometimes require mixing with traditional fuels. Of course, Honeywell UOP’s technology isn’t the only one out there — and AltAir’s refinery isn’t the only plant, either. United, for instance, also recently made a $30 million investment in Fulcrum Bioenergy, which has developed a way to convert household garbage into fuel. That partnership comes with the opportunity for the airline to purchase at least 90 million gallons of renewable jet fuel per year, and also to co-develop biorefineries in at least five locations around the U.S., according to Foster-Rice. So the interest in expanding biofuels throughout the transportation sector is slowly starting to pick up. However, it’s unclear for the time being whether other airlines — or other marine fleets, for that matter — will follow suit with similar investments any time soon. And according to Rutherford, there are still many questions to be answered about the relative role of biofuels versus other technologies when it comes to cutting carbon emissions, particularly in aviation. How much airlines will be willing to pay for renewable fuel is one important point to consider in the future, he noted, as well as questions about the sustainability and efficiency of the fuels, themselves. “People are always analyzing how good these fuels can be and how they can get better,” he said. But May, of Honeywell UOP, is optimistic about continued interest in the industry. The EPA’s recent action to increase standards on biofuels and gasoline has sparked an interest from refiners in green diesel, she said, adding that other parties have also expressed an interest in the green jet fuel, although United remains the only U.S. airline to make a commercial commitment to the use of biofuels in aircraft. “We’ve made really significant strides over the last 10 years in developing new technologies, and we intend to continue to be in the industry for the foreseeable future innovating new technologies,” she said. Before his tragic death, nature photographer shot iconic images of climate change’s threat China vowed to peak emissions by 2030. It could be way ahead of schedule What the Clinton-Sanders divide on fracking says about our energy future For more, you can sign up for our weekly newsletter here, and follow us on Twitter here.


Baral A.,International Council on Clean Transportation. | Bakshi B.R.,Ohio State University
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2010

A commonly encountered challenge in emergy analysis is the lack of transformity data for many economic products and services. To overcome this challenge, emergy analysts approximate the emergy input from the economy via a single emergy/money ratio for the country and the monetary price of economic inputs. This amounts toassuming homogeneity in the entire economy, and can introduce serious uncertainties in the results. This paper proposes and demonstrates the use of a thermodynamically augmented economic input-output model of the US economy for obtaining sector-specific emergy to money ratios that can be used instead of a single ratio. These ratios at the economy scale are more accurate than a single economy-wide emergy/money ratio, and can be obtained quickly for hundreds of economic products and services. Comparing sector-specific emergy/money ratios with those from conventional emergy studies indicates that the input-output model can provide reasonable estimates of transformities at least as a stop-gap measure until more detailed analysis is completed. A hybrid approach to emergy analysis is introduced and compared with conventional emergy analysis using life cycles of corn ethanol and gasoline as examples. Emergy and transformity data from the hybrid approach are similar to those from conventional emergy analysis, indicating the usefulness of the proposed approach. In addition, this work proposes the metric of return on emergy investment for assessing product alternatives with the same utility such as transportation fuels. The proposed approach and data may be used easily via web-based software. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Batterman S.,University of Michigan | Chambliss S.,International Council on Clean Transportation. | Isakov V.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2014

Vehicle emissions represent one of the most important air pollution sources in most urban areas, and elevated concentrations of pollutants found near major roads have been associated with many adverse health impacts. To understand these impacts, exposure estimates should reflect the spatial and temporal patterns observed for traffic-related air pollutants. This paper evaluates the spatial resolution and zonal systems required to estimate accurately intraurban and near-road exposures of traffic-related air pollutants. The analyses use the detailed information assembled for a large (800km2) area centered on Detroit, Michigan, USA. Concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx) due to vehicle emissions were estimated using hourly traffic volumes and speeds on 9700 links representing all but minor roads in the city, the MOVES2010 emission model, the RLINE dispersion model, local meteorological data, a temporal resolution of 1h, and spatial resolution as low as 10m. Model estimates were joined with the corresponding shape files to estimate residential exposures for 700,000 individuals at property parcel, census block, census tract, and ZIP code levels. We evaluate joining methods, the spatial resolution needed to meet specific error criteria, and the extent of exposure misclassification. To portray traffic-related air pollutant exposure, raster or inverse distance-weighted interpolations are superior to nearest neighbor approaches, and interpolations between receptors and points of interest should not exceed about 40m near major roads, and 100m at larger distances. For census tracts and ZIP codes, average exposures are overestimated since few individuals live very near major roads, the range of concentrations is compressed, most exposures are misclassified, and high concentrations near roads are entirely omitted. While smaller zones improve performance considerably, even block-level data can misclassify many individuals. To estimate exposures and impacts of traffic-related pollutants accurately, data should be geocoded or estimated at the most-resolved spatial level; census tract and larger zones have little if any ability to represent intraurban variation in traffic-related air pollutant concentrations. These results are based on one of the most comprehensive intraurban modeling studies in the literature and results are robust. Additional recommendations address the value of dispersion models to portray spatial and temporal variation of air pollutants in epidemiology and other studies; techniques to improve accuracy and reduce the computational burden in urban scale modeling; the necessary spatial resolution for health surveillance, demographic, and pollution data; and the consequences of low resolution data in terms of exposure misclassification. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


News Article | December 4, 2015
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

Achieving climate stabilization goals necessitates flipping the switch to zero-emitting, electric-drive vehicles as soon as possible. Today at the Paris Climate talks (COP21), leaders from 13 jurisdictions across North American and Europe announced commitments that all new passenger vehicles will use zero emission vehicle (ZEV) technologies no later than 2050. Most experts agree we must widely adopt these technologies, which include battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles, to cut carbon pollution globally from the transportation sector. The groundswell of commitments show these regions believe it’s possible – and necessary — to go all-in on electric vehicles. It’s also a powerful signal to the global automotive industry to ‘go fast’ with electric-drive vehicles and for the rest of the country, and the world, to look to ZEVs as a critical element in staving off the worst effects of climate change. Growing from one to many The transportation sector is among the fastest growing source of carbon pollution, contributing almost one-quarter of the global energy-related emissions, according to the United Nations. The unique alliance–which includes states such as Maryland, California and New York, and nation-states such as the United Kingdom and Germany–is paving the way for a glob al transition that could cut emissions by more than one billion tons per year by 2050 representing 40% of global vehicle emissions, according to a report by the International Council on Clean Transportation. The thirteen jurisdictions together have a market size of more than ten million new passenger vehicles per year. If the Alliance achieves its goals, roughly 200 million ZEVs will hit the streets between now and 2050. The approach validates efforts from leaders such as Governor Jerry Brown of California who are spearheading their own climate movement with their peers who are working together to set a precedent for increasing electric vehicles. This movement will likely continue to grow as other jurisdictions join this groundswell. The commitments also strongly reinforces the strategic direction that some automakers, notably BMW and Nissan, are adopting by making ZEVs a core part of their business model going forward, while also confirming the potential market for newer ZEV manufacturers like Tesla. Globally, car makers have produced and sold over one million ZEVs, up from demonstration scale numbers in 2007. The current scale-up has helped to rapidly drive down battery costs by 60%. Those costs are forecasted to go even lower as these commitments from this Alliance increase market size. As other jurisdictions look to potentially join the Alliance, it’s also clear that – behind the targets – the current leaders in the ZEV Alliance are also taking action to protect their own jurisdictions, citizens and future citizens. Governor Kate Brown of Oregon stated, “The serious threats presented by global warming have been known for over three decades and future generations will rightly judge the morality and leadership of this generation not by the fact of climate change, but how we responded.” Maryland’s Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles said, “Electric vehicles will help drive Maryland’s environmental and economic progress. Cooperative partnerships such as this can help accelerate the adoption of these vehicles locally and globally, benefiting citizens, consumers, and ecosystems along the way.” The governments that are participants in the International ZEV Alliance include Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom in Europe; California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont in the United States; and Québec in Canada. For more information on the agreement, visit the International ZEV Alliance website.

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