The world has been in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than half a year so far. As things stand there is no vaccine available, and nobody knows when the pandemic will end. The effects have been dramatic and widespread, affecting almost every area of society. Businesses have had to close, either temporarily or permanently. Unemployment rates have soared, and people have been forced to remain in their homes – some working from home, some on furlough, and some out of work completely.
The economy looks to be headed for a huge global recession which will have repercussions that could last for decades. However, one positive result of the global lockdown is that carbon emission rates have decreased significantly, as travel has been highly restricted. As lockdown measures begin to ease, these emissions are steadily rising once again.
Duncan Clark, Renovare Fuels’ Business Development Director, is part of an industry calling for measures to be implemented to maintain reduced carbon emissions as the world emerges from lockdown.
Drop in Annual Emissions
Even with carbon emissions gradually rising, the decline during lockdown has led the International Energy Agency to forecast an annual drop of 8% throughout 2020. Many countries experienced a decrease in carbon emissions of almost 25% at the peak of the lockdown period, which occurred throughout March 2020.
In the UK, emission levels decreased by 31%, a fall of almost a third. However, by June, as measures were eased and more people began to commute and use transport again, emissions were only 5% lower than the same month in 2019.
Many industry experts are now calling for the introduction of new green technologies to retain the decreased levels of emissions and reduce them further, even as transport becomes more of a necessity.
A Defining Moment in the Fight Against Climate Change
The Committee on Climate Change has declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a defining moment in the fight against climate change, urging UK ministers to implement strategies to initiate a green recovery.
The current situation has been called a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to address climate change and make the transition to a low-carbon economy on a global scale. Priorities outlined in the CCC report to Parliament include developing buildings that are sustainable and fit for the future, and implementing low-carbon retrofitting wherever possible.
Investment in green infrastructure, the restoration of peatland and tree planting are essential for a low-carbon future, as is the strengthening of the energy networks to support electrification of heating and transport. Infrastructure needs to be designed to promote green modes of transport including walking and cycling to work, and a circular economy must be pursued.
Introducing New Technologies
There are several new technologies available that will – should they be properly implemented – play a key role in creating a greener, more carbon-neutral future. CCS, or carbon capture and storage, can help prevent carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere by capturing carbon dioxide and compressing it into a liquid form. This can then be used to refill reservoirs of gas and oil that have been depleted or utilised in various industrial processes.
EfW, or energy from waste, refers to numerous technologies that have been introduced to the market that can take waste products from biodegradable sources and turn them into new sources of energy, primarily heat and electricity. Renovare Fuels has developed a patented system for converting biogas from the organic waste from homes and industry into petrol, diesel or jet fuel. The fuel produced requires no engine modifications at all and has the potential to drastically reduce the environmental impact of transport.
About Renovare Fuels
Matthew Stone, Chairman of Renovare Fuels, is an expert in clean technologies. Stone has direct experience in the field of commercialising and integrating technologies on an international scale, working with a highly experienced team to design, manufacture and market new technologies for the creation of liquid vehicle fuels from biogas.
Renovare Fuels has the technology to produce biogas from various waste sources, including sewerage treatment facilities, anaerobic digesters and landfill sites.