The Swedish government has initiated a project for making Sweden the World’s first fossil free welfare country. The project was initiated as a starting point of COP21 in Paris that took place in December of 2015. The participants that have been invited represent many parts of Swedish society, to show that there is profound support in Sweden to work with environmental issues.
By signing the declaration for Fossil Free Sweden, companies, authorities and organisations take part in UNs Action Agenda initiative. Savantic is one of the companies who have signed the government’s declaration.
Fossil fuels represent a majority of CO2 emissions in Sweden, not including emissions abroad caused by our consumption. According to the Swedish Transport Administration, cars and trucks cause 30 per cent of all emissions. In addition, it can be said that Sweden does not have Europe’s most “greenest” car fleet. At Savantic we feel that signing the government’s declaration for Fossil Free Sweden entails a responsibility towards coming generations and to influence the innovation industry towards more environmentally responsible alternatives.
We are very dedicated to working with the improvement of the environment and we follow with great interest the way environmental technology is being discussed, debated and developed. As researchers, we realised early on that innovation and technology advancement are key factors in finding new ways. In order to be fossil free, Sweden will have to optimize energy consumption and to improve energy conversion. The knowledge required to do this is one of Savantic’s areas of expertise. To make Sweden a world-leading fossil free country, it is important not to subscribe to one single solution. By using many different solutions the initial steps to take will be easier and this increases the chances of more people finding a technology shift attractive.
For instance, we believe that within the transport industry, there will be more than one solution that will contribute to the shift. Ethanol was an excellent first step to make the public aware of environmentally friendly vehicles. The car owner did not have to make a large investment and there was no change in the ways in which the vehicle could be used. There are always early adopters who are prepared to pay the price of new technology, for instance electric cars with a span of 500 km, or fuel cell cars while access to hydrogen was scarce. But for larger groups of users to join the movement, the initial step has to be made easier. Electric vehicles, hybrids and fuel cell vehicles will all be on the market simultaneously, because the fill different needs. If you drive short distances, no more than 100 km, then an electric car is perfect. It is cheap and easy to charge the batteries while your car is parked at home or at the workplace. If you often drive less than 100 km, but sometimes need your car for longer drives, a hybrid may be a better choice. Fuelling your car with gas or a liquid is faster than recharging the batteries while you are on the road.
Fuelling a car with hydrogen is quick and it has the same environmental impact as an electric car. Fuel cell cars are still expensive and a hydrogen infrastructure is still missing. Hydrogen fuel stations will be built, however, and fuel cell technology will most likely become cheaper. Electric cars equipped with both batteries and fuel cells are likely to become more common. The batteries can be charged as usual when the car is parked and hydrogen, which is a little more expensive, can be refilled at shorter stops when on the move.
One thing is for sure: the combustion engines that emit CO2 disappear along with an increasing number of battery charging and hydrogen fuel stations.
The technology needed for the vehicles described above already exist, including fuel cells for hydrogen. Hydrogen could be an easy and intelligent way to store energy because fuel cells is a solution that could successfully replace gas and oil and hence decrease the use of fossil fuels. Under pressure, hydrogen has proved to be 75% more effective than petrol. Local hydrogen factories will likely exist in the future, which use electricity produced by solar panels or wind power to produce the hydrogen. Real estate owners may even have their own hydrogen factories able to store excess energy as hydrogen to be used later, or as car fuel (see NyTeknik June 2015 http://www.nyteknik.se/tekniknyheter/article3915622.ece).
Savantic are excited to follow the environment debate and with the success ofCOP21 we hope that Fossil Free Sweden are able to move full speed ahead. Are you curious to know more? We would love to meet you to discuss environmental and energy technology! www.savantic.se.