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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Climate clips from CCNet

CCNet –  25 April 2012
The Climate Policy Network

Shale Cars

The New Transport Revolution?

There are more than 13 million natural gas vehicles on the road worldwide. Now companies and researchers are working on infrastructure and technologies to help bring the US's growing stock of natural gas to fuel tanks, including those of long-haul vehicles.  --David Biello, Scientific American, 23 April 2012

From the UK to Argentina, from South Africa to Mexico, countries are waking up to the potential value of domestic shale gas reserves. Suddenly, a new wave of gas producers looks set to emerge that could threaten the old oligopoly. Instead of importing natural gas, the US is beginning to export it. The geopolitical fallout will stretch out over decades. “The world will never be the same again,says Prof Stern. --Guy Chazan, Financial Times, 23 April 2012

There are an estimated 1.1 million taxis in China, 50% of which are already using natural gas engines. However, in the midst of China’s 112 million vehicles it doesn’t look like such a big splash. Whilst neither energy source has huge traction at the moment, natural gas seems to be the clear frontrunner in the race to convert the most vehicles. --Greener Ideal, 25 April 2012

Worldwide, the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles (IANGV) puts the number of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) over 12.6 million. And globally, there are more than 18,000 natural gas fueling stations. In Asia, the average annual growth rate of NGVs has been 42 percent over the last 10 years. IANGV believes the global NGV fleet will increase at least 10-fold by 2020 – topping 50 million. --Investment U, 15 July 2012

China's leaders are finding it's a lot tougher to create a world-beating electric car industry than they hoped. In 2009, they announced bold plans to cash in on demand for clean vehicles by making China a global power in electric car manufacturing. They pledged billions of dollars for research and called for annual sales of 500,000 cars by 2015. Today, Beijing is scaling back its ambitions, chastened by technological hurdles and lack of buyer interest. Developers have yet to achieve breakthroughs and will be lucky to sell 2,000 cars this year, mostly taxis. The government has hedged its bets by broadening the industry's official goals to include cleaner gasoline engines. --Joe McDonald, Business Week, 24 April 2012

Transportation may be the key frontier natural gas will have to conquer if it is going to dramatically change America's energy future. Traditionally, changing people's driving habits – convincing them of the virtues of alternative-fuel vehicles – is not an easy task. Just look at how many electric vehicles are on the road today, after years of promised "revolutions." Yet natural gas vehicles are catching on, particularly in the one area where alternative-fuel experimentation usually starts -- trucks and commercial fleets. Last year, almost 40 percent of the trash-hauling trucks and 25 percent of the transit buses purchased in the US were fueled by natural gas. --Alexandra Marks, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 April 2012

There is little danger that the technique used to produce shale gas, which is known as hydraulic fracturing, could contaminate ground water provided wells are sufficiently deep, according to a research report published by the U.K.'s Durham University Wednesday.This conclusion is the second piece of good news in a week for the U.K.'s nascent shale gas industry, which has struggled to overcome public fears about its environmental safety. --James Herron, The Wall Street Journal, 25 April 2012

1) Shale Cars: The New Transport Revolution? - Scientific American, 23 April 2012

2) Would converting vehicles from oil to natural gas solve US energy woes? - The Christian Science Monitor, 23 April 2012

3) Will Natural Gas Overtake the Biofuel Car? - Greener Ideal, 25 April 2012

4) China's dream of electric car leadership elusive - Business Week, 24 April 2012

5) Shale Gas Shakes Geo-Political Foundations - Financial Times, 23 April 2012

6) UK Study Shows Little Danger Of Shale Gas Water Contamination - The Wall Street Journal, 25 April 2012

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