Change is in the air and sometimes you get a glimpse of a new and more sustainable future. The moment, you realise that something fundamental is taking place. The confluence of a pandemic that shows no end in sight and emerging new technologies and thinking, has seen shifts that until now seemed to be bogged down by the inertia of business as usual.
This issue of Snippets examines the emergence of Green Hydrogen as a likely fuel of the future. Whilst the use of renewable electricity is still going to be preferable, its Achilles heel is always going to be large-scale storage and the intermittent nature of generation.
A number of European countries have decided that Green Hydrogen is going to be part of the future energy mix, with Denmark signalling that despite the inefficiencies of energy conversion, it is still going to expand renewable electricity generation in order to create Green Hydrogen. And California is thinking the same, by placing orders for new hydrogen capable turbines.
We also examine the emergence of another form of large scale electricity storage in the construction of a 250 MWh liquid air battery. Even the large oil companies like Shell and BP can see the writing is on the wall for oil, with dividends being slashed.
Also in this issue we discuss how we need to transform our cities in order to reduce emissions. In this case we look at Auckland, as it is a representative example of a medium-sized city facing challenges in reducing emission from urban transport due to a growing population, low housing density and high levels of car dependency. With e-bikes potentially being part of the transport solution.
We wrap up with the part that nature has to play in reducing emissions and how much soil can contribute to sequestering carbon. And it is not just soil; for example, coastal wetlands can defend communities from storm surge and sea level rise, and well-managed forests can protect water supplies, reduce wildfire risk and prevent landslides, etc.