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Future thinking translates into energy efficiency

Electric cars, lightbulbs communicating, fuel-efficient heavy-duty vehicles all have moved from drawing board to market.
“Transport is one of the largest causes of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in South Africa, which has a high ratio of cars, taxis, buses and trains all using fossil fuels,” says Barry Bredenkamp, general manager of Energy Efficiency for the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).

“Green fuels are being developed for diesel consumers, particularly buses and electric cars are moving from drawing boards to parking lots. Electric vehicles make sense economically, again when viewed over the life cycle of the car. The initial cost is outweighed by no services and a replacement of a battery every couple of years. Already carparks are installing electric vehicle charging outlets and, what adds to their energy efficiency is that these are mostly solar powered, thus reducing electricity usage”.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released its ‘Efficient World Scenario’, which highlights the potential for transport energy demand to remain flat between now and 2040, despite doubling activity levels. At an end-use level, the average passenger car could be as efficient as today’s best hybrids and over 40% of the global car fleet could be electrified. The annual rate of efficiency improvement for trucks can rise to 1.5% with current and planned policies, but in the Efficient World Scenario, the annual improvement rate could be over 2.5%. Non-road transport (aviation and shipping) could see annual efficiency improvements of 3% between now and 2040.

The next big thing

“The next big jump will be provided by LED lights. Essentially motherboards with a bulb, many of these lights are already marked as Li-Fi enabled. Li-Fi uses the light spectrum, as opposed to Wi-Fi, which uses the radio spectrum. This spectrum is already overcrowded across the world because of the rapid uptake of Wi-Fi. Li-Fi will be broader, faster and will enable anyone with an LED light to be able to connect to the world. Streetlights, traffic lights, shops, offices will all act as routers and this will change communication in ways we cannot even begin to imagine”.

“What is needed is a radical change in human behaviour – one that looks at the long term effects of purchasing an item versus the immediate costs, that weighs up our children’s air quality against coal power stations; that understands that reducing water and waste also contributes to energy efficiency,” concludes Bredenkamp.
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Mark Sindone
We are already living in the future where high-tech innovations have been realized today. That is how lucky today's generation truly is and we should appreciate every process there is in the market out there. Though climate change is real, there is still hope that something can be done to eventually salvage what is left for future generations to come.
Posted on 7 Mar 2019 08:53
David Hamilton
Humans are truly capable of a lot of things. A lot of these technologies were mere thoughts a few years ago. But if we put our mind to it and are determined to make it happen, that's when we start to see our imagination come to life in tangible and physical products that can actually better our lives!
Posted on 11 Mar 2019 07:06