Empowerment And Community Are Keys To Change
With COP27 now in full flow, Play It Green has deliberately avoided looking at this year’s governmental get-together as we prefer to look at the actions of individuals and businesses.
For 27 years governments have been meeting and failing to deliver on their promises, but as individuals and businesses, we have the power to create change.
Through empowerment and community, we can all create the change we want to see in the world.
With that being said, here are our top three sustainability stories showcasing sustainable change and innovations that will help make the planet a better place for generations to come.
Germany Makes Public Transport Cheaper (And Helps The Planet)
Germany will launch a €49 monthly subscription nationally for public transport in January 2023.
Volker Wissing, the minister of transport, said on Wednesday that the action was intended “to reduce emissions and aid people in coping with the rising cost of living crisis”.
The ticket was trialled over the summer and the new “Deutschlandticket” (German Ticket) was an amazing success.
The new monthly fee has been approved by 16 different German states’ transport ministers. The Federal Government has announced that it will be implemented “as soon as practicable” and this is targeted for January.
The new paperless ticket, which will be available as a subscription, is an appealing choice because it will be accepted by all German public transport systems, many of which have confusing fare structures.
People were encouraged to use the country’s train, bus, and tram networks during the summer trial, which they did in their droves.
The trial was implemented in an effort to stop the growing inflation brought on by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Additionally, the ticket was designed to promote the use of environmentally friendly transport.
According to the German association of transportation businesses, VDV, during these three months, emissions were reduced by about 1.8 million tonnes.
Cheaper public transport and massively reduced emissions is a huge win in our books and something all governments should be taking action on – if one country can save 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 in three months, imagine the saving if all countries did it all year round!
Hydrogen Car To Travel 2,000 Kilometres On A Single Tank
Volkswagen has just submitted a patent application for a new hydrogen fuel cell that, in addition to being more affordable than the ones now in use, will reportedly allow cars to go up to 2,000 kilometres before needing to refuel.
This news marks a change in Volkswagen’s customary stance on hydrogen.
In a tweet sent in May 2022, the CEO of the German automaker, Herbert Diess, dismissed the possibility of hydrogen as a fuel for electric cars, much like Elon Musk does every time he has the chance.
The patent application has been made in partnership with German company Kraftwerk Tubes and shows Volkswagen has reversed its views.
Kraftwerk CEO, Sascha Kuehn said:
“The big advantage of our solution is that it can be produced much cheaper than polymer fuel cells…while solid-state batteries use a compact material to store energy, in fuel cells that role is assumed by hydrogen in gas form. This means lower energy costs and more autonomy”.
Kuehn sees this new technology as an alternative for drivers who can’t access charging points or don’t want to wait for a charge. The technology he says also increases driving ranges beyond any other type of fuel on the market.
Clean fuel, no harmful gas emissions (only water) cheaper cost and extended range along with fuel cells that don’t require expensive mined metals and alloys are all wins in our view.
We will be keeping a close eye on these developments from one of the world’s largest and best-known vehicle manufacturers.
South Australia Powered By Solar For Several Hours A Day
From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm two weeks ago, rooftop and utility-scale solar in South Australia completely met all of the state’s power needs.
That is six hours of free solar energy.
All operational demand was covered by renewables and may start to become the norm at some point this year (remember, summer is coming to the antipodes).
Victoria receives the excess supply, which is also stored in Tesla’s ‘big battery’.
Apocalyptic predictions concerning the Australian state grid were being made only a few years ago, and South Australia’s Big Battery was being mocked.
It now serves as a model for the rest of the world and provides electricity to other states.
The link to New South Wales becomes operational and will be able to handle any extra power produced in South Australia starting in 2025.
The Australian government said:
“The Western Australia main grid, known as the Southwest Interconnected System (SWIS), is expected to phase out the last of its state-owned coal generators by 2028, mainly because they are dirty and polluting, and because they struggle to deal with the big bite of the energy pie taken by rooftop solar in the middle of the day.”
Currently, around 50% of all of Australia’s power is generated by hydro, wind and solar and this is expected to increase significantly following the recent successes.
Powering entire states by solar is setting the baseline for the world and shows that we are closer than we realise to ending the reliance on fossil fuels, one of the biggest contributors to climate change – something we should all be excited about.
That’s the news for this week.
These three great stories of innovation and sustainable change demonstrate, quite clearly, that there is hope for the future.
Through individual actions that are multiplied by the power of community, we can all be the change needed for a better and more sustainable future.
Just one step...
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