We had the privilege of meeting Claire Perry on Thursday at Cardiff University and she loved the Rasa – the innovation in it, its efficiency, the fun it offers. She was there to mark the first Green GB week, led by the Government and UK R&I, with the aim of engaging the British public on the importance of tackling climate change and ensuring clean growth.
While it would appear perfect timing for us – the first Rasa Beta is rolling off the production line here in Powys, Wales – we cannot overlook the irony that this week a whole new fossil fuel industry has lurched into life with the blessing of this government, just days after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued their sobering report on the global climate situation. Addiction is always hard to break but, if we are addicted to fossil fuels, fracking really is trawling for the dregs, analogous to the stereotype of tramps drinking methylated spirits!
It is causing us some cognitive dissonance. How can we believe in the government’s sincerity about championing Clean Growth while they are supporting the opposite?
Less unsustainable is still not sustainable
This week Cuadrilla started fracking for shale gas. The UK Government are stating that shale gas has the potential to provide the UK with greater energy security, economic growth and jobs, and could be an important part of our transition to a low carbon future. Literally undermining our national parks is hardly a bridge to a low carbon economy – it’s a very circuitous route at best. Any distraction from the real work of getting our renewable energy sector off the ground is very shortsighted – why not take the high road and invest directly in renewable energy?
Divesting and investing
Last month the Mayors of London and New York made a public appeal for cities to divest from fossil fuels. In a joint statement they said, “We believe we can demonstrate to the world that divestment is a powerful tool and a prudent use of resources. And that, together, our cities – New York, London and many others around the world – can send a clear message to the fossil fuel industry: change your ways now and join us in tackling climate change.”
Scottish Power announced their own divestment this week – that they are turning to 100% wind power shows what can be done.
We are often asked where the hydrogen for our cars comes from. Right now, hydrogen is reformed from natural gas for a large number of industrial processes; it is also a byproduct of many. While it’s more efficient to generate hydrogen than electricity from natural gas (70% rather than 49% – p.147, DUKES 2018), and we are making the most of any hydrogen we use – you can go 200 miles on a kilo of hydrogen in a Rasa, as opposed to 66 miles in a Toyota Mirai – we are looking forward to plentiful green sources of hydrogen. Electrolysis from green electricity, photo catalysis, waste from methane-eating bacteria … bring them on!
Now that would be something to invest in, Minister!