Sustainable fuel is here...let’s use it.
While there are many advocates for electric vehicles, and I am one, what is clear is that they are both pretty expensive to buy and are restricted to cars and small vans at the moment.
Larger vans, trucks and buses are coming, but they are a while away yet. This is not only because of technology, but also availability. We have specific requirements on large vehicles and manufacturers are building for a global market, not a small island which is understandable.
So, we have a lot of perfectly usable vehicles running around, burning fossil fuels - particularly diesel, that have many years of life in them, but also have to last until we can actually replace them with those powered by new energy systems.
If a vehicle has a useful life of, say, 15 years and new diesel motors are banned from 2025 then we will still have diesel powered vehicles in use in 2040 or even longer.
locally, we have a sustainable diesel fuel, produced by one of the worlds top 5 sustainable companies from waste vegetable oils and other food products that is a higher quality fuel than normal diesel. It can be dropped into any diesel engine with no modifications and complies with manufacturers warranty terms.
it is called HVO and it produces 90% less CO2e pollution than fossil diesel. It also produces much less particulate pollution, NOx and other contributors to local air pollution.
The manufacturer is completely fastidious about maintaining the sustainability of their supply chain and has WWF backed accreditation for it's raw material supply.
why is it not taking over then?
HVO is an expensive fuel. It does not benefit from governments across the world subsidising it as they do fossil fuel producers.
At the pumps, it is about 40 p per litre more expensive. To bulk users such as transport and farming users, much more so.
The fuel attracts the same level of duty that fossil fuels do. A small portion of this 57p per litre duty goes to the Climate Emergency Fund, but the government still makes 50 p per litre from polluting the environment.
Why not remove duty on sustainable fuel, now, and add more to polluting fuels - promote the change to sustainable fuels now and ensure that we have a plan to run out the existing "fleet" of vehicles in the island.
Why the contribution is important
We have to accept that there are over 100,000 vehicles in the island and at a replacement rate of , say, 1000 a year it will be a long time to get rid of combustion engined vehicles.
We have to accept that there are serious costs to all of us for this change. It is though, more palatable to change our fuel use in the short term than pay to just replace everything over 7 years.
We have to have accept that sustainability is not just about ditching everything we know and replacing it - that is not sustainable. We have to provide routes out of this mess that make an impact now, but also ensure a stable transition to the future.
The government has to promote the use of sustainable fuels now - not talk about it - we have been talking about it for years. Not do some trials - they have all been done; stop trying to re-invent the wheel.
The current conversation is vital, but action must also be taken now using the tools we already have available to us. The cost, both financial and social will only become greater the longer we take.
by Nigelblandin on February 17, 2021 at 07:03AM