The Future of Green Technology 2009 The Financial Times proposes to publish this FT Report on November 24th, 2009. (Advertising copy deadline: November 3rd, 2009) We plan to include the following features (please note that this list is provisional): 1. Introduction Electric cars, intelligent electricity grids, quieter aircraft, solar and wind power. If ideas or prototypes were enough, the world would have enough green technology to dramatically reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and slash carbon emissions. This report will take a critical look at the state of green technology, its promise and its prospects. 2. Electric Cars There is a growing sense in the motor industry that the car of the future will be powered by electricity. An array of companies is racing to develop practical and affordable batteries. Carmakers are not only spending heavily to develop electric cars, but also working with utilities to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to ensure that recharging an electric car is as convenient as filling up a petrol-driven model. Profile of a Car of the Future 3. Intelligent Roads Because roads account for such a high proportion of traffic in most developed economies, small improvements in energy efficiency could produce major benefits in emissions reduction. Many countries have looked at introducing intelligent road- pricing technology aimed at deterring road use and shifting it away from the busiest times. Both the congestion-reduction and overall reductions in traffic that could result could produce major environmental benefits. But the politics of such schemes are growing more difficult in many countries. 4. Greener Trains Well-filled trains already have substantial environmental advantages over private cars and aeroplanes for passenger journeys and over trucks and aircraft for moving freight. But there remain substantial gains to be made. Many trains could be lighter – although rules about their ability to withstand crashes may have to be modified – and far more electric trains could feed energy back into the system as they brake. The piece looks at the barriers to such improvements and how they could be overcome. 5. Getting Around Cities The more dynamic the city, the worse the traffic. This article will look at how cities are solving their congestion problems, looking at solutions from trams to innovative experiments with reducing traffic rules. 6. Bicycles of the Future Many cities have launched major drives to encourage cycling because of the wide range of benefits it confers – congestion reduction, emission reduction and fitness improvements. The bicycle technology itself has improved out of all recognition from the position just 10 years ago. Gear shifters are mounted on mountain bike handlebars, gears are part of the brake levers of road bikes, tyres hardly ever puncture and lightweight, flexible materials are now the rule, rather than the exception. How big a role have these improvements played in improving cycling and where will the technology go now? 7. Smart Grids Smart grids will see networked devices installed in homes allowing consumers to monitor and modify their electricity use. Power utilities can then use variable pricing to discourage power use at peak times, smoothing out consumption patterns. This article will assess progress on smart grid technology and discuss the central role of IT companies in smart grid infrastructure. Case Study: Malta, which is embarking on the world’s first nationwide roll out of a smart grid. 8. New Lighting Technologies Electric lighting is thought to be responsible for around 19 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions. In Europe, all incandescent light bulbs are to be eliminated by 2012, while similar measures are being introduced in some US states. As manufacturers scramble to produce improved alternatives such as compact fluorescent lights, LED (light emitting diodes) lights and HID (high intensity discharge) lights, this article will examine the new forms of lighting, which technologies are likely to win out and what advantages they offer in terms of both light quality and energy savings. Case Study: a city authority that has achieved dramatic savings by deploying energy- efficient lighting. 9. Aviation: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Because aircraft are at their most fuel-efficient at cruise altitude, reducing time spent circling at lower levels cuts fuel consumption. This is the promise of ADS-B, which uses GPS to help pilots maintain their own spacing, and would allow aircraft to use a continuous descent approach while flying in idle mode, cutting emissions dramatically. This article will look at how the system works and assess the challenges, such as persuading airlines to invest in retrofitting and getting the co-operation of airports to deploy the system globally. 10.Carbon Trading Carbon trading is an important source of funding for the clean technology sector, as the sale of carbon credits from renewable energy projects can make the difference between financial viability and ruin. Carbon trading has also been one of the main beneficiaries of government regulation of greenhouse gases. Many of the major investment banks how have a carbon trading desk, and there are several pure play companies specialising in the market. The prospect of a US cap and trade system has whetted carbon traders’ appetites for further expansion. How far is carbon trading assisting the development and deployment of clean technology around the world, and could it be changed to provide more benefits to the sector? 11.Environmental Consultancies All of the big management consultancies rushed to get into environmental consulting in recent years, building up large practices looking at clean technology, carbon accounting, pollution control, regulatory compliance, waste management and other environmental issues. The pure-play environmental consultancies also grew strongly, on the back of increasing regulation such as carbon trading, polluted land remediation on the back of the construction boom, and tighter regulation of waste. But profits took a dive with the advent of the recession, and consultancies large and small have had to cope with clients putting off work and cancelling projects. We take the temperature of the environmental consultancy and gauge the outlook for the sector. 12.The Green Technology Cutting Edge Could nanotechnology save the world? Scientists in labs around the world are increasingly aware of the possible implications of their work for the fight against climate change, and many are perceiving new possibilities. For instance, nanotechnologists are examining how to save energy at the microscopic level. The science of piezoelectronics holds promise for new energy efficient devices. Other scientists are looking at capturing the kinetic energy that is usually wasted – footpaths and roads that generate energy from their use, for instance. On a bigger scale, scientists are also exploring the possibility of harnessing nuclear fusion. We assess some of the cutting edge technologies currently in research labs. Editorial Information PLEASE NOTE: Special Reports are written by FT staff journalists and a small number of selected freelance writers. 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