27 July 2017
UK Government to Ban Gasoline Vehicle, Supports Off-shore Wind Power
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
story highlights

The UK government has published its 'Air Quality Plan for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in UK,' which reiterates the Governments intention to ban gasoline cars in 2040.

Offshore oil and gas producer Statoil is starting to construct the first floating offshore wind farm, with the support of the UK Government.

23 July 2017: Recent developments in the UK illustrate the country’s planning to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and increase the share of renewables in its energy mix.

As part of its efforts to reduce roadside nitrogen dioxide pollution, the UK Government announced in 2011 its intention to end sales of conventional cars and light duty vehicles and to have only zero emission vehicles on the road by 2050. On 26 July 2017, the Government released an update that reiterates the Government’s intention to ban the sale of all gasoline vehicles by 2040 and outlines measures and support to achieve this objective. These measures include GBP2.7 billion investments in air quality and cleaner transport, and additional funds to support local authorities in implementing the plan. The announcement follows similar pledges by France and Norway, as well as plans by major automakers to successively introduce hybrid and fully electric vehicles. [Air Quality Plan for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in UK (2017)]

The news of the ban on gasoline cars coincided with the announcement by Statoil, an upstream oil and gas company with long-standing experience in the design of offshore structures, that construction has started on what will be the world’s the first floating offshore wind park. Offshore wind turbines are among the cheapest sources of renewable electricity; however, to date their use is limited to rather shallow areas up to a water depth of 50 meters.

Statoil’s new floating wind turbine design is about to push the offshore wind frontier to depths of up 1000 meters. After six years of testing, the company is building the first full-scale floating wind park off the Scottish coast. The Peterhead wind farm, also known as Hywind, will comprise five 175-meter towers with a total capacity of 30 MW, enough to power 20.000 homes. Funded by the UK Government and the Abu Dhabi firm Masdar, the project aims to prove that floating wind farms are an economically viable option to exploit the stronger and more stable wind conditions of the high seas. While the current cost of floating wind turbines exceeds that of traditional offshore turbines, Statoil states that the cost can be reduced to competitive levels once technology has been scaled up. [Statoil Press Release] [BBC News Story]

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