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Research into batteries will give electric cars the same range as petrol cars

i-air batteries are a promising opportunity for electric cars. "If we succeed in developing this technology, we are facing the ultimate breakthrough for electric cars, because in practice, the energy density of Li-air batteries will be comparable to that of petrol and diesel, if you take into account that a combustion engine only has an efficiency of around 30 percent," says Tejs Vegge, senior scientist in the Materials Research Division at Risø DTU.

Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink (part 2)

In rural Finland there are over a thousand water cooperatives serving farm businesses and villages. Whilst licensed by the government and allotted a limit to the amount of water they can extract, the cooperatives have complete control over price. This means they can offer favourable rates to their members because their decision is not influenced by fluctuations of the market. The Finnish water cooperatives also have the network benefits of other partnering with other regional associations. If for instance the water quality in one area is not sufficient, due to extenuating natural circumstances, the cooperative may buy water from a neighbouring cooperative-owned water network, thus ensuring continued low prices and supply dependency.

Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink (part 1)

the human body weight, needs to be topped up on a regular basis and we cannot go without it for more than about week. As well as drinking it, we also use water for cooking and sanitation, not to mention industrial processes. Yet despite water being essential to our survival, more often than not in the West, we treat it with distain. A fact reflected in its low price (compared to petrol or electricity -- things we may be addicted to but can live without?) and how the developed world fritters it away (you may leave the kitchen tap running into an unplugged sink at home but you would not pour petrol from the station pump down the drain, right?).

What makes matters worse in terms of our taking water for granted, is that despite 70% of the Earth’s surface being covered by water, only 2.5% of the total volume is freshwater resources and fit for human consumption. Coupled with the facts from the WBCSD and FAO that in 60% of European cities with more than 100,000 people, groundwater is being used at a faster rate than it can be replenished, by 2025, 1,800 million people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two thirds of the world population could be under stress conditions.

Climate Change: Bangkok talks begin with plea for action (part 2)

One negotiating track will look at proposals for a new clean technology transfer mechanism, while another will address the mitigation actions developing countries need to take to curb emissions. A third workshop that took place yesterday looked at industrialised countries' emission targets and how to assess whether they have been met.

"These discussions are important because they have started to shape up governments' ideas on how to create a transparent, rule-based global emission reduction framework, with delegates looking at the specifics of enhanced accountability and transparency for both developed and developing countries," Figueres said.

Tansneem Essop, delegation leader for the World Wildlife Fund sums up the task ahead:

"The fragile compromise achieved in Cancun helped put the UN negotiations back on track, Bangkok needs to build on this progress and boost the overall ambition levels of the talks if we are to avert the worst consequences of climate change."

Climate Change: Bangkok talks begin with plea for action (part 1)

But she reiterated her warning that current emission reduction pledges will deliver only 60 per cent of the cuts thought necessary to meet the agreed target of limiting average global temperature rises to less than two degrees Centrigrade.

She also warned that the 1,500 diplomats and ministers attending the talks needed to find a way to end the stand off over the future of the Kyoto Protocol, noting that the current commitment period is due to end in 2012, potentially removing the only legally binding limits on industrialised nations' carbon emissions and undermining the legal framework for the UN's carbon trading schemes.

Experts agree: lithium-ion will power EVs for a while

Automotive and battery-industry experts, citing a lack of alternatives, said lithium-ion will be the dominant electric-vehicle battery technology for at least another 15 years.

"We now have lithium-ion and, if you look at the lead times for introducing new technology, I don’t think there will be a new technology for a while," said Uwe Likar, manager advanced engineering planning at Mitsubishi Motor.

Added Jerome Perrin, r&d director at French automaker Renault: "We’ll have lithium ion for another 20 years."


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