As an advocate of sustainable energy and energy efficiency, it may come as a surprise to learn that I’m a self-confessed car enthusiast. I know I’m not alone in appreciating the mastery and the skill required to craft and build such powerful machines. In my opinion, well-designed cars are comparable to fine works of art.
However, I’m not so much a petrol head, as a hybrid-head. Allow me to explain how my passion for cars and my focus on energy sustainability isn’t necessarily a doomed union.
We all know that our planet is in trouble due to climate change. Although CO2 emission levels have remained fairly consistent over the last two years, emerging economies in China and India are driving output from coal fired power stations, so this will lead to greater emissions in the near future.
It’s becoming increasingly important that we move towards a sustainable world, or else we will plunge into a darker one. Literally. Britain’s power reserves are dwindling and brownouts are likely.
As it stands, we’re not producing enough energy, and we’re not efficient enough with the limited supply of energy we do produce. Fossil fuel is going to deplete and run out. That’s a fact. If we carry on as we are, we’re in trouble.
Up until now, there hasn’t been enough focus on the more-friendly energy sources but change is in the air. Businesses are slowly beginning to realise that they can make the most of free and natural energy sources (and save money while they do so) by channelling nuclear, hydro, wine and solar power through batteries.
Car manufacturers, too, are waking up to the idea that aesthetics do not have to be compromised when designing electric and hybrid vehicles.
I grew up in the late 60s, when electric milk floats tormented the streets; the batteries in question were the size of small houses! But now, with the breaking of a modern dawn, we’re seeing new innovation in solar power in all facets of our existence. Our capital boasts the world’s largest solar bridge – next time you’re in Blackfriars, have a look. Transport, too, is becoming more and more sustainable. Gone are the days of chunky, clunky, ugly electric vehicles.
Any type of car can go electric. And, more importantly, any car can go electric in style. As such, I can continue my love affair with cars and sleep soundly at night, while I do so. Since the Volkswagen scandal, research conducted by the Institute of the Motor Industry has revealed there’s an increasing demand for hybrid and electric vehicles.
Needless to say, the mindset towards ‘going green’ has fundamentally shifted. People are more engaged with this line of thinking more than ever before, in day-to-day life and in business. With the introduction of the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), more and more is being done to get businesses to understand what energy they’re using and how they’re using it. The current downward trend is that energy is getting cheaper… but, in the long-term, it’s only going to get more expensive. The earlier we act, the more savings we’ll make.
It’s not difficult to become energy-efficient. It’s partly down to common sense, party down to education, and partly down to the application – encouraging good habits, adopting a certain behaviour that will produce more fruitful results in the future. This is what ESOS is all about; and I’m personally excited about the benefits we’ll reap as a result – not just for the future of business, but for the future of our world.
We’ve only got the one. Let’s look after it.