At the recently held Hard Talk event in Belgrade, representatives of UNECE, Ministry of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia and various stakeholders groups discussed barriers and risks that prevent more intense development of the renewable energy sector in the country but also proposed recommendations to address those challenges.
This year 100 prototype and 46 urban concept vehicles have been registered.The 35th Eco-marathon is part of Shell’s Make the Future Live 2019 event, which also features the company’s inaugural Energy Summit and schools programme. The event has been well attended, with competitors from over 100 UK, European and international universities entering with a view to showing off their futuristic models and winning the prizes on offer, one of which is a trip to the Scuderia Ferrari headquarters in Italy. Aberdeen and Strathclyde universities are representing Scotland, with both teams saying their experience has highlighted the need for society to prepare for the energy transition, with transportation at the heart of that shift.
Aberdeen University team leader Alessandro Rigola said his team had drawn on Shell’s experience in fuel cells to help prepare his group’s hydrogen-powered vehicle for the technical inspection all entrants must go through before they hit the track. He said: “The people at Shell have been very helpful.
Incredibly, as of 2017, China builds 2 wind turbines every hour!
“Every time they pass by our tent they give us suggestions on things we had never thought of because these people have years and years of experience.”Mr Rigola said the experience of leading the team had reinforced his desire to get into the energy industry after he graduates.
“100% renewables is not a stupid idea, in fact it’s getting more and more mainstream around the world,” exclaims Hans-Josef Fell, president of Energy Watch Group and father of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act. And how refreshing is it to hear this during this United Nations Climate Conference, where we’ve heard way too much noise coming from the fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies.
He said: “One of the things I found most interesting about this project was finding out about different types of energy.
“I think hydrogen is a very interesting one for the future.”
Asked if he thinks hydrogen will be the fuel of the future, Mr Rigola added: “I think it will be very important, yes.
“But I think in the future there will be a big energy mix and hydrogen will be a key part of that.”Over at the University of Strathclyde tent in the paddock, team leader Martin Riis said his group was learning about maximising energy use.
Keeping current with electric vehicles. Odds are you don't find yourself sitting in traffic next to an electric vehicle (EV) very frequently, but that may soon change. According to a recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, global sales from EVs are expected to grow from 1.1 million in 2017 to 11 million in 2025, rising to 30 million in 2025. Furthermore, the forecast states: "By 2040, 55% of all new car sales and 33% of the global fleet will be electric." Although Tesla is often the first mentioned when talk around the water cooler turns to EVs, plenty of traditional automakers are charged up about them as well. For example, General Motors announced last October its intent to launch at least 20 new all-electric vehicles by 2023 as it drives toward a future where it intends to solely produce zero-emission, all-electric vehicles. Volkswagen AG, moreover, also aspires to satisfy the growing demand for EVs; the company plans on offering customers electric versions of all the models in its portfolio by 2030.
He said: “The process has really taught us how important the conservation of energy is these days and how big a focus efficiency is above things such as performance.”
Riis identified battery storage as a key focus in the future energy mix.
He added: “I’ve been doing a lot of work with batteries and battery management systems which will become more and more important in the future.”
An even younger generation of potential future engineers were also present to see the teams at work.
Children from local schools flocked into the complex to visit the paddock and also hear a panel of young engineers discuss their careers to date.
It was hosted by Countdown’s Rachel Riley who added a pinch of celebrity stardust to proceedings. Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden is due to attend on July 3.
He will visit the competitors and emphasise the importance of the event in getting the next generation of engineers to drive the energy transition forward.