Daily Archives: June 3, 2021

The right to hydrogen

By Jorgo Chatzimarkakis – Even one year ago hydrogen would have been regarded as an interesting niche technology – but rather science-fiction than a future cornerstone of the European Green Deal. As with many other important historical disruptions, the pandemic has also led to viewing this technology from a different angle on a global level. This became visible this very week when John Kerry visited Berlin in order to prepare a joint approach with the Europeans towards the next big climate conference: The former US- Vice-President mentioned green hydrogen continuously at the same level as electrification. And this mirrors the importance that has been attributed to hydrogen by the Europeans already a year now, starting with the launch of the European hydrogen strategy in July last year.

Including renewable produce hydrogen into the energy, mobility and industry scenario leads to major shifts with regards to policies, investments and overall expectations. And this is good because we have to use the technology which helps us to quickly achieve palpable results in the “battle” for zero-emissions that we all strive for. But this situation unequivocally leads to distribution struggles. The issues on the agenda are: Who should be favored by which legislation? Who should be invited to conferences preparing big decisions? Who would be justified to receive public funding? Who will be favored by private investment?

Picking up a thought mentioned already: We do not need to focus on technology A versus technology B, but maintain technological openness and focus on those solutions that allow us to achieve our goals in the best way. I believe that even the advocates for an all-electric scenario have rightly understood that hydrogen will most probably become the other leg of the energy, mobility and industry transition next to electrification. more>

Unsnarling Traffic Jams Is the Newest Way to Lower Emissions

By John Fialka – The Department of Energy is preparing to use the massive computing power of its national laboratories to tackle a daily scourge of American life: traffic jams.

The effort is aimed at more than just improving motorists’ moods. If it works, it could cut U.S. transportation fuel consumption up to 20% and reduce auto emissions.

A second goal is to recover as much as $100 billion in lost worker productivity by unsnarling rush hour traffic jams in U.S. cities over the next 10 years.

Two years ago Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., selected Chattanooga, Tenn. (population 182,799), as the guinea pig for their first traffic-cutting experiment.

The city, nestled among the hills and ridges of the southeastern corner of the state, is ranked among the nation’s top 20 most traffic-congested cities.

The first step for NREL scientists was to make a detailed computer model, or what it calls a “digital twin,” of the city’s traffic patterns to isolate and then explore solutions to its snarled rush hours.

“Chattanooga provided an ideal microcosm of conditions and opportunities to work with an exceptional roster of municipal and state partners,” explained John Farrell, who manages the vehicle technology management program for NREL.

“Eventually, the plan is to apply these solutions to larger metropolitan areas and regional corridors across the country.” more>

Updates from ITU

The benefits of space must be accessible to all
ITU News recently caught up with Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) Simonetta Di Pippo, who leads UNOOSA’s strategic, policy and programmatic activities and advises the United Nations Secretary-General on space affairs. 

UNOOSA carries out an important mission regarding activities in space. What exactly does UNOOSA do, and how does this differ from the work of its sister UN agency, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)?

UNOOSA’s mission is to promote the peaceful uses of outer space and ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to the benefits of space technology and applications. ITU, on the other hand, is committed to connecting all the world’s people, wherever they live and whatever their means, so that they can effectively communicate through radio and satellite technology. Therefore, our missions are closely aligned and interdependent.

Space exploration is the backbone of modern communication technologies: every time you make a phone call or access the Internet, you are benefitting from space technology, which also enables satellite navigation, remote financial transactions and many more of the activities that make our modern lives possible.

UNOOSA’s work, in ensuring strong international cooperation in space, the sustainability of space exploration, and inclusiveness for developing countries in benefiting from space, creates a strong foundation for ITU’s work in leveraging the potential of communication technologies. more>

Related>

The Road to Full Employment

Recovery in the U.S. labor market, along with wage growth, may be stronger and faster than expected. Here’s what that could mean for investors.
By Lisa Shalett – With major U.S. stock indexes notching new highs, long-term Treasury yields retreating from recent peaks and lower volatility, investors seem to be embracing an outlook of “just right” economic growth, steady job gains and a patient Federal Reserve committed to helping labor markets heal through ultra-easy monetary policy.

That view is understandable. The U.S. central bank has pledged to remain accommodative, until the economy reaches “maximum employment,” a shift from its historical goal of achieving a “natural” unemployment rate, below which inflation accelerates. Continued Fed dovisheness could support investor appetite for market risk and bolster expectations of lower-for-longer interest rates.

However, we expect a very different dynamic to unfold, as this business cycle progresses—namely, a hotter but shorter economic expansion, with a rapid recovery in labor markets and a burst of wage growth. Such an outcome could push up inflation rates faster than expected and prompt the Fed to raise interest rates, with important implications for portfolio positioning. more>