Good Energy

The guys at Good Energy have been really supportive and excited about the expedition, so much so that they have made a contribution which allows me to keep the blog regularly updated during the expedition, so they and everyone else can follow the journey. Good Energy supplies 100% renewable electricity sourced from wind, water, sun and sustainable biomass. CO2 from coal-fired electricity generation is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Switch your electricity supply to Good Energy using this link and not only will you be supporting the pioneering community of independent green generators, but for every sign up they get they’ll make another donation to help get the bus around the world. It helps you cut your personal CO2 emissions, helps them grow a great business, and helps me get round the world.

Friday, 28 August 2009

The Biotruck Index

I spotted a couple of solar panels on the community centre in Oxted today, and it reminded me I haven't done any work on developing the Biotruck Index.

The idea behind the index is to put a number/rank/score to a place (country or region) that gives an indication on how effectively they are moving towards (or away from) low carbon life, based on the subjective observations I can make as I travel through.

With the advice of Janet and Daniela, I've isolated a few factors that I think are key.
  • Energy Production's, how quickly are renewable energy being adopted?
  • Transport, how green is the transport infrastructure.
  • Agriculture, is food production industrialised or local.
  • Education and Attitudes. Is the need for "low carbon" strong in the psyche and do people have an accurate sense of what needs to be done.
The index is a work in progress and will be until I leave, but here's my thinking so far:

Energy Production, How many KW of renewable capacity do I see/mile. I'm always on the look out for solar panels on roofs and wind generators. I can estimate the panel power but I don't have much experience of guessing the power rating of wind generators. I'll have to do a bit of research on that.

Transport, I want to look at sustainable fuel use, but this is really dificult to do, and other approaches might factor in the popularity of public transport.

Agriculture, Is food mass produced and bought in supermarkets, or is it locally grown and sold in street markets. There's a sliding scale in between that. Maybe I can count my own shopping, and answer the question, how easy is it to find local produce.

Education and Attitudes. This is really the big question in my view, and I'd like to weight the score of this so it's as important as the rest combined. The tricky part is how to quantify attitudes and accurate knowledge.

I did also want to look at construction as it apparently has a big impact on global CO2 emissions, and the use of sustainable and locally sourced materials, but I don't really know how I can do this.

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