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Hertz Rent-A-Car refreshess UAE fleet with fuel-efficient models

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Tue, 2015-09-29 04:37
... UAE has added over 1,600 new vehicles from a variety of manufacturers that offer some of the lowest CO2 emissions and the highest fuel economy.

Shell backs out of Alaska for foreseeable future with financial hit

Pipe: Advanced tech - Tue, 2015-09-29 03:30

Shell announced on Monday that it will cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future. The company said the decision reflects the results from Burger J exploration well located in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea; the high costs associated with the project; and the “challenging and unpredictable” federal regulatory environment in offshore Alaska.

The company expects to take a financial hit as a result. The balance sheet carrying value of Shell’s Alaska position is approximately $3.0 billion, with approximately a further $1.1 billion of future contractual commitments. Shell will provide an update with third quarter 2015 results.

The Burger J well is approximately 150 miles (241 km) from Barrow, Alaska, in about 150 feet (46 meters) of water. Shell safely drilled the well to a total depth of 6800 feet (2.073 meters) this summer in a basin that demonstrates many of the key attributes of a major petroleum basin. For an area equivalent to half the size of the Gulf of Mexico, this basin remains substantially under-explored.

Although Shell found indications of oil and gas in the Burger J well, these were insufficient to warrant further exploration in the Burger prospect. The well will be sealed and abandoned in accordance with US regulations.

The Shell Alaska team has operated safely and exceptionally well in every aspect of this year’s exploration program. Shell continues to see important exploration potential in the basin, and the area is likely to ultimately be of strategic importance to Alaska and the US. However, this is a clearly disappointing exploration outcome for this part of the basin. —Marvin Odum, Director, Shell Upstream Americas

Shell holds a 100% working interest in 275 Outer Continental Shelf blocks in the Chukchi Sea.

Operations will continue to safely de-mobilize people and equipment from the Chukchi Sea.

Gas tax a fair way to pay for road maintenance

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Tue, 2015-09-29 03:09
When fuel economy increases, we get more road use with less fuel. Therefore the per-gallon fuel tax rate needs to increase. What makes that hard to ...

America is leading the CO2 reduction game

Pipe: Europe - Tue, 2015-09-29 02:03

Europe needs to incentivise carbon capture and storage technology if it to keep up with the Americans on CO2 emissions reduction, argues Chris Davies.


SMART cities are key to India’s economic and social growth

Pipe: India - Tue, 2015-09-29 01:32
As part of an ‘ambitious and forward-looking’ programme of urbanization, the Indian government launched the Smart Cities Mission in June 2015. 98 cities were selected as ‘SMART’ candidates and will be turned into hyper connected, digitized entities.

All key services will be simultaneously revamped and modernized. These will include ‘water supply, electricity supply, sanitation, public transport, solid waste management and affordable housing.’ To be successful, it must be a collaborative effort involving citizens, NGOs, social organizations, and the public sector’s support. Smart cities include transport infrastructure such as bicycle sharing; dynamic carpooling where passengers and drivers can united in real time; integrated transit hubs and electric vehicles. Public transport surveillance, GPS tracking and geo spatial services can provide real time information on accidents, traffic conditions and journey times. The project also plans on introducing smart traffic lights, tolls and parking with sensors and cameras to improve efficiency.

The government plans to spend a total of USD7.26 trillion over 5 years on this project

The 98 cities designated for SMART status account for a population of 130 million, or 35% of India’s urban population.  The government plans to spend a total of USD7.26 trillion over 5 years on this project. Each city is to initiate the project with a disbursement of USD0.3 million. The cities are expected to improve their infrastructure with the aid of ‘technology and e-governance’. The private sector will also contribute to funding. The costs will be recouped from levies or tolls once the new services are launched.

The cities include 24 industrial or business centres, 18 cultural or tourism hubs, five port cities and three educational and healthcare hubs. Capital cities account for 25% of the total.

The World Bank estimates that India’s cities will be home to over 600 million people by 2013

India needs a sustainable public transport system to ensure social and economic development keep pace with population growth. The World Bank estimates that India’s cities will be home to over 600 million people by 2013. Public transport systems exist in just 20 cities with populations over 500,000. Public transport accounted for 40% of all transport in 2007. This was a decline of 70% from 1994.

Time and energy that could be spent delivering economic growth is wasted in commuting

Some cities have local bus services or train networks. Mostly, people depend on bicycles, rickshaws, taxis and private cars. This causes congestion on existing road networks in the cities and on the highways. Time and energy that could be spent delivering economic growth is wasted in commuting. India needs integrated transit hubs and smart infrastructure engineering. But these must be designed according to the needs of the diverse population of India’s urban centres. Otherwise cities will be ‘centered on highways and high rise enclaves.’ They will not be able to adapt to India’s sprawling informal economy. This will risk accelerating unemployment and poverty amongst India’s disadvantaged.

India’s poor road networks are a huge break on its economic growth. Improving public transport and transit hubs connecting towns, cities, states and regions would enable labour, goods and services to move freely, cheaply and safely between work and home. This would accelerate growth and lift more people out of poverty faster.

Take the example of Agra and Ferozabad, two cities 30 km apart

Take the example of Agra and Ferozabad, two cities 30 km apart. Firozabad is home to many skilled glass workers as there are many glass works in the town. Meanwhile, business owners in Agra are shutting down factories that use intermediate glass products due partly to a shortage of skilled workers. A worker from Ferozabad must endure a long and expensive commute to Agra to work at one of its factories. This pushes up wages. The higher expense is driving businesses out. A dedicated, high frequency, inter-city bus-route would be a simple solution to this problem. Instead both unemployment and poverty can be expected to rise in both places.

SMART cities will not only improve quality of life for the residents of these cities but the monitoring systems will provide valuable data for constant improvement. Access to data on water, electricity, gas consumption, and sanitation services can be analyzed to make the cities more efficient. Improvements in waste management, greener, environmentally friendly solutions to pollution and drainage systems will help improve quality of life.  These cities can then focus on providing better education, health services and entertainment to their residents.

With a mere 1% of the world’s automobiles, India accounts for 15% of its fatal traffic accidents. The dead are usually male, between 15-44, poor and dependent on public transport for employment and sustenance. This is a huge drain on society in terms of lives destroyed and families ruined. The solution – safe, efficient, integrated road networks and public transport – is expensive in the short-term but with huge long-term benefits.

The post SMART cities are key to India’s economic and social growth appeared first on India Transport Portal.

Related posts:

  1. Smart Cities India 2015
  2. Building 100 Smart Cities: Smart execution holds the key
  3. India 2015, New Delhi Evaluates the Smart Cities Multi Billion Opportunity

VW diesel debacle: The fallout for fuel

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Tue, 2015-09-29 01:15
This increased adoption was motivated by a perception that diesel-fueled cars are "fun to drive" and have greater fuel economy, according to Galliers.

Russia and Ukraine impose mutual flight bans

Pipe: Europe - Tue, 2015-09-29 00:02

Survey of Republican Voters Shows a Majority Believe in Climate Change

Pipe: Climate and Health - Tue, 2015-09-29 00:00
Echoing a number of other recent surveys, a significant number of Republicans believe the climate is changing and mankind plays a role in that change.

Senator sets sights on cheating car companies

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2015-09-28 23:45
“Testing for fuel economy can be difficult, but the gaps between what is advertised and what is actually achieved on the road really does stretch the ...

Punish too-low car fuel claims, says senator

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2015-09-28 21:41
Car manufacturers are legally required to cite fuel economy figures obtained from prescribed tests they perform at their factories, in much the same ...

<b>India</b> Gate-Red Fort stretch to go car-free on October 22

Pipe: India - Mon, 2015-09-28 21:30
One of the busiest stretches in the Capital will go car-free in line with the government's campaign to de-congest the city. Delhi Transport Minister Gopal ...

Exuberance and Disappointment at Shell’s About-Face in the Arctic

Pipe: Homepage Latest Headlines - Mon, 2015-09-28 21:28
In Alaska, Shell’s announcement that it would suspend drilling in the Chukchi Sea after a test showed less promise than hoped for was one more blow to a state where energy-tax revenues are drying up.

<b>Fuel economy</b> tests 'utterly discredited', claims report

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2015-09-28 20:24
While this does not constitute proof of 'defeat devices' being used to fiddle fuel economy tests, similar to that used by Volkswagen, T&E said the ...

INFOGRAPHIC: Cars use up to 50% more fuel than tests show

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2015-09-28 19:48
While it stressed that this did not constitute proof of “defeat devices” being used to fiddle fuel economy tests — similar to that used by Volkswagen to ...

German public prosecutor opens investigation of Dr. Winterkorn in exhaust scandal

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2015-09-28 19:44

The Center for Economic Criminal Matters (Zentralstelle für Wirtschaftsstrafsachen) of the German public prosecutor in Braunschweig (Staatsanwaltschaft Braunschweig) has begun an investigation of Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, the former CEO of Volkswagen AG, over the VW exhaust affair (“VW-Abgasaffäre”).

The focus of the investigation is the accusation of fraud related to the sale of vehicles with manipulated exhaust systems. Volkswagen AG had filed a criminal complaint with the prosecutor’s office without naming an accused.

The prosecutor’s office said the particular focus of the investigation of Dr. Winterkorn is the clarification of responsibilities (accountabilities).

Earlier in the day, citing “sources close to the matter”, Reuters reported that Volkswagen AG suspended Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, head of brand development at its core VW brand; Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, the head of research and development at Audi who also oversees technical development across the group; and Wolfgang Hatz, R&D chief at Porsche who heads group engine and transmissions development.

Volkswagen has not confirmed the suspensions.

Why the VW diesel scandal happened

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2015-09-28 19:37
The Jetta took a big leap in fuel economy in diesel TDI form. How about 46 mpg on the highway, with a lot of creature comforts and low emissions?

German prosecutors launch fraud inquiry into VW former chief

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2015-09-28 19:06
Several car companies, including Mercedes and BMW, are also facing questions about the widening gap between their cars' official fuel economy and ...

newsclips -- ARB Newsclips for September 28, 2015.

Pipe: Advanced tech - Mon, 2015-09-28 18:58
ARB Newsclips for September 28, 2015.

After Volkswagen scandal, Mercedes and BMW accused over fuel efficiency

Pipe: Passenger vehicles - Mon, 2015-09-28 18:50
'While this does not constitute proof of 'defeat devices' being used to fiddle fuel economy tests, similar to that used by Volkswagen, EU governments ...

Google iLUC alert: RFA Responds To Oregons Proposal To Use ILUC Emissions Under CFP

ICCT ILUC - Mon, 2015-09-28 17:58
...Department of Environmental Quality proposed using hypothetical indirect land use change emissions while calculating the carbon intensity of biofuels under the Clean Fuels Program . DEQ proposed the...