Zero-emission hydrogen-powered ferry coming to San Francisco

April 22, 2022 by  
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Sea Change, a zero-emission ferry, will soon start operation in San Francisco Bay. The ferry is fully propelled by hydrogen fuel cells, making it the first of its kind to be used for public transport. The 70-foot-long vessel will ferry 75 passengers per trip and service several stops along the San Francisco waterfront. Built at All American Marine shipyard in Bellingham, Washington , the ferry was tested by the U.S. Coast Guard. Related: First of its kind apartment complex in San Francisco “We’re here in the water, under hydrogen fuel cell power and it’s the first commercial vessel in the world that’s got that propulsion system,” said Pace Ralli, chief executive of Switch Maritime. Sea Change marks an industry milestone as the world rushes toward zero emissions . Previous years have seen the introduction of clean energy for trucks, cars, trains and luxury boats, but passenger ferry has fallen behind. Considered one of the best clean energy options, hydrogen fuel cells only emit water and heat. However, using hydrogen cells presents challenges due to bulky cell systems and cost. Ralli says he first came up with the idea for the ferry while living in New York. In a bid to decarbonize maritime travel, he thought of developing the hydrogen fuel-powered ferry. “There was a project in California that was being sponsored by the California Air Resources Board, and they were working on hydrogen fuel cell as a method for decarbonizing ships, so we joined up with them and funded their project in 2019,” Ralli said. The ferry is powered by three hydrogen fuel cell stacks that propel the system. It can navigate at speeds of up to 20 knots, and the automated system is operated via a digital touchscreen, which initiates communication with the engine. “This is going to be the next standard in fuel-cell driven vessels. They’re clean, they’re efficient and they make sense economically on scale,” said All American Marine project manager Jeff Sokolik. Via Reuters Lead image via Pexels

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Zero-emission hydrogen-powered ferry coming to San Francisco

Has renewable energy reached an inflection point globally?

April 6, 2022 by  
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Wind and solar power hit a new record in 2021, generating 10 percent of the world’s entire electricity needs for the first time.

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Has renewable energy reached an inflection point globally?

See the beauty in Trkiye’s plan for sustainable tourism

March 31, 2022 by  
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Travelers often wonder if claims of ecotourism and sustainability are greenwashing. That’s why the  Global Sustainable Tourism Council  (GSTC) developed the GSTC Criteria. The organization vets destinations,  hotels  and tour operators for sustainable management and socioeconomic, cultural and environmental impact. Türkiye, also known as Turkey, became the world’s first government to start developing a national plan with GSTC. The folks at Türkiye Tourism collectively answered some questions for Inhabitat about sustainable tourism in Türkiye. Inhabitat: Türkiye’s government has become the first in the world to sign an agreement to develop a national program with GSTC. What do you think makes the country so forward-thinking about sustainability? Türkiye Tourism:  We believe the impact of  COVID-19  on tourism and travel provides us with a unique opportunity to shape a new future for our vital sector and ensure we recover sustainably and inclusively in a way that empowers both industry stakeholders and communities across the world. Having signed the  Paris Agreement  at the end of 2021, Türkiye accelerated its sustainability efforts with the effect of the lessons learned from the pandemic. Türkiye signed a cooperation agreement with GSTC, the world’s top environment and sustainability platform, at the beginning of 2022. Türkiye, which started working with GSTC to prepare a National Sustainable Tourism Program, is the first country in the world to sign an agreement to develop a national program in the field of sustainable and green tourism.  This program with the GSTC is planned to restructure the Turkish tourism industry with a three-year protocol. It is expected to be completed in 2030 while also meeting the commitments of the Paris Agreement. The first phase of the program will be carried out gradually in 2023 and the second phase in 2025. As of April 2022, a sustainable transformation will be initiated in accommodation facilities in Turkey. The National Sustainable Tourism Program prepared with GSTC sets the most widespread and highest standards in the field of sustainable tourism. With this, Türkiye aims to ensure the sustainability of the country’s rich natural and cultural resources. Inhabitat: What are some steps that Türkiye has already taken to become a more sustainable tourism destination? Türkiye Tourism:  With the  Safe Tourism Certification Program implemented in the first months of the pandemic, Türkiye instilled great confidence in its visitors. It has put into effect the Safe Tourism Certification Program, which defines a series of measures by all actors of the industry: from  transportation  to accommodation and from facility employees to passengers’ own health status for Turkish citizens and foreign visitors spending their holidays. Thanks to this Safe Certification program, which is one of the first of its kind in the world, and the comprehensive vaccination program carried out by  Türkiye , the country accomplished a “V” shaped recovery in 2021. Along with the lessons learned about sustainable tourism during the pandemic, the Safe Tourism Certification Program will continue to be implemented as the Safe and Green Tourism Certification Program. It will gain a function that also determines and oversees the sustainability conditions in Türkiye as of 2023. Türkiye has already implemented the Provincial Promotion and Development Program in 2021 with the purpose of promoting tourism throughout the four seasons and gaining sustainable criteria for the whole country. Currently, the Safe and Green Tourism Certification Program is assessed by four ministries. This program aims both to create a more  sustainable  tourism model by preserving the nature of the regions that receive intense visits and to bring Türkiye to the fore with all its richness in the international arena. It will enable Türkiye’s provinces and sub-destinations to be promoted more effectively in the national and international arena. Inhabitat: What future sustainability initiatives do you anticipate for Türkiye? Türkiye Tourism:  Future initiatives include the creation of a Green Türkiye rubric on the  GoTürkiye  platform as a B2C method of directly informing the public. The aim is to provide a one-stop for those looking for activities and accommodation with a low  carbon footprint . The TOURISM2023 Master Plan of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been shaped within the framework of the sustainability vision to generate sustainable tourism policies. In line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and sustainable tourism management, [the plan] focuses on  environmental , cultural and socioeconomic impacts. Our ministry has worked in tandem with the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on various initiatives such as the integration of local farmers into the tourism supply chain. A  nationwide map  of eco-labeled facilities in Türkiye is currently being worked on. Among many available national and international eco-labels, touristic facilities showing sustainable initiatives are awarded a green star or ISO 14001 label. National eco-labels have been implemented and will continue [at] different levels. Airports and organizations operating at  airports  are granted a national label encouraging the systematic reduction of harm they may cause. In the same manner, cruise ports are awarded the Green Ports label aimed at reducing environmental risks, namely emissions, arising from port and ship operations. Additional villages are expected to join the 18 “ Cittaslow ” towns recognized in seven regions. Typically, towns with  historical  character, settlements on high altitude plateaus and stone houses on narrow streets near the seacoast are awarded by the Slow Food movement. An initiative developed as a result of the pandemic has been the promotion of  touring Türkiye by train . Inhabitat: What is Türkiye doing to combat overtourism? Türkiye Tourism:  Before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the main initiatives were implemented with the main goals of reducing the pressure from mass tourism in  coastal  areas and spreading the socioeconomic benefits of tourism to underdeveloped regions. These projects developed before the pandemic include the Blue Flag Project for sustainable boating, … Botanical Tourism Project and Silk Road Project. Inhabitat: What else should readers know about sustainable tourism in Türkiye? Türkiye Tourism:  Türkiye has been aware of the importance of sustainable tourism within the scope of protecting the environment and  biological diversity  before and after the pandemic. Türkiye has implemented many pioneer projects in this regard. In addition to 3S [sun, sea and sand] tourism, Türkiye presently offers coastal tourism, culture and historical tourism, winter sports, mountain and nature tourism, highland tourism … 44 national parks, 247 nature parks, 30 nature protection areas and 116 nature monuments. Along with these products, Türkiye has a rare richness in endemic species, flora and fauna. And there’s lots more information about  sustainability in Turkiye here . In addition, the Antalya  aquarium , the Atatürk Cultural Center, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara, the Odunpazar? Modern Museum and Galataport were all built with a sustainable strategy. Images courtesy of Türkiye Tourism

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See the beauty in Trkiye’s plan for sustainable tourism

Solar panels power this sleek, net-zero tiny home on wheels

February 28, 2022 by  
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This wasn’t your standard build for a  tiny home on wheels . The primary focus wasn’t on the lowest possible budget but rather on conscientious material selection and impeccable design. As a result, the First Light Tiny Home meets the owner’s desire for a “refined tramping lodge on wheels.” Translated from New Zealand terminology, that means she wanted a portable launching point she could use for hiking trips or everyday use.  It started with a vision the client had been developing for four years. With a foundational idea, she looped in New Zealand architectural design firm First Light to help hammer out the design and meet NZTA regulations regarding width, height and weight. While architects regularly deal with these restrictions, the project brought welcome challenges such as ensuring the build fit on the frame and the proper weight was observed. Related: Put this tiny home Cabin One anywhere After about a year of planning, the team enlisted Build Tiny to help construct the  tiny house . With so many creative minds on the project, the home offers detailed architectural design and a custom build, along with many eco-friendly attributes.  First Light focused on durable design with an exterior wrapped in ebony corrugate with matching aluminum joinery, lights and utilities. Even with attention to the strict weight limits, the home features a loft bedroom with a gabled roof for extra space. Six  solar panels  mounted to the roof provide power for the unit. Supplemental energy comes from propane gas. Meanwhile, copious windows and full-height French doors flood the space with  natural light  for lower energy consumption and offer commanding views regardless of the location. The  interior design  focuses on sleek, minimalistic elements and uses poplar plywood throughout. There’s a sitting area for reading and relaxation, and the kitchen is fully stocked for cooking and entertaining. Furniture pieces work double-time, offering storage in unexpected ways.   A modular deck was added on-site for additional outdoor living space that can be removed when the owner decides to hit the road in favor of a new  environment .  In addition to being a net-zero home, this space offers a tight envelope and LED lights for  energy efficiency , low-water fixtures, and a composting toilet. Material selection prioritized low-maintenance, durable, and locally sourced items. Most materials are also recyclable.  Architects at First Light Studio describe the home as “more a large and very detailed piece of furniture than a traditional house build, the fit-out [focusing] on the things that are important and necessary.” + First Light Studio Via Yanko Design Images via BuildTiny, NZ

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Solar panels power this sleek, net-zero tiny home on wheels

Kroger and Loop bring first US in-store reuse pilot to Portland

February 23, 2022 by  
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The companies launched the first Loop retail service in the US with a six-month pilot this week in Fred Meyer stores.

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Kroger and Loop bring first US in-store reuse pilot to Portland

Rolls-Royce eyes first battery planes from 2025 as it inks private e-jet deal

February 18, 2022 by  
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The engineering giant expects the first commercial use of small aircraft powered by its battery systems to take off within three to five years.

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Rolls-Royce eyes first battery planes from 2025 as it inks private e-jet deal

Raising the bar for green arenas

February 3, 2022 by  
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How the Climate Pledge Arena was born and will it be the first or last of it’s kind.

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Raising the bar for green arenas

Moore’s Law is our ‘secret weapon’ for a sustainable civilization

February 3, 2022 by  
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Renewable energy can take advantage of this huge increase in computing power, along with artificial intelligence (AI), robotic deployment, and automation, in a way that fossil fuels cannot.

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Moore’s Law is our ‘secret weapon’ for a sustainable civilization

Will the Great Resignation also lift up food and ag workers?

February 3, 2022 by  
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Strikes, unions and walkouts: Food workers are paving their own path.

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Will the Great Resignation also lift up food and ag workers?

Aptera upgrades its unique solar-charging EV

January 20, 2022 by  
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Aptera’s three-wheeler enclosed electric car has already made its mark as a unique new offering on the EV scene. The solar-charging EV never needs to be plugged in, all while competing with mid-level Teslas for range when charged as a traditional EV. Now, Aptera says it has completed some major upgrades to make the cars even more competitive. Here’s what’s new with Aptera’s revolutionary EVs. Aptera’s solar-charging EV already has the longest range of any production vehicle with 1,000 miles per charge and the ability to travel up to 40 miles a day on free power from its integrated solar panels . Now, the solar panels have been future-proofed, designed to be switched out for updates as solar technology improves. The solar cells integrated into the car’s roof panels have also been hail tested and undergone other testing to maximize efficiency. Related: Ambitious new EV charging network launches in the US The car’s body is created with 3D-printed components that have six key structural parts. They have been integrated with a new suspension designed for even better aerodynamics, which makes them use less energy than any other electric and hybrid vehicles on the road today. Is one of the key differences the light weight from only three wheels and very little cargo space? Yes, but it’s more than that. The new Beta models have improved structural stability to reduce shake and increased efficiency by improving the airflow over the lowered vehicle stance. The company slightly increased the front-row headroom and hip room for more driving comfort. Aptera has looked at both sleek shape and light weight and combined that with self-charging tech that can charge while you drive to improve range. Turning radius, stability and maneuverability have all improved. The mobility startup will use these changes in the Beta to model their first production cars, coming soon. Over 13,000 people have already reserved an Aptera. The vehicles are expected to use only 100 Wh per mile, making them the most efficient vehicles in production. Each Aptera features 2.4 square meters of solar panels that produce enough energy for 40 miles of driving off-grid per day. “We’ll start by producing our first few hundred vehicles, our Paradigm Editions,” said Pablo Ucar, Aptera’s Vice President of Production and Procurement. “As our supply chain becomes more established, we’ll ramp to 250 per month, and eventually reach our target of producing 40 vehicles per day. To support this demand, we’re predicting growth of our manufacturing and engineering staff by 3-5x over the next three years.” + Aptera Via Medium Images via Aptera

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Aptera upgrades its unique solar-charging EV

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