LEDs and CSEs: Upgraded Street Lighting in Surrey, UK

Emily Tregidgo – emt2179

1) Sustainability problem: Energy

Street lighting comprises 15-40% of an average city’s energy consumption1. Street lighting therefore contributes to a city’s emissions. In the UK specifically, 60% of the CO2 emissions from the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) lighting assets are from street lights2.  As such, technology that improves the sustainability of street lighting could be impactful in improving energy consumption, efficiency, and its associated emissions. 

2) Sustainability Technology: LEDs and CMS

89,000 new intelligent street lights to save 7,700 tonnes of carbon a year in Surrey, UK

  • Urban Control, a smart cities technology company, is partnering with DW Windsor to upgrade Surrey County Council’s street lights. The effort will replace or retrofit 89,000 street lamps. Urban Control will also roll out an upgrade to the existing central management system (CMS).
  • The streetlights will use energy efficient LEDs, which are expected to provide energy savings of ~60%. 
  • The updated CMS will provide the Council with data on the county’s lighting, energy use, and maintenance. 
  • Skanska, the Council’s street light contractor, and Urban Control are also coordinating the roll out of the new program with the decommissioning of the former CMS such that there are no gaps in coverage. 
  • It is anticipated that this technology will save ~7.7k tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

3) Stakeholders

  • Urban Control
  • DW Windsor
  • Skanska
  • Surrey County Council
  • Surrey residents and businesses
  • LED lighting companies

4) The First Three Steps in Deploying This Technology

  • Raise awareness of the changes being implemented amongst the residents and businesses 
  • Ensure stakeholders are coordinated for the replacement and retrofitting process 
  • Monitor the performance of the new system and the data that it collects

Sources:

1Energy efficiency and pay-back calculation on street lighting systems

2Transport for London’s Energy Efficiency Street Lighting Programme (EESLP)

89,000 new intelligent street lights to save 7,700 tonnes of carbon a year in Surrey, UK

Woodoo: A Wood Alternative

Emily Tregidgo – emt2179

Source: Our Technology – Woodoo

1) Sustainability Problem: Energy, materials 

It is projected that the use of forests for timber and pulp will continue to increase in the coming years. Both timber production and pulp production can drive forest degradation and deforestation. For example, the development of “fast wood” (i.e. acacia) forests to meet increasing demand is one such driver. The practice of selective logging also drives forest degradation and deforestation. While wood can be a renewable resource if managed properly, our consumption of, demand for, and extraction of wood products can compromise the sustainability of our forests, their surrounding ecosystems, and in turn the systems that rely on these products (including the energy system).1 

2) Sustainability Technology: Woodoo 

Woodoo

Our Technology – Woodoo

  • Woodoo removes air and lignin from wood and replaces it with a bio-based polymer, which enhances the wood’s performance. Woodoo is then able to sell the lignin to the specialty chemistry market to mitigate Woodoo’s costs. 
  • In terms of materials, Woodoo focuses on using wood from “unused, low-grade wood species.” The end product is a translucent wood material and the product is marketed as (amongst other things) sturdier, biobased, recyclable, and weather and fire-resistant. Woodoo states that the product has “strength profile of metal and the cost profile of low-grade wood.”
  • The product is applicable for smart surfaces (and is touch-sensitive), particularly in the car and retail industries that are indexed on simultaneously decreasing their products’ weight, and improving their emissions profiles and customer experience. 
  • The product is also applicable to the construction industry – it is an alternative to premium wood (i.e. can reduce the use of endangered wood species) and can in some instances replace other materials such as concrete, glass, and steel. 

3) Stakeholders

  • Woodoo
  • Car manufacturers
  • Construction companies (particularly the materials sourcing team)
  • Consumers (car owners/drivers, building tenants)
  • Communities surrounding forests/areas with low-grade wood and the other wood sources Woodoo uses
  • Specialty chemistry market (lignin purchasers)

4) The First Three Steps in Deploying This Technology

  • Market the product to key consumers, such as car manufacturers and construction companies.
  • Ensure that the material is up to building code and standards of other industries in which this may be used. 
  • Invest in additional use cases and encourage uptake of the product at the beginning of the construction cycle – many buildings and cars generally have a long asset life, and retro-fitting those assets presents a series of challenges.

Sources:

1https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/wood-products#:~:text=But%20for%20the%20most%20part,smaller%20overall%20global%20warming%20impact.

Membrane Bioreactors in Beer Production and Water Waste Management

Emily Tregidgo – emt2179

1) Sustainability Problem: Water, waste, emissions, safety and health

An average brewery uses 7 to 10 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of beer1. Water is used as both an ingredient in beer and in its production, and wastewater is produced as a result of operations. Both the water intensity of production and the wastewater associated with it pose sustainability questions and concerns.

2) Sustainability Technology: BlueCycle MBR (membrane bioreactor)

Cambrian and The Florida Brewery Partner to Reduce Costs and CO2 Emissions

  • Distributed wastewater treatment and resource recovery solutions provider Cambrian is partnering with Florida’s second oldest operational brewery, The Florida Brewery, to deploy Cambrian’s BlueCycle MBR technology. The technology is intended to replace the need for high-strength wastewater disposal systems, and to reduce CO2 output by ~254 metric tons per year. There are also anticipated cost savings associated with the technology.
  • BlueCycle MBR is an aerobic digester that removes water pollutants from the wastewater and its use facilitates water reuse compliant with Title 22 requirements (water recycling regulations). 
  • Anheuser-Busch, Dr. Pepper, and Anchor Brewing Company are among other companies that are using Cambrian’s water reuse solutions.

3) Stakeholders

  • Cambrian
  • The Florida Brewery (operational team)
  • Other beverage companies (both those that use these technologies and those that do not)
  • Regulatory bodies (to ensure compliance with Title 22 and other legislation) 

4) The First Three Steps in Deploying This Technology

  • Assess the impact of the technology at The Florida Brewery
  • Market the cost savings and sustainability benefits the technology provides to other beverage companies
  • Conduct regulatory research to ensure the product is still compliant with the requisite legislation

Sources:

1The thirsty business of beer: How breweries are confronting the industry’s water problem

Amazon’s Use of Rivian’s Electric Vans as Delivery Vehicles

Emily Tregidgo – emt2179

Source: https://coloradosun.com/2021/04/27/amazon-electric-vans-denver-rivian/

1) Sustainability Problem:  Energy (Transportation)

70%+ of the energy that comes in the form of crude oil goes into the transportation sector1. In 2019, transportation was the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (29%) in the United States. The transportation sector’s reliance on fossil fuels and global reliance on transportation creates a handful of sustainability problems, including pollution and emissions. Electric vehicles can help to address some of these challenges, although it is worth noting that EVs themselves require charging from a grid that also relies heavily on fossil fuels and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, and that the materials for the batteries (both sourcing and disposal) also have environmental impacts.

2) Sustainability Technology: Rivian Electric Vans

Amazon’s first electric vans started delivering packages in the Denver area this week (4/27/2021)

  • Amazon plans to use Rivian’s electric vans in 16 US locations. They began to use them in Denver, Colorado in late April 2021. The use of these electric vans is of particular interest to Coloradans because SUVs and trucks are the most popular vehicle types in the state.
  • The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the installation of public charging stations in every state park. Furthermore, the Regional Air Quality Council granted Amazon $71,000 (through the Charge Ahead Colorado grant) for seven charging stations. It is anticipated that the first of these charging stations will be installed in July.
  • The Amazon vans have an expected range of 150 miles, whereas consumer models (R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV) have an expected range of 300 miles. 
  • Rivian has raised $8bn in venture funding (as of January 2021), and has sold out its launch edition vehicles (the preorders of which are expected to be delivered this summer). All future vehicle pre-orders will not be delivered until 2022. 
  • Amazon will continue other electric vehicles in its fleet as well (20 million Amazon packages in North America and Europe have already been delivered by electric vehicle), and anticipates that by next year it will have 10,000 Rivians in use as delivery vehicles.

3) Stakeholders

  • Amazon (delivery team)
  • Vehicle users (should they purchase a Rivian vehicle)

Additional stakeholders:

  • Rivian (and investors)
  • State regulatory and governing bodies, e.g. Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, Regional Air Quality Council

4) First Three Steps in Deploying This Technology

  • Assess feasibility of integrating Rivian vans into Amazon’s fleet and the broader transportation infrastructure in the areas to which Amazon delivers.
  • Raise awareness of the Rivian vehicles to market to a wider consumer base.
  • Invest in the ability to grow the charging infrastructure concurrently with the demand for these vehicles.

Sources:

1Class: Energy Markets and Innovation

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions#:~:text=The%20primary%20sources%20of%20greenhouse,share%20of%20greenhouse%20gas%20emissions.

https://coloradosun.com/2021/04/27/amazon-electric-vans-denver-rivian/

Smart Meters

Emily Tregidgo – emt2179

1. Sustainability Problem: Energy

As it currently stands, the majority of electricity is generated from non-renewable, greenhouse-gas emitting sources (e.g. coal) and the process of electricity generation to transmission and consumption is very inefficient. Electricity (and the energy system more broadly) therefore presents many concerns surrounding sustainability. There are a handful of supply-side technologies that have been implemented to address these concerns, such as the introduction of renewable energy to the grid. There are also demand-side management technologies that have been introduced – that is, technologies that assist in assessing and reducing the grid’s load (customer demand). Smart meters are one such technology.

2. Sustainability Technology: Smart Meters

Smart meters are integrated into the existing electricity system and utility networks. ConEdison began installing smart meters in its service territory in 2017. They plan to have installed almost 5 million smart meters by 2022 – they have completed their installation of smart meters in Staten Island and Westchester county, and their work is ongoing in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. 

  • Conventional meters collect monthly customer consumption data that is shared with ConEdison. Customers are then able to see their monthly consumption reflected on their utility bills.
  • In contrast, smart meters collect near-real-time usage data (intervals of 15 minutes for electricity). Furthermore, customers are able to monitor and analyze their consumption data via a dashboard, allowing for real-time assessment of their consumption and trends that may be driving costs. 
  • The granularity and frequency of data availability from smart meters allow for more effective electricity demand management. In theory, smart meters encourage consumers to reduce and/or shift their electricity demand to off-peak hours, and to modify their usage of electricity-intensive appliances. In turn, a lower load on the grid will call for less electricity generation, resulting in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Smart meter data benefits ConEdison as well, as trend analysis enables them to anticipate and accordingly prepare for future consumption and surge patterns.

3. Stakeholders

There are a variety of stakeholders involved in smart meters:

  • ConEdison itself is a stakeholder
  • ConEdison customers – both customers who opt in to using the smart meters and those who choose to continue using conventional meters
  • ConEdison’s contractors that install the smart meters
  • Renewable energy generators, as they must understand the metering systems in place when they interconnect with their customers
  • Regulatory and oversight boards – for example, ConEdison adheres to privacy standards set by the National Institute of Standards and Technology

4. Technology Implementation

ConEdison is implementing smart meters via a phased roll-out, opt-in model. The completion of installation in two of its six sub-service areas implies that it has obtained the appropriate approvals for the purchase and use of these meters. The bulk of what remains surrounds:

1) Marketing to customers (particularly residential customers who can choose to opt-out of using smart meters) to encourage uptake.

2) Once customers sign up, ConEdison works with its contractors and the customer(s) to set up a time to have the meter installed. Furthermore, ConEdison must ensure their contractors have appropriate insurance policies in place.

3) Ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the meter is also required.

Sources:

https://www.coned.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters

https://www.coned.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters/how-will-a-smart-meter-help-me

https://www.coned.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters/when-will-i-get-my-smart-meter

https://www.coned.com/en/our-energy-future/technology-innovation/smart-meters/faq