Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Green Revolution in Action

Thursday Dec 3 11:38:00 GMT 2009

1000 jobs created and 200 000 tonnes of CO2 saved each year by enabling the emerging biomass power generation industry to achieve the 2020 targets set out in the recently published Renewable Energy Directive (RED). This is what results from B9 Shipping supporting just one niche market.
Remember in the last blog we asked how much CO2 we’d save if all of the 10,000 similar sized coasters currently operating across the world were replaced, over time, by a fossil fuel free B9 Ship? We’ve calculated that each 3000 tonne coaster operating on conventional bunker fuel emits 16 tonnes of CO2 per day. So if we assume they only operate 300 days a year (which is unlikely since it would be uneconomic to do so – but makes the maths easier!) then we’d save the planet 48m tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
When B9 identifies a challenge that needs urgent attention, like emissions from shipping, it looks to inspirational engineering solutions.
You will have by now seen the initial design for the new B9 Ship. Rob Humphreys has taken a 21st century view on the old square rig clipper ships. Ultra modern technologies developed in the offshore yacht racing arena have been incorporated into the best aspects from the time tested sailing vessels. So we’ve cleared any standing rigging off the deck to enable swift and easy load and discharge of cargo, the steel masts will be hollow to save weight and allow crew safe access to the spars and sails in the event of the need for repairs and, by including sophisticated technology, the whole rig can be turned in a moment to avoid damage or danger to human life in a sudden squall.  There’s a whole raft of other benefits but you get the drift!
Once the design is finalised and has been tested at the Wolfson Unit at Southampton University then we set to work building ships. 500 people will be needed to build the steel hulls for the ships required by this one industry alone - the biomass power generators - to meet RED target. The mast, sails and rigging development will need some 100 people, we’ll be safeguarding jobs at Corus steel mills and creating at least 5 new jobs in the Corus plasma cutting facility. The fitting out, management and administration requirements will employ another 100 or so people. 300 people will be needed to crew those ships. All of these people in new work have money to spend in the wider economy.
Once we truly embrace the need to solve environmental challenges, then we can find solutions. Einstein said “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. At B9 we know there is no option but to find solutions and we turn to inspirational engineering. This in turn creates jobs, stimulates economic revival and saves carbon. This is the Green Revolution in action. What’s not to like?

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