6 years ago

November 2017

  • Text
  • Rover
  • Luxury
  • Velar
  • Vehicles
  • Urban
  • Oslo
  • Experiences
  • Jaguar
  • Emissions
  • Norway
New Range Rover and Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrids | Why Oslo shines as a beacon of electric mobility | Uncovering Mia Suki’s unbridled passion | How Project Hero is optimising crisis response for the Austrian Red Cross | A stunning Norwegian drive in the Range Rover Velar


OSLO GREEN CAPITAL POWER ADVANTAGE Mayor Raymond Johansen (l.) has set Oslo some ambitious targets. “Because politicians themselves have to take action accordingly.” Charging point density is already impressive. Finding one is easy. EVs have one other point in their favour: their own lane on major arterial roads. That saves time. It is the afternoon as we head along the E18 towards the Henie Onstad Museum in the west, where you will also find several of the most in demand residential areas. On the left is the fjord. On the right, residential and commercial areas. Like in most major cities at this time of day, the traffic moves at a crawl – except in the bus lane. In Oslo, however, it is not just buses and taxis that overtake the slow-moving traffic in the other lanes, but also private cars – all of which are electric vehicles (EVs). The permission to use the bus lane and exemption from toll charges when crossing the city limits are just two of the incentives that Norway has created to encourage more citizens to switch to electromobility. There are now so many EVs in Oslo that they can only use bus lanes at rush hour if they have at least two occupants. Norway’s heavy subsidisation of electromobility is a particularly easy way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Norway and Oslo have ambitious climate targets. Most of our electricity is generated by hydropower, so it’s not an option for us to simply close another coal-fired power station to reduce our CO 2 emissions. Instead, we have to make the savings in the vehicle sector,” says Bu. Every electric car, especially when powered by green zero-emission hydropower, that replaces a conventional car greatly helps to reduce Norway's CO 2 emissions. “Climate-related challenges force us to make drastic decisions,” says Oslo’s Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen. The Norwegian capital has committed to reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2020 compared to 1990, going above and beyond the stipulations of the Paris Climate Agreement. By 2030, this figure should even reach 95%. “Setting yourself demanding targets is one of the most important aspects of a progressive environmental policy. This is because politicians force themselves to take action accordingly,” says Holm. Anyone who dismisses this kind of thinking as naïve is mistaken in Norway. There, politicians are great at self-discipline, as they have demonstrated on a national level for decades with the oil fund. This is used to make foreign investments with the profits from the raw material business. As a result, Norway has become one of Europe’s richest and most economically stable countries. Oslo’s ambitious environmental policies have already attracted international attention and led to it being named ‘European Green Capital 2019’ in June. The applicable EU Commission report notes: “Oslo proves itself an excellent performer with consistent strength demonstrated across the majority of the indicators including climate change, local transport, nature and biodiversity, air quality, quality of the acoustic environment, waste management, eco innovation and sustainable employment and energy performance.” “The administration itself only causes 4% of the climate emissions. Our most important tool is therefore that of everyday business, be it urban planning, transport policies or our purchasing power,” says Mayor Johansen. When developing new city districts like the Pilestredet Park, environmental friendliness is considered from the outset. For example, lots of recycled building materials were used and green roofs created. The new opera house, located by the fjord yet still in the heart of the city, generates some of the energy it requires using the solar panels integrated into its glazed façade. In Oslo, as throughout Norway, almost all of the electricity is generated using hydropower. As a cheap and green resource, electricity, together with oil and gas, has traditionally been used for heating purposes. Oslo bucks this trend and is committed to 26

RIGHT XXXXXX “OSLO’S FOOD WASTE IS USED TO GENERATE BIOGAS FOR THE LOCAL BUSES” district heating generated using waste incineration plants like the one in Klemetsrud in the south-east of the country. The building there looks like many other factories and represents both opportunities and difficulties for environmental policy. Starting with the positives, Holm praises the generation of energy through waste incineration as efficient. For this to be as environmentally friendly as possible, lots of waste has to be used elsewhere. The Norwegians therefore sort it first. A light-flooded apartment to the north of Oslo’s centre. A whole array of waste bins are concealed under the sink in the kitchen-diner. Trine Otte Bak Nielsen, who lives in the apartment with her partner and two children says: “We separate everything. But it really isn’t a chore; it’s simply a habit.” Technology in the sorting plants helps to alleviate some of the workload for the couple. At home, both food waste and plastics have to be sealed up in different bags, but these can go into the same waste bin. Simple colour coding using blue and green bags enables the contents to be automatically sorted and separated at a later stage in the recycling plant. Some food waste from Oslo is used to generate biogas for the local public buses. What cannot be recycled, is burned. This naturally generates CO 2 but the Klemetsrud plant has already trialed storing the climate-damaging gas underground rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. Only if this succeeds with flying colours will the Paris climate targets be achievable. However, this is not without its challenges. Safely storing CO 2 is complicated and expensive, so not commercially viable at present. As a result, the city still has work to do to meet its own demanding climate targets for 2020. Some critics point out that the greenest solution of all is waste avoidance. Like growing numbers of Norwegians, the Nielsens are good at preventing emissions. You can still do so even if you have a petrol or diesel car – by simply using it a little bit less. For daily journeys to the shops and work, they cycle. The couple’s newest bike is stored in their garage and almost as big as a small car: the electric bike has quite a long wheelbase and a structure between the handlebars and front wheel that can hold the two young children and a couple of bags. “Since buying this bike, my nursery drop-off time has fallen from 20 minutes to just five,” she says. However, Nielsen is not particularly happy with the bike paths in her home city. She says that they are too few in number and too narrow. The experts agree. Whereas Copenhagen was this year once again named the world’s most bike-friendly city, Oslo made it into the top 20 for the first time. In 19th place, it still has a lot of catching up to do though. “This is far from a bad result,” says the politician Johansen. Fortunately, the Danish capital is not far away: the ferry to Copenhagen sets sail from next to the opera house. If things go according to Holm’s plans, the huge ship will soon run with zero emissions too. 27

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