Natural gas ignored in London pollution report

Natural gas ignored in London pollution report

Gasrec Ltd’s Chief Executive Officer, Rob Wood, has issued a comment in response to the recently published report from the London Assembly Environment Committee that ignored natural gas as a solution to reducing air pollution from diesel vehicles.

Commenting on the report, entitled ‘Driving away from diesel – Reducing air pollution from diesel vehicles’, Mr Wood said: “I was both surprised and saddened to see that [the report] so completely ignored one of the most promising technologies to offer a solution – natural gas.

“The use of low emission natural gas powered transport is growing across the UK – and Europe – as a commercially and environmentally beneficial solution for powering the next generation of road vehicles. There are currently over 700 gas-powered heavy commercial vehicles on the UK road network being operated by leading household brands. Additionally, many lighter gas powered delivery vehicles are also being used for deliveries in urban areas, including London, by companies such as DHL and Tesco.

“Manufacturing of these low emission vehicles is being led by companies such as Iveco, Mercedes-Benz, Scania and Volvo. These companies already offer a selection of new Euro VI models and have plans to introduce an expanded range of types and sizes in due course. This proven technology is ideally suited to urban and city-centre deliveries with costs competitive with diesel.”

Mr Wood noted that other European cities have benefitted from adopting natural gas, as well as developing nations such as India and China. He continued: “A similar approach could easily work for London. With vehicles already available, it would only require the development of a modest network of filling stations which could be relatively quickly established.”

Mr Wood added: “To summarise, the main advantages of using natural gas fuel in transport, whether liquefied or compressed, are the reduction in CO2, NOx, SOx and particulates from gas engines, in addition to the commercial benefits with costs competitive to diesel. The environmental benefits can be further enhanced with the introduction of biomethane (Bio-LNG/CNG) derived from landfill waste or anaerobic digestion, which can virtually eliminate emissions depending on the blend of natural gas and bio-gas used.

“It is a great shame – and missed opportunity – that such an influential report from the UK’s flagship city, completely missed an opportunity to genuinely explore a credible and readily available (now) solution for the transport pollution ills of inner cities and urban areas. It would also be very sad if other cities across the UK took their lead from London and followed a similar path without considering the benefits and opportunity offered by natural gas.”

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