China has certainly made some startlingly bold and draconian moves into a sustainable new future. You might say that their One Child policy did more to slow future climate change than anything that any other nation has tried. That’s one example of their outside-the-box thinking about the future.
Then they switched to one giant national grid in under two weeks, making renewable energy a nationwide possibility. Now they are investing $9 billion a month on renewable infrastructure. Last week they opened up the grid to any producer at all of solar or wind power, passing a law that every utility must buy all the renewable power put on the grid, effectively creating the Al Gore “electranet” idea – the giant unfettered sellers market for anyone who builds wind or solar power.
Now comes a real shocker. Mr Wei, the CEO of Chinese shipping giant Cosco is looking into the feasibility of running a cargo shipping fleet using nuclear power.
The New York Times James Kantor is reporting that Mr Wei told the British maritime newspaper Lloyd’s List that his company was consulting with Chinese nuclear companies to see if the idea was practicable.
Shipping emissions are already coming under regulatory control by ports concerned with the health effects of particulate pollution. California CARB rules are being appealed in court by the shipping industry but generally these rules wind up being upheld.
Shipping emissions contribute about 5% of global greenhouse gases, but already sulfur from diesel fuel is under increasing regulation because of local health issues in ports. CARB wants the shipping industry to switch to low sulfur diesel 40 miles from port. Though this will be fought in courts, the writing is on the wall for the shipping industry.
Mr Wei wanted to put out this idea to see whether the idea would be acceptable to society. Personally I wouldn’t want nuclear powered vessels anywhere near my port, but maybe a nuclear-hybrid would be OK with me. Nuclear just on the high seas, and switch to a safer fuel for the last 500 miles to port. International cargo shipping must make a change to be sustainable.
What would you tell Mr Wei?
Source: Green Inc