World Environment Day targets Air Pollution

This year’s World Environment Day (WED) organised by the United Nations Environment Programme has Air Pollution as its theme.  Globally, 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air, according to WHO, the World Health Organisation, and each year there are as many as 4.2 million premature deaths from air pollution.

But it’s not just a global problem.  Air Quality in London regularly fails to meet Government standards, although by chance it’s pretty good today (5 June – World Environment Day) with most pollution indicators recording low.  The standards used allow breaches of international guidelines for a set number days each year, but even so many sites exceed the annual pollution levels.

Air quality indicators - 2018

One of the BankEnergi partners, King’s College London, runs the London Air Quality website on which current data can be seen.  The data on this map shows whether pollution levels recorded remained within the Government’s Air Quality Strategy Objectives in 2018. The monitoring station at the Elephant & Castle failed mainly as a result of ozone levels.

So what’s BankEnergi doing about Air Pollution?

The BankEnergi team is combatting local air pollution by developing a smart energy system that will cut air pollution from both static (boilers) and mobile (vehicles) sources of combustion.

Boiler use will be reduced by a combination of reducing heating demand and switching to cleaner sources of heat, such as heat pumps – potentially including recovery of low-grade waste heat from the tube network.

Electric vehicles will be encouraged by adding rapid charging points, adjacent to convenient facilities for drivers, linked to battery storage to improved the economics of the system.  With the switch to EVs focusing on fleets with passenger carrying or local delivery vehicles rather than private cars, diesel use will fall leading to reduction in NOx and low-level ozone,