The head of the public body responsible for airport management in Norway estimates that for domestic flights, all-electric aircraft could be used … by 2040.
Norway may be one of the largest oil producers in Europe, but the Scandinavian nation intends to shift to means of transport that do not need the exploitation of oil for enough energy to move. And in this regard, electric vehicles are popular in the country of the Fjords.
In automotive, for example, a tipping point was raised in early 2017 with the sale of electric or hybrid cars that outperformed other modes of propulsion. Not surprising in terms of the country's environmental policy, based on dissuasive taxes and strong incentives. The Norwegian clientele quickly understood where his interest lay.
CC Alexander ShchukinThe country does not intend to stop there: now it is even a question of electrifying Norwegian air transport. That's what Dag Falk-Petersen, the director of Avinor, who is the public body responsible for airport management in the country, said. Domestic flights and trips to neighboring northern capitals would be affected.
"We believe that all flights of less than or equal to one and a half hours can be carried out by fully electric aircraft," he said. But such a project will not happen overnight: it will be phased in over at least two decades, as Dag Falk-Petersen refers to 2040 as the deadline. For more distant flights, all-electric is not considered.
"We believe that all flights of less than or equal to one and a half hours can be carried out by fully electric aircraft"
The local press notes that air transport is responsible for 2.4% of Norway's greenhouse gas emissions for domestic traffic and more than double for international routes, according to official statistics. This is not the most critical position in the fight against climate change, but no effort should be neglected in this battle.
One question remains: where will the electricity come from supplying the future short- and medium-haul planes that Norway wants to see fly in twenty years from now?
In fact, since electricity is not an easily accessible resource in the natural state, it is necessary to transform it from something else: now, the various solutions that are currently conceivable do not have quite the same environmental footprint: wind? Nuclear power plants? Thermal power plants? Hydroelectric dams? The solar?
CC George BeckerEach approach has its defects: disfigurement of landscapes, production of nuclear waste, emission of CO2 and various pollutants, significant transformation of ecosystems, yield, complex storage of energy produced … in light, roll or fly electrically do not do everything: it is still necessary to know how this electricity was produced. And what impact this production has had on the environment.
Rest of two evils, we must choose the least. And compared to the current situation, the all-electric track is likely preferable. And in the meantime, progress can still be made to improve storage, efficiency, and methods of generating electricity.