Grenzeloos studeren

Studeren in het buitenland, wie wil het niet? Met de kreet ‘Verleg je grenzen’ geven alle faculteiten tijdens de jaarlijkse Study Abroad week informatie over studie en stages in het buitenland.

Bij 3mE hadden de studenten er dinsdag wel oren naar.

“I don’t believe in the absolute powers of a minister of energy”, says dr. Karel Mulder. “The consequences of confrontational politics often differ from what was intended. The Zero Emission Vehicle for example that Californian law makers wanted car manufacturers to develop mainly produced court cases and appeals. The most environmentally friendly car meanwhile was produced in Japan.”
Mulder is on a sabatical at the Royal Technical University (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan) in Stockholm, Sweden. After having spent much time lobbying for sustainability in Delft, the researcher from the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management welcomes the opportunity to be more involved in the content again. Naturally, he still works on sustainability issues.
Sweden is a lot more active in sustainability, he observes. “They have really brought their emissions down here, whereas the Netherlands is struggling to stay within the Kyoto targets.” Statistics support his claim: Sweden is already 13 percent below its 2012 Kyoto target; Holland is still 3.5 percent over it. So how did they do it? Mulder: “They extensively use the abundant biofuels here, which they burn in combined heat-power facilities. Public transport in Stockholm is all biofuel-powered; they make experimental use of heat from waste water and they have introduced a peak-hour pricing for cars in Stockholm of about 1.5 to 2 euro, which has really helped in reducing traffic. Meanwhile the Swedes have been investing in public transport as well.”
Investments that Mulder proposes are in the energy-efficiency of buildings, transport and industry; in the European grid to make it resilient to fluctuations in wind and solar power; and in a smart grid allowing households to sell power. These investments should be financed by making fossil energy, be it power, fuel or gas more expensive. Mulder: “Better raise energy prices and develop alternatives now than wait until production can’t meet the growing demand and face an energy crisis.”

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