RETRANS - Opportunities for the use of renewable energy in road transport - Policy makers report

Mar 2010

The increasing energy use in the transport sector is adding also to the dependency of countries on oil imports. In the reference scenario of the IEA World Energy Outlook 2008 the transport sector is the largest contributor to oil-demand growth in non-OECD-countries, accounting for 57% of global primary oil consumption in 2030 compared with 52% in 2008 and 38% in 1980. Despite continuing improvements of the average vehicle fuel efficiency, the sheer increase in vehicles numbers and kilometres driven, in particular in upcoming economies, is expected to keep pushing up demand for oil in the transport sector.
To reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector and its dependence on imported oil to the levels as indicated above requires a true transition of the transport sector and its energy system. The main ingredients to realise such a transition are:
- reducing the energy demand of vehicles;
- shifting towards less carbon-intensive and carbon-neutral, renewable energy carriers;
- shifting towards more energy-efficient or less carbon-intensive modes of transport;
- curbing the growth of transport demand.
For the short term (2010-2020) energy efficiency improvements in fossil-fuelled vehicles will be the most important means of achieving intermediate GHG reduction goals. However, in order to start a transition towards a sustainable transport system that meets ambitious sustainability targets for the longer term (2030-2050), we do need to start the development and initial implementation in the short term of options that enable the use of renewable energies in road transport.
This report discusses the current state of the art of the use of options for using renewable energies in road transport, and explores possible synergetic effects between the evolution of road transport and the increased uptake of renewable energy. Also, policy options are identified to accelerate the transformation of road transport towards significantly lower carbon emissions.


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