Alternative Energy Carriers and Powertrains to Reduce GHG from Transport

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Summary copnclusions on Liquid Biofuels and Biogas

  • Biofuels can theoretically save significant levels of greenhouse gas emissions. However, this is very sensitive to the feedstock and production pathway used, as well as fundamental assumptions in the calculation of savings.
  • There are a number of issues which need to be resolved and questions which need to be answered before these savings can be confidently quantified and agreed upon. These issues include the potential for both Direct and Indirect Land Use change (ILUC).
  • In the short-term, current biofuels are likely to offer only a small/limited potential with greater savings possible in the medium term as advanced feedstocks (e.g. algae) and production processes are developed/mature.
  • In the longer term their potential may be constrained by competition for land use (and water) to feed an increasing global population and replace petrochemical derived products (e.g. textiles, plastics and chemicals) with those produced from biomass.
  • Application in other than the road transport sector is generally immature and still under development. In the longer term biofuel use may need to be focused in aviation and shipping (and potentially long-range road freight transport) due to potentially limited biomass resource availability and fewer alternatives for abatement in these transport sectors.
AEA Technology plc for EU Transport GHG: Routes to 2050?
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