Transport energy supply.An outlook with a european perspective


  • Bengt Johansson
  • Daniel Jonsson

Publish date: 2009-03-12

Report number: FOI-R--2724--SE

Pages: 59

Written in: Swedish


  • enegy suply
  • transportation
  • scenarios
  • transportation fuels


Climate change, energy security and competiveness are prime priorities within EU energy policy. Energy supply is today dominated by fossil fuels and renewable energy only contributes with a limited amount. This situation is even more accentuated within the transport sector. In the climate and energy package, decided in December 2008, there are several parts that will affect tramsport energy supply. Existing business-as-usual scenarios indicate an increased energy use within the EU transport sector during the next decades. The fraction of transportation energy used for aviation is expected to increase. In the scenarios, biofuels are expected to increase to 7-10% of total energy demand within the transportation sector . In policy scenarios, assuming actions to reduce emissions and increase the use of renewable energy tjhis fraction will increase to 10-20% of total transportation fuel use. Petroleum products will in most of the studied scenarios continue to dominate transport energy supply until 2020. Alternative transportation fuels will not dominate transport fuel before 2050. Four development paths for transport energy supply are discussed in this report (fossil fuels, biofuels, hydrogen and electricity). Similarities exist especially between systems based on liquid fossil fuels and systems based on biofuels, and between systems based on hydrogen and electricity. Biofuels and fossil can utilise existing vehicle technologies and systems for fuel distribution. The use of fossil fuels is restricted duo its impact on climate change whereas there are limitationsin the natural resources available for biofuel production. GHydrogen and electricity could be produced from a variety of energy resources and used with low or even negative CO2 emissions seen over the total life-cycle. Heavy and costly storage of the fuels is, howeveer, a negative aspect for these fuels compared to liquid fossil fuels and biofuels. Even though the hydrogen and electricity systems have many similarities there is a significant difference in the fact that there already exists a well-developed distribution system for electricity. Energy demand reductions aare central for obtaining a robust and environmentally acceptable energy supply for the transport sector. There still exist large potentials for reducing the specific energy consumption (MJ7km) of motor vehicles with technical measures. The scenarios studied in this report show that the transition to new transport fuel systems will take al long time. A fundamental decision problem for this transition will be the major uncertainties regarding future technology development. These uncertainties and the long time perspectives involved will require much from the decision makers as they will have to decide on long-term investments while preserving enough flexibility to handle the existing uncertainties around different energy supply solutions.