Biofuels: the only replacement for fossil fuels for different modes of transport

Alternative fuels have the potential to gradually replace fossil energy sources and make transport sustainable by 2050″ (The European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels).

Biofuels are the only alternative available between now and 2050 for all modes of motor transport. Electricity, hydrogen and the transition to cleaner fossil fuels will not be enough to meet the demands of the entire transport sector. Alternative fuels have the potential to gradually replace fossil energy sources and make transport sustainable by 2050 (The European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels).

Different modes of transport require different options of alternative fuels and it has been revealed that biofuels are the only option for all forms of transport by land, water and air. Biofuels, with its higher energy density are touted as being more suitable to longer-distance operations. According to The European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels, “Biofuels could technically substitute oil in all transport modes, with existing power train technologies and existing re-fuelling infrastructures”.

Important factors determining the economics of the different options are the compatibility of new fuels with current technologies and infrastructure, or the need for disruptive system changes. The sustainability of biofuels is paramount and must be guaranteed moving forward.

The production of first and second generation biofuels from both traditional crops and lignocellulosic crops requires efficient land use, and compliance with strict sustainability criteria is important.

The EC’s Vice-President, Siim Kallas has said: “If we are to achieve a truly sustainable transport, then we will have to consider alternative fuels. For this we need to take into account the needs of all transport modes.”

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