28 July 2014
This study by Ricardo-AEA for the Department for Transport examines the potential use of gaseous and waste derived fuels in the UK transport sector, examining the costs energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with both production and use of the fuels in road vehicles, aircraft and waterborne vessels.
These are compared with the costs and emissions of using conventional fuels (e.g. petrol, diesel, jet fuel and marine oil) in each mode of transport so that the cost-effectiveness of the use of gaseous and waste-derived fuels in transport can be calculated.
The study is forward-looking and therefore considers a wide range of fuel pathways that could be commercially viable in 2025. In the case of waste-derived fuels, as well as processes such as anaerobic digestion to produce biomethane which are currently available, the production of gaseous and liquid fuels in advanced biofuels plants using gasification and pyrolysis techniques are examined. For gaseous fossil fuels, sources of supply which could be important in 2025, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports and shale gas, are considered alongside current sources of supply from the North Sea.
This study evaluates a range of fuels, vehicles and infrastructure, providing a broad overview of a complex area. The results should therefore be taken as indicative rather than definitive. However, the study provides a useful guide as to the potential magnitude of the different carbon, energy and cost impacts of steps along the fuel supply chain. It also highlights the areas where further work is needed to fully understand the impact of innovative fuels and vehicles. The main conclusions from the analysis are summarised below.
To view the report click here.