Sustainable vehicle fuels - do they exist?

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Our aim with this report is to discuss vehicle fuels from a wide perspective of sustainability. Biofuels and electricity are analyzed and compared to fossil vehicle fuels. Our goal is to try to point out the circumstances under which vehicle fuels can be reasonably perceived as sustainable, and which systems we should develop and which we should avoid. The all-embracing conclusion of this study is that one can not establish how sustainable fuels will develop in the future without simultaneously taking into consideration
both scale and pace of growth. Today’s biofuels produced in Sweden are sustainable, given the present production volume, and promote further development of new fuel systems. However, in the case of increased production volumes, exact requirements should be established for the energy- and climate efficiency of the entire fuel chain (from cultivation to tank). High priority should be given to the development of fuel-efficient cars. In this field hybrid electric technology and electric cars will grow in
importance. Any long-term strategy for biofuels should include investments in technology for both thermal gasification and biological conversion methods of lignocellulose, since these are complementing as much as
competing technologies, both increasing the flexibility as well as decreasing the risk of conflicts. Biogas from waste products has great environmental advantages and the sector can be expanded with only small
risks of conflicts. Certification (if correctly formulated) is an important and necessary tool on the way towards more sustainable vehicle fuels and increased production volumes, but certification systems should not be overrated since they can not cover all sustainability aspects. Socio-economic aspects such as working conditions, local rural development etc. must be dealt with through general measures such as national laws, distribution policies, programs and plans, all of which should be supported by international agreements and cooperation on development at all levels. Irrespective of the development in Sweden or the EU, global production of biofuels will increase, not least in the developing countries. It is therefore important to exploit the opportunity we have today to participate in the development and implementation of sustainability criteria. Renewable vehicle fuels can lead to a positive as well as sustainable development in both industrialized and developing countries, when the framing and guidance for an adequate pace of growth and production volumes are given.
Förlag[Publisher information missing]
Antal sidor104
StatusPublished - 2009


NamnEnvironmental and Energy System Studies, Lund University
ISSN (tryckt)1102-3651

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Energisystem


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