Introduction

Energy consumption is probably the most challenging transportation-related problem that policy makers and the automotive and petroleum industries are faced with. As more than 75% of transportation energy demand goes to road vehicles in the United States and Europe (EIA 2004; Eurostat 2004), fuel consumption of cars and trucks plays the most important role in this issue. Thanks to very significant technological breakthroughs in the last two decades, motor vehicle emissions of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons have been abated to a very large extent in OECD countries, even despite considerable growth in total vehicle kilometers traveled. Technolo-

E.J. Moniz (ed.), Climate Change and Energy Pathways for the Mediterranean, 193-206. © 2008 Springer.

gies have also been developed for the effective control of particulates emitted from diesel vehicles, which are increasingly employed in new models. Reducing fuel consumption and the resulting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, however, is a problem of a different nature: it requires interventions in the total demand for transportation, improvements in the fuel efficiency of new vehicles entering the market and eventually a shift to alternative propulsion systems that use low-carbon or zero-carbon energy sources.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, which was agreed upon in 1997 but came into force only in February 2005, the 15 old European Union member states (EU-15) must reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 8% from 1990 levels by 2008-2012. According to official EU data and projections shown in Figure 1, the slight downward GHG emissions trend that was observed in the early 1990s is being reverted so that, if no additional measures are taken, GHG emissions in 2010 will only be 1% lower than in 1990. The current EU picture does not change much if the 10 new member states are included (most of which have similar reduction targets).

As Figures 2 and 3 illustrate, transport accounted for 21% of total GHG emissions in the EU in the year 2002, and its share is continuously rising.

GHG emissions

LIC-i

^^^ EU-15 w'^h exiting neasures projections □ Ta ge:; and Kyoto rrechanisrn ^^^ EU-15 w':h additions measures projections Target path ZQ10

Fig. 1. Evolution of GHG emissions in the EU (15 member states before the enlargement of May 2004), 1990-2012 (Source: EEA 2004)

^^^ EU-15 w'^h exiting neasures projections □ Ta ge:; and Kyoto rrechanisrn ^^^ EU-15 w':h additions measures projections Target path ZQ10

Fig. 1. Evolution of GHG emissions in the EU (15 member states before the enlargement of May 2004), 1990-2012 (Source: EEA 2004)

Moreover, it is the only sector that has demonstrated an emissions increase since 1990: transport-related GHG emissions were 22% higher in 2002 than in 1990 and, in the absence of further abatement measures, they are projected to reach 34% higher levels by 2010 compared to 1990. In short, attainment of the EU's Kyoto target will depend critically on its ability to control transportation GHG emissions, primarily CO2.

As demand for mobility is steadily rising despite the widely stated EU policy objective to decouple transport from economic growth, there are two remaining options for reducing CO2 emissions from motor vehicles: increase their efficiency (usually measured as fuel economy1) and shift to alternative fuel/propulsion systems that emit less CO2. With the exception of biofuels, which are regarded as CO2-neutral and whose production is gradually increasing and encouraged by EU legislation, other fuel/engine combinations are still not mature for mass production, and even commercially available hybrid powertrains are experiencing slow penetration rates. It therefore becomes imperative for the EU, if it is to meet its Kyoto commitment, to succeed in improving the fuel economy of conventional gasoline and diesel fuelled internal combustion engines.

Waste 2002

Energy excluding transport Si %

Fig. 2. Share of different sectors in total EU-15 GHG emissions in 2002 (Source: EEA 2004)

1 The equivalent terms fuel economy (expressed in miles per gallon) and fuel consumption (expressed in litres per 100 kilometres) are linked with the following relationship: fuel consumption (l/100 km) = 235.2 / fuel economy (mpg).

Waste 2002

Energy excluding transport Si %

Fig. 2. Share of different sectors in total EU-15 GHG emissions in 2002 (Source: EEA 2004)

Past emissions, base year = 2002 Energy excl. transport - 5 % Q

Transport

Industrial processes " _

Agriculture - e %

Waste i_

Projections with existing

Energy exci. transport - 3 "i-

Transport

Industrial processes ~ 6 % |

Agriculture Waste -

measures, base year = 5010

Fig. 3. Evolution of sectoral GHG emissions in EU-15 compared to 1990 levels (Source: EEA 2004)

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Your Alternative Fuel Solution for Saving Money, Reducing Oil Dependency, and Helping the Planet. Ethanol is an alternative to gasoline. The use of ethanol has been demonstrated to reduce greenhouse emissions slightly as compared to gasoline. Through this ebook, you are going to learn what you will need to know why choosing an alternative fuel may benefit you and your future.

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