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Transport 2050: NGVA Europe supports White Paper and the push to use more alternative fuels
thursday, 31. March 2011
NGVA Europe, the Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association, supports the White Paper, published on 28th March, and the push to use more alternative and clean vehicle fuels. The Comission White Paper on transport aims at dramatically reducing Europe's dependence on imported oil and cut carbon emissions in transport by 60% by 2050. Methane (NG/Biomethane) is mentioned as one of the alternatives and can play an important role to help achieving the 2050 key goals. The White Paper for example points out the importance of CNG, LNG and biogas for medium and long distance road transport and the shipping sector (at least 40% cut in shipping emissions set as target). But Methane will also make an important contribution to achieve the predominant target to have no more conventionally fulled cars in cities, in order to improve local air quality and reduce noise exposure. It will have to be complemented by the development of an appropriate fuelling infrastructure for new vehicles. Large fleets of urban buses, taxis and delivery vans are particularly suitable for the introduction of alternative propulsion systems and fuels, the paper says.
"Natural Gas and Biomethane is the real existent alternative to oil derived fuels (diesel, petrol and LPG) today and certainly also for the next decade, so we have to make much more use of CNG and LNG and its great potential to immediately reduce GHG emissions and decarbonise transport", NGVA Europe General Manager, Manuel Lage, said.
Vice-President Siim Kallas was confident when presenting the ambitious White Paper in Brussels: "Transport 2050 is a roadmap for a competitive transport sector that increases mobility and cuts emissions. We can and we must do both. The widely held belief that you need to cut mobility to fight climate change is simply not true. Competitive transport systems are vital for Europe's ability to compete in the world, for economic growth, job creation and for peoples' everyday quality of life. Curbing mobility is not an option; neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system's dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win–win."
In a policy event to discuss the White Paper content in European Parliament on 29th March, EU Affairs Manager, Matthias Maedge, pointed out that other alternatives as electric vehciles or fuel cells will take more time to enter the market, but the natural gas combustion engine technology, which is compatible with the existing engine production technology, is already well proven and has a mature industry behind. The Commission and NGVA Europe agree on the fact that the next decade is crucial to reach the 2050 goals, we need to act now.
In this light, it is important to mention Natural Gas is e.g. the pathway to hydrogen as NG can be mixed with up to 30% hydrogen, which would help to start and develop the logistics and production of hydrogen.
The White Paper "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area - Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system" furthermore emphasises the need for infrastructure investements, to guarantee alternative refuelling all over Europe. NGVA Europe welcomes this approach as the infrastructure build-up of a well connected network of CNG and L-CNG filling stations is crucial for the further market development. NGVA Europe calls for a clear political statement pro Methane and asks for government funding to support the construction of NG/biomethane refuelling. There are about 3.000 filling stations for NG/biomethane across the EU and the NGV related industry already made investments of approx. 1,5 billion Euros, but it will need at least twice as much of investments beyond that to fully connect Europe with this clean alternative fuel. NGVA Europe's members are ready to contribute their part, but a European action plan for a minimum network of filling stations will be essential.
NGVA Europe has already been deeply involved in the elaboration of the “Report of the European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels”, presented in January 2011 (see press release), which was one of the basic reference documents for the transport White Paper. NGVA Europe also actively contributes to the high level group CARS 21 (Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st century). NGVA Europe's last contribution in the CARS 21 WG1 meeting beginning of March can be seen here.
Source: European Commission, NGVA Europe
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