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European Gas Forum study concludes greater use of NGVs will meet CO2 abatement targets with huge cost savings
thursday, 4. October 2012
An alternative pathway with a more significant role for natural gas could reach the 2050 CO2 abatement targets in the transportation sector while also delivering cost savings of around €60-70 bn in the period to 2030, shows a study released today by the European Gas Forum (EGaF). A much higher share of natural gas (up to 4.7 times higher) than in the European Commission’s baseline White Paper scenario for the EU transport sector’s energy consumption would make these savings possible.
Across the power, residential and transport sectors combined, EGaF’s ‘optimised’ CO2 abatement scenarios show total cost savings of around €400‐700bn in the period to 2030, equivalent to approximately €140‐230 per EU household per annum.
Important cost advantages would come from the heavy trucks and maritime shipping sectors. Heavy duty vehicles using LNG (liquefied natural gas) are likely to see a significant reduction in CO emissions, a 50% reduction in PM compared to diesel vehicles and at least a 50% reduction in NOx. In both of these sectors, natural gas is the main lower carbon alternative to more heavily polluting traditional oil fuels. LNG shipping is already used in the environmental control area of the Baltic Sea, and short sea shipping, e.g. passenger ferries, presents a major opportunity for growth.
Europe‐wide there are already around 1.5 million CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles on the road of which the vast majority are passenger cars or light duty commercial vehicles. Increasing the number of gas powered vehicles would not only generate cost savings but bring multiple environmental benefits, as natural gas is a clean burning fuel:
- CO2 emissions from road transport could be cut up to 25%.
- Significant air pollutant emission reductions could be achieved, including carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), little or no particular matter (PM)
- Gasfuelled vehicles are also likely to be quieter and so have positive noise reduction benefits.
The urban fleet vehicles sector such as buses, refuse collection trucks and commercial/delivery vehicles also has significant potential. Especially attractive in this sector is that fleet vehicles can return to their own depots to refuel, so that widespread infrastructure would not be required.
Delivering the benefits of NGVs will nevertheless require policymakers to ensure a supportive regulatory framework. Specific measures could include vehicle purchase/substitution support and low interest loans for the purchase or conversion of natural gas trucks, and increasing the number and emissions limits of Emission Control Areas (ECAs) to promote natural gas ships, in the context of international maritime regulations.
“With this report the European Gas Forum is aiming to facilitate a transparent debate about how best to achieve lower cost emissions reductions in the transport sector,” said Klaus Schäfer, CEO of E.ON Ruhrgas AG on behalf of EGaF. “European policymakers need to recognise the important role that natural gas can play both in the transition to a low carbon economy and in providing economic benefits, as long as European regulation remains technology neutral.”
The European Gas Forum (EGaF) – a group of eight major European gas companies – embraces the use of low carbon technologies and, in particular, natural gas as an essential complement to renewable energy sources (RES) technologies to meet the EU’s 2050 CO2 and sustainable energy needs.
The EGaF members are Centrica, Eni, E.ON Ruhrgas, Gazprom Export, GDF SUEZ, Qatar Petroleum, Shell and Statoil. This informal group of experienced players in the European gas industry was established in 2010 to increase – at all levels of society – understanding of the environmental, economic and energy security benefits of natural gas.
More about EGaF and its previous studies can be found at: www.europeangasforum.eu
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