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'LNG only viable way to lower truck CO2 footprint'
pondělí, 17. listopadu 2014
Germany’s Energy Agency recommends ambitious strategy for road transport
The increased use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the only viable option to reduce the carbon footprint of Germany’s road transport sector in the short to medium term. This is the conclusion of a study carried out by the German Energy Agency (Dena). Dena published a so-called white paper investigating the role LNG can play in achieving the German government’s objectives to reduce CO2 emissions as well as the country’s dependency on oil. The energy agency concludes that, on condition of a relevant market share, LNG can enable a more environmentally friendly transport of goods at competitive prices. The risk of a long-term reliance on government subsidies is small.
To reach the necessary economy of scale, Dena recommends building a truck fleet running on LNG of about 10% of the total commercial vehicle market by 2024. LNG sales should reach 4% of total fuel sales. Key is the coordinated cooperation between government and industry: investments in refuelling infrastructure should be secured by a policy supporting the development of both supply and demand.
German road freight transport, which represents one quarter of total road freight transport in the EU, presently depends almost entirely on oil and accounts for about 36% of diesel used in Germany. Dena refers to a number of European countries that have already successfully invested in LNG and that can set an example for Germany.
The refuelling technology is both mature and safe, as shown through its successful application in North America, parts of Europe and China. Dedicated LNG engines fulfil the tight Euro-VI emission standard, and low noise levels make them ideal for inner-city use and delivery services at nighttimes.
Energy-specific GHG-emissions of diesel and LNG (Dena, 2014)
The EU’s “Clean Power for Transport” package highlights LNG as a main alternative fuel option and calls for national policy frameworks advancing the build-up of LNG filling stations along major motorways of the Trans-European Transport network by 2025. However, the development of LNG as a fuel in Germany has remained slow. To this day the country has neither LNG filling stations nor test truck fleets running on LNG. Dena remarks that ‘it is too risky to bet on the wrong fuel in the low-margins logistics sector’, which it identifies as why the German industry has long been hesitant to make the necessary investments in new refuelling infrastructure and trucks.
A national strategy for LNG market entry and growth in road-freight transport is needed, Dena emphasises. “The market alone will not lead to the desired result – the government has to coordinate the launch of LNG in the transport market politically, for instance in the context of an inter-ministerial platform,” says Dena’s Chief Executive Stephan Kohler.
Dena’s political proposals include specific targets for the establishment of LNG as a fuel, swift extension of the energy tax reduction on natural gas & biomethane beyond 2018, and the integration of gas-powered commercial vehicles in public fleets.
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