Europe's Transport Sector Needs Gases: Zukunft Gas
Much of the pollution, carbon emissions and noise associated with transport could be removed from Europe's roads by regulating for the use of renewable and natural gas in the road vehicle sector, said lobby group Zukunft Gas (ZG) and the German Association for Gas & Water (DVGW) March 2.
Biogas can be liquefied or compressed and replace natural gas in vehicles, added to which it is virtually carbon neutral. But it is not part of the regulatory framework. "A few days ago, in an open letter to the federal government, over 60 scientists criticised a one-sided focus on e-mobility and called for more technology openness," the two groups said.
The transport sector has been running on the spot since 1990, where emissions are concerned; but gas technologies could help to reduce not only emissions of CO2, but also of more deadly particulate matter and noise. This requires the "appropriate regulatory framework," it said. ZG and DVGW want gaseous energy to be taken into account in the European Renewable Energy Directive RED II.
While electric vehicles are generally based on a CO2 emission value of zero, whatever the fuel mix used to generate the electricity, gas vehicles are neglected in the current methodology. "If we want to achieve climate protection not only on paper but also on the road, then there is no way around a 'well-to-wheel' view," said ZG. "Only with such a balance can a true picture of the reality in terms of climate protection be obtained."
Plans to exclude natural gas-based fuels from the greenhouse gas quota are also a wrong step, he said. It rules out the option of short and medium-term greenhouse gas reductions through more compressed and liquefied gas journeys.
In addition to lower CO2 and pollutant emissions, gas trucks generate half the noise than diesel, making them suitable for night-time inner-city deliveries. Fleet and infrastructure operators now need a legal framework such as market incentive programmes and legally anchored targets so that climate-neutral gas drives can get on the fast track.