Implications of innovative options for transport on the level of the energy system

16-12-2013 | Publication

There are several options for a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport, in the Netherlands, by 2050. In addition to efficiency improvements, new types of fuels, such as electricity, hydrogen and biofuel, also are important new energy carriers. Their introduction, however, has to be part of an integral systems innovation and their production will require certain adjustments.

Analysing the Dutch energy system for multiple long-term climate policy targets

Europe has set a challenging climate policy target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% to 95% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels. This will require fundamental changes, especially to the energy system. In order for this target to be achieved, all sectors would have to contribute, with the potential for emission reductions being greater in some sectors than in others. For the transport sector, the road map would result in a reduction level of 60%. This 60% reduction is the long-term target for the Netherlands, as was recently published in the Dutch Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth.

Some of the technical interactions within the energy system in the Netherlands have been analysed using the E-design model. Substantial additional emission reductions in the energy, industry, built environment and fuel production sectors could be achieved, in most cases between 2 and 5 Mt CO2 equivalent (1% to 2% of current total emissions in the Netherlands). In addition, even higher reductions would be possible if carbon capture and storage (CCS) would be introduced in the production processes of biofuels. On a system level, the expected limited availability of sustainably produced biomass requires an integral vision on its preferred future applications, affecting transport as well.