The potential of biofuels for energy and GHG savings in road transport

01 Oct 2005

In December 2003, a consortium of JRC, EUCAR andCONCAWE published the first version of a comprehensiveWell-to-Wheels (WTW) analysis of fuels and powertrainsin the European context, focusing on energyefficiency, GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, costs andpotential availability issues. The fields of alternative fuelsas well as motor vehicles are in constant development.From the outset, the consortium agreed to update thestudy at regular intervals, taking into account commentsand suggestions from interested third parties. Thesecond version of the study is about to be released, andnow includes both updated and new pathways as wellas revised cost and availability estimates (see Table 1).While a full presentation of all results would be beyondthe scope of this short article, we focus on the potentialof biofuels with particular emphasis on ethanol andbiodiesel, the two short-term alternatives currently beingpromoted in the EU, and look briefly at the prospects formore advanced biomass conversion options.