01 Oct 2005

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

In December 2003, a consortium of JRC, EUCAR and CONCAWE published the first version of a comprehensive Well-to-Wheels (WTW) analysis of fuels and powertrains in the European context, focusing on energy efficiency, GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, costs and potential availability issues. The fields of alternative fuels as well as motor vehicles are in constant development.From the outset, the consortium agreed to update the study at regular intervals, taking into account comments and suggestions from interested third parties.

The second version of the study is about to be released, and now includes both updated and new pathways as well as revised cost and availability estimates (see Table 1). While a full presentation of all results would be beyond the scope of this short article, we focus on the potential of biofuels with particular emphasis on ethanol and biodiesel, the two short-term alternatives currently being promoted in the EU, and look briefly at the prospects for more advanced biomass conversion options.

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