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GSR 2015 - Transport Sector

35 01 RENEWABLES 2015 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT ■■ TRANSPORT SECTOR There are three main entry points for renewable energy in the transport sector: the use of 100% liquid biofuels or blended biofuels with conventional fuels; the growing role of natural gas; and the increasing electrification of transportation. Trends in each of these areas have contributed to the evolving landscape for renewable energy in the transport sector. To date, however, the primary focus of policies, markets, and industries in the transport sector has been on liquid biofuels.110 Demand for oil in transportation has increased significantly as a result of growth in private motorisation, primarily in developing countries. However, increased fuel economy in cars and other light-duty vehicles, as well as improved transportation strategies, have helped temper demand.111 During the period 2008–2012, globaldemandformotorgasolineincreasedby1.2%annually,with growth skewed towards non-OECD countries, at 5.1% annually.112 The share of renewables in transportation remains small. Renewable energy accounted for an estimated 3.5% of global energy demand for road transport in 2013, up from 2% in 2007.113 (At the same time, transport fuels accounted for the second largest share of renewable energy jobs globally. p See Sidebar 3.) Liquid biofuels—primarily ethanol and biodiesel—represent the vast majority of the renewable share. Biofuels’ contribution to the transport sector is considerably higher in some European countries, in the United States, and in Brazil—where the share of biofuels in road transport fuel exceeded 20% in 2014.114 Liquid biofuels are used mainly for passenger vehicles and heavy-duty road vehicle applications. Beyond liquid biofuels, relatively small but increasing quantities of gaseous biofuels, including biomethane (purified biogas), are being used to fuel vehicles. Renewables also are used in the form of electricity for trains, light rail, trams, and both two- and four- wheeled electric vehicles. Although concerns about the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of biofuels constrained growth in some regions, almost all major producing nations increased their production of biofuels in 2014 relative to 2013.115 ◾◾ The United States continued to lead the world in both biodiesel and ethanol production; ethanol output expanded from 2013 to 2014, despite policy uncertainties.116 Canada also saw marginal increases in biofuels production in 2014 andwasoneoftheworld’stopfiveproducersoffuelethanol.117 ◾◾ Brazil’s production of ethanol and biodiesel expanded in 2014, and output of smaller producers in Latin America, such as Argentina and Colombia, also increased. Argentina’s output was up 28% in response to national incentives and a blend mandate, and it ranked fifth globally for production of biofuels in 2014.118 ◾◾ The European Union considered capping the contribution of biofuels derived from sugars, starch, and oil crops due to sustainability concerns.119 At the same time, EU countries struggled to meet their renewable energy targets for transportation.120 Against this background, the amount of biofuel production increased during 2014, with Germany leading the region.121 ◾◾ Biofuels production expanded rapidly in Asia during 2013–2014, where the region’s top three producers (China, Indonesia, and Thailand) collectively increased their production by 16%.122 ◾◾ Production levels in Africa remained small in 2014, although several sub-Saharan countries have national biofuel (mostly ethanol) blending mandates in place.123 There continue to be advances in new markets and in new applications for biofuels. In 2014, commercial flights in Norway and Sweden were fuelled by aviation biofuel, and airlines in Brazil, China, Indonesia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United Kingdom, and the United States announced aviation biofuel supply agreements or plans to integrate aviation biofuel into future flights.124 Around the world, militaries—including the navies of Australia, Chile, Italy, and the United States—continued to pursue biofuels development in 2014.125 The US military announced the first successful supersonic flight fuelled by renewable isobutanol in December 2014.126 Beyond liquid biofuels, trends in the development of gaseous fuels and electricity continued to create pathways for the integration of renewables into transportation. The number of compressed natural gas vehicles and fuelling stations continued to expand in 2014, creating parallel opportunities for gaseous biofuels such as biomethane.127 Limited but growing quantities of biomethane are fuelling cars, buses, and other vehicles in several EU countries (most notably Germany, Finland, and Sweden).128 Although biomethane production is concentrated primarily in Europe, plans are under way in other regions—including Brazil, as well as countries in Asia and North America—to develop facilities for production and vehicle fuelling.129 The electrification of the transport sector expanded further during the year. The number of electric passenger vehicles on the road nearly doubled from 350,000 in 2013 to 665,000 in 2014.130 The United States led the world in the size of its electric vehicle (EV) passenger fleet, but Norway led in the share of EVs in annual vehicle sales in 2014 (12%+).131 As of early 2015, China was home to 97% of the world’s 235 million electric two wheelers and 79% of the world’s 46,000 electric buses.132 In 2014, there also was continuous growth in electric public transport, including the expansion of electric passenger rail, light rail, and trolley systems.133 In 2014, Bhutan announced that it would use its ample renewable resources to electrify its transportation sector, starting with government fleets and taxis.134 These trends enable greater integration of renewable energy into the transport sector, but only to the extent that the associated electricity demand is met with new renewables, as electric vehicles are only as "renewable" as their power source.135 EVs can be connected directly to renewable energy charging stations, and also can have renewable energy integrated directly into their designs, but such direct links remain rare.136 EV storage can also be utilised to balance variable renewable electricity, although this function remains at the demonstration stage.137 In Europe, a combination of on-site renewable energy and voluntary green power purchase programmes has enabled some rail systems to declare that their trains are, or soon will be, powered with renewable electricity and fuels. The Swedish passenger train company (SJ) has powered its trains with 100% renewableenergyforanumberofyears,theSwissFederalRailway (SBB) has a goal to move from 75% renewable energy to 100% by 2025, and Deutsche Bahn in Germany previously committed to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.138 In 2014, the national rail system of the Netherlands established a goal to move to 50% renewable energy in 2015 and 100% by 2018, while the German region of Rhein-Hunsrück redirects its excess renewable energy generation to its transit system.139 Beyond Europe, Indian Railways committed in 2014 to using up to 5% biofuels for its trains.140

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