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EU Member State (MS) National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs)

Date

12 Jun 2019

Sections

Energy

EU facing another lost decade in transport decarbonisation

Far reaching deployment of both electrification and biofuels essential for NECPs

Governments can craft appropriate frameworks under Effort Sharing Regulations

The ten years to 2030 will be another lost decade in EU transport decarbonisation unless there is a sharp break with recent trends, a Green Energy Platform workshop* on National Energy and Climate Plans was told in Brussels today. “Realistic and affordable solutions are urgently needed to reach the EU’s 30% carbon savings target.  NECP policies that combine electric driving and sustainable biofuels are the most effective pathway to high impact carbon savings for Member States (MS),” Carlo Hamelinck, Associate Director of Navigant, the international sustainable energy consultancy said.

Success in NECPs means mobilizing many solutions, with all options needed in combination, to achieve transport carbon savings.  Far reaching deployment of both electrification and biofuels is essential, Navigant finds in a research report*. Biofuels provide an immediate solution to decarbonising liquid energy carriers by directly displacing fossil in existing combustion fleets. They reduce liquid fuel emissions by 65/70%, account for 5% of energy in EU transport today.

Governments can devise appropriate frameworks for this under  Effort Sharing Regulations. Support policies with strict sustainability requirements can drive biofuel’s carbon performance and stimulate increased volumes of alternative fuels. Biomass potential is underutilised in CEE countries and there is a large potential to increase production of biofuels and feedstocks. Agriculture can deliver the volumes sustainably and there are additional socio-economic benefits for MS.

There is a widespread assumption that electric cars will provide early emission reduction. However, carbon savings from electric driving will take time to reach scale and be limited up to 2030, This is because of slow deployment of electric vehicles, high carbon intensity in CEE electricity and slow progress in decarbonising the electricity grid. By 2030, only about 7% of EU light vehicles is projected to be electric. 

Biofuels have the lowest carbon abatement cost of alternative fuels and electric driving the highest in the Navigant study region.  Measured in cost per tonne of CO2 equivalent today, electric driving costs exceed €700 and conventional biofuels €200. Electric costs will decrease but biofuel cost will fall even faster.  By 2030 abatement cost is expected to fall below €200 for electric and to around €20 for conventional biofuels. The difference arises because electric driving is more expensive per KM driven and the average carbon intensity of grid electricity in CEE is considerable.

*The Workshop was organised by Farm Europe’s Green Energy Platform to mark the publication of the final Navigant research report “2030 Transport Decarbonisation Options” (click to view) commissioned by Farm Europe https://www.farm-europe.eu/. The research was conducted across nine EU member states in the CEE region.  Farm Europe is a Brussels based multicultural think tank that aims to stimulate thinking on rural economies.    

Contact:  Joe Murray      +353 86 2534950 (Mobile)           email jmurray@eerl.com

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