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Renewable fuels for transport

Fossil fuels still dominate the Dutch transport fuel mix, with only a small percentage being renewably sourced. Given government climate and energy targets, there is a clear need for a massive transition to more sustainable, less carbon-intensive energy sources. Besides electricity, there are numerous other options available, including hydrogen , (bio)gas and a range of liquid biofuels. While blending of minor amounts of biofuels requires no technological adjustments, higher levels of biofuels and use of (bio)gas, electricity, hydrogen and other such energy carriers require more radical changes to both  vehicles and energy infrastructure. With renewable sources still higher-priced than fossil fuels, an increase in their market share is still highly dependent on government policy.
CE Delft has wide-ranging expertise on conventional and alternative transport fuels and other energy carriers, whether it be technical potential and constraints, costs, impact on CO2 and air-pollutant emissions, or other sustainability aspects. We also have extensive knowledge on government policy to incentivize renewable energy for transport, at the European level (Renewable Energy Directive, Fuel Quality Directive, vehicle standards) as well as national and local level. In recent years CE Delft has carried out research on these topics for a wide range of clients.

Core activities

  • Estimation of current and future reduction potentials of energy carriers and upstream supply chains
  • Analysis of technical, social and economic barriers, on the transport side and across the entire supply chain
  • Estimation of effects on costs, air quality and other stakeholder impacts (e.g. administrative burden, total cost of ownership)
  • Development and review of government policy to improve sustainability of transport energy systems (via European directives, national policies, fiscal policies, biofuel sustainability criteria)

Our clients

  • Government, including the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure & Environment
    In 2013 and 2014 CE Delft together with TNO and ECN made up the knowledge consortium that supported the ministry in drawing up an integrated perspective on vehicle fuels, one of the action points in the Netherlands’ National Energy Agreement. Prior to this work, CE Delft developed a model that was used for running a range of transport scenarios for the year 2050.
  • European Commission: For DG Energy, CE Delft examined biofuel marketing options to assess whether low-percentage blending fuels is sufficient to secure envisaged targets.
  • European and Dutch NGOs, including  Greenpeace, Transport & Environment (T&E) and the Netherlands Society for Nature and Environment. At the request of several NGOs, CE Delft examined how the RED and FQD targets can be met without using biofuels from food crops, and thus without risk of indirect land use.
  • Industry: CE Delft advises companies with a vehicle fleet on adverse environmental impacts of biofuels.

Your contact

For more information, please contact Anouk van Grinsven