New Roads for Transport

Under a recently adopted European directive, 10% of the Netherlands’ transport fuels must be renewably sourced by the year 2020. Biofuels are the only renewable option that have been rolled out to date, but over the past few years there have been growing doubts as to their sustainability. This led the Dutch section of Friends of the Earth International, Milieudefensie, to ask CE Delft to review other available options and elaborate an alternative scenario for securing the 10% transport energy target.

This study indicates that renewably powered electric transport could represent a serious option for the Netherlands to comply with its EU obligations. This will require major efforts as well as technological breakthroughs, though. As at present, biofuels produced from used chip fat can also make a small contribution.

Other options like switching from car transport to electrically powered bicycle can yield substantial CO2 gains, as can switching to tram and metro. This will do little to help achieve the 10% target, however, which relates to the share of renewables rather than to CO2 emission cuts. Slowing the growth of transport energy demand is another way to achieve major CO2 cuts, in fact more so than by securing the 10% renewable energy target.