Shifting renewable energy in transport into the next gear

The European Union has set a 10% target of renewable energy use in the transport sector for 2020 in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED, 2009/28/EC). This directive also defines the associated calculation methodologies, for biofuels and renewable electricity used in transport. Regarding biofuels, only those biofuels can contribute that are actually used in the transport sector. The contribution of electricity from renewable sources is treated somewhat differently, as it is typically taken from the electricity grid, where the exact source of the energy used is not monitored: Member States should use the average share of renewable electricity production in their calculations.
The RED required the European Commission to present, if appropriate, a proposal to consider the whole amount of the electricity from renewable sources used to power electric vehicles, as well as a methodology to include the contribution of hydrogen from renewable sources in the transport sector. At the same time, there is the question how biomethane injected into the natural gas grid should be counted towards the transport target if vehicles are filled from that same grid – a similar route to that of electricity use in transport.
DG Energy of the Commission commissioned CE Delft, Ecologic Institute and Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST) to provide support to the decision making process related to these three routes: renewable electricity, hydrogen and biomethane use in transport, where distribution is taking place via national grids. The result is a comprehensive report in which different methodological options are designed and assessed, and conclusions are drawn, both for the short to medium term (until 2020) and the longer term (post-2020). In the short term, where the contribution of these routes is still limited, a relatively simple approach will be sufficient, but more sophisticated monitoring methodologies may be needed in the future, depending on the way these routes develop.

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