What kind of fuel will we use for our cars tomorrow? Considering the enormous ecological and economical importance of the transport sector this question touches on a core element of sustainable development. The introduction of alternative fuels - together with drastic energy efficiency gains - will be a key to sustainable mobility, nationally as well as globally.
The future role of alternative fuels can not be examined from the isolated perspective of the transport sector. Interactions with the energy system as a whole have to be taken into account. This holds both for the issue of availability of energy sources as well as for allocation effects, resulting from the shift of renewable energy from the stationary sector to mobile applications.
Such holistic assessments of alternative fuels, however, tend to be rare, more research is needed in this respect. The study "Energy systems aspects of natural gas as an alternative fuel in transport" intends to contribute to the discussion. The research was commissioned by the Federal Association of German Gas and Water Industries (BGW) and the initiative erdgasmobil and it aims at investigating the future role of natural gas as an alternative fuel in relation to selected other fuel options.
The study puts its focus on energetic and climate policy criteria whereas economic parameters and business criteria could not be considered. The conclusions, therefore, primarily relate to societal benefits and strategic guidelines for policy-making and long-term technology development.