Renewable Energies for a Sustainable Transportation System
Proceedings Publication Date
Dr. Klaus Bonhoff

Presently, the transport sector has a share of approximately 20% in global CO2 emissions. In order to meet the emission targets defined in the Paris agreement the sector has to be decarbonized fast. In principle, a broad technology and fuel portfolio is available to increase efficiencies, to reduce emissions and to increase the share of renewable energies in the fuel market. The existing fleet based on internal combustion engines offers only limited potential to decarbonize the fuels by using less carbon-intensive options such as natural gas, biomass-based or synthetic fuels. Full electric vehicles with either battery or fuel cell technologies offer zero tale-pipe emissions and the only major renewable energy source available with a sufficient potential is electricity produced by wind and solar power. Therefore, a system change in the transportation sector towards a use of green electricity and green hydrogen is needed; this requires a substantial increase of new zero emission car sales and an appropriate deployment of recharging as well as hydrogen infrastructures.

Passenger cars and heavy duty road transport contribute most to greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector in Germany. The transformation has to primarily focus on these markets in order to reach emission reduction targets. Challenges include the fact that renewable energy is presently scarce and therefore contested by all energy consuming sectors. Hydrogen technologies offer a viable flexibility option in managing supply and demand in an integrated energy system, which includes transportation. Investment in new infrastructures will not only require reliable technologies but also a regulatory framework focusing on CO2-reductions. On the vehicle side the availability of battery and fuel cell vehicles will have to be increased. This requires a competitive industrial base as well as attractive offers to the consumer. The presentation will illustrate these challenges and possible contributions of available technologies.

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