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Biofuels Crucial to Decarbonizing the Global Transportation Sector

  • Wednesday, 09 May 2018 08:03

The usage of biofuels in the global transportation sector plays an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change, three international intergovernmental organizations said in a new report.

The report, Renewable Energy Policies In A Time Of Transition, by the International Renewable Energy Agency, the International Energy Agency and Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century detail options to develop renewables across sectors, technologies, country contexts, energy market structures and policy objectives.

The report, released in April, said 68 countries have enacted biofuel blending laws as of 2017, up from just 36 countries in 2011.

Out of those 68 countries, it said only seven have adopted requirements for biofuels to comprise over 10 percent of total transportation fuel, with most countries introducing policies to expand infrastructure for biofuel distribution.

As a result, biofuels, made up of ethanol and biodiesel, provided around 4 percent of global road transport fuel in 2016, the report said.

To successfully continue reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector, the report said local and municipal governments must play an essential role in stimulating the use of biofuels with blending laws, as well as a variety of fiscal incentives and public financing.

Furthermore, the report emphasizes that the use of biofuels offers numerous benefits such as enhanced energy security, reduced transport-related carbon emissions and increased opportunities for sustainable economic growth and jobs, adding that there are over 1.7 million jobs in the biofuels industry worldwide.

And while biofuels are primarily used in road transport at present, it can also be used for rail, shipping and aviation, the report said.

In fact, it said, over 100,000 commercial flights have used sustainable aviation fuels to date.

The report said extensive analysis shows rail can also incorporate biofuels in fleets fueled by oil products and that biofuels and ammonia are the preeminent options to move forward.

It said biofuels can easily power existing transport systems when low-level biofuel blends are used in conventional gasoline infrastructure and vehicle fleets.

While higher-level blends would require minor adjustments in engines fuel distribution infrastructure, the report added high-level blends are necessary for long term global carbon reductions.