Technologies
KPMG Global Automotive Executive Survey 2013
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KPMG, January 2013

KPMG International’s 14th Global Automotive Executive Survey, which surveyed 200 auto executives from 31 countries, found that the cost of batteries and recharging the vehicles was a major barrier to those considering purchasing electric vehicles.  62 percent said that consumers wanted their vehicle to last for as long as possible, signalling a need for mature and sustainable technologies. The survey also warned new trends in globalisation, rapid urbanisation and changing consumer behaviour will cause a big shift in the automotive landscape over the next five years. The collective impact is expected to be felt across the entire automotive value chain, and calls for sweeping changes to automakers’ and their suppliers’ business models.

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Desert Power 2050: Perspectives on a Sustainable Power System for EUMENA
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Florian Zickfeld, Aglaia Wieland, Dii GmbH, June 2012

Desert Power 2050 (DP2050) examines the future energy challenges of Europe as well as the Middle East and North Africa (EUMENA). It shows that these challenges can best be addressed by moving beyond the currently predominant view of the two regions as separate entities. Indeed, Europe and MENA are not just neighbors, tied together by a long history of trade and cultural exchange; in a world of renewable energy, EUMENA should be viewed as a single region.

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Literature review on employment impacts of GHG reduction policies for transport
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CE Delft, July 2012

The report examines and supports the Commission’s claims that the proposed 95g limit for 2020 would boost the EU economy by €12 billion per average year between 2020 and 2030, accompanied by a €9bn increase in expenditure on labour across the economy. It also says reducing fuel consumption will mean Europe will have to import less oil, making it less vulnerable to price shocks and improving its trade balance. T&E cars officer Greg Archer said: ‘This report not only dispels industry’s claims that reducing CO2 emissions from cars would have a negative impact on jobs and competitiveness, it makes the opposite point – that low-carbon cars can boost the sluggish EU economy. This will happen in various ways, ranging from investment in the development and manufacturing of fuel-efficient technologies, to leaving more money in the pockets of car owners thanks to lower fuel bills. This money could in turn be spent in ways that create extra jobs across the EU economy.’

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Self-Driving Cars – The Next Revolution
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KPMG and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), 2012

Autonomous cars may dramatically reshape the competitive landscape, human interaction with vehicles, and the future design of roads and cities – and they may be sooner than you think. The report Self-Driving Car: The Next Revolution is based on interviews with leading technologists, automotive industry leaders, academicians, and regulators - as well as research and analysis of industry trends. The study examines the forces of change, the current and emerging technologies, the path to bring these innovations to market, the likelihood that they will achieve wide adoption from consumers, and their potential impact on the automotive ecosystem.

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Calculating Electric Drive Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions
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Ed Pike, International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), August 2012

This paper identifies methods to determine e-drive vehicle efficiency, energy supply “well-to-tank” GHG intensity, e-drive vehicle miles traveled, and mode split for plug-in hybrids, which together can provide a basis for calculating edrive upstream emissions. Additionally, it highlights some needs for more and better data—e.g., test cycles used to determine e-drive vehicle efficiency should reflect urbanization trends, aggressive driving, and cabin climate control.Procedures to account for GHG emissions related to electric vehicles can now be established with reasonable accuracy, based on real-world vehicle efficiency, energy supply carbon intensity, and vehicle usage data. As more experience operating EVs yields more data, the methodology can be updated, but in the meantime it can provide appropriate signals to guide policymakers's, automakers’, and consumers’ efforts to reduce GHG emissions.

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ORIGAMI Upcomming Passenger Transport Solutions Database
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ORIGAMI 7FP Consortium, TRI, Mcrit et al., 2012

The ORIGAMI 7FP project is concerned with improvements in long-distance door-to-door passenger transport chains through improved co-modality and intermodality. The project addresses the potential for greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact of passenger transport by judicious encouragement of dervice and mode integration, cooperation and, where appropriate, competition in the provision of these local connections. Thus the project encompasses physical characteristics of the network, characteristics of the modes, the coordination of operators as well as integration, and the cohesiveness of multi-modal networks. The project includes the production of list of best practices, focused on infrastructure, service management and regulatory strategies applied to improve long-distance intermodal and co-modal transport. Selected cases imply significant improvements in long-distance door-to-door passenger transport chains. ORIGAMI case studies are published as a web-directory, following a systematic structure, with links to original information sources and institutions and companies involved. Cases can be browsed using different criteria throughout the different menus on the right hand of this webpage. 

Passenger solutions database
ORIGAMI Project website 

 
Electrified motorways with catenaries
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Brieuc Bougnoux, Futuribles, 2011

In the current context of a continuous, sustained rise in the price of fossil fuels and a battle against climate change, are there credible alternatives in the field of road transport to the internal combustion engine? Some manufacturers in the area of private transport are investing in electric vehicles – where battery performance is improving (though this remains a niche market) – and in hybrid engines. In goods transport, matters are a little more tricky, given the length of journeys and the power required. There too, however, according to Brieuc Bougnoux, the use of electrical vehicles could be an option for the future, by way of the electrification of the road network. Bougnoux outlines the technical features of such an option, the cost of its implementation and the – environmental, financial and infrastructure – advantages a country like France might derive from it. This is a route that is certainly worthy of interest, but would require coordination with European partners whose road hauliers also use the French road network.

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2011 Technology Map of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)
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Institute for Energy and Transport, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, 2011

The swift deployment on a large scale of technologies with a low-carbon footprint in the European energy system is a prerequisite for the transition to a low-carbon society - a key strategic objective of the European Union. A necessary condition for the timely market roll-out of these low-carbon energy technologies is an acceleration of their development and demonstration. This is catalysed by the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) through the streamlining and amplifying of the European human and financial resources dedicated to energy technology innovation. SETIS, the SET-Plan information system, has been supporting SET-Plan from its onset, providing referenced, timely and unbiased information and analyses on the technological and market status and the potential impact of deployment of low-carbon energy technologies, thereby assisting decision makers in identifying future R&D and demonstration priorities which could become focal areas for the SET-Plan.

The Technology Map is one of the principal regular deliverables of SETIS. It is prepared by JRC scientists in collaboration with colleagues from other services of the European Commission and with experts from industry, national authorities and academia, to provide:

  • a concise and authoritative assessment of the state of the art of a wide portfolio of low-carbon energy technologies;
  • their current and estimated future market penetration and the barriers to their large-scale deployment;
  • the ongoing and planned R&D and demonstration eff orts to overcome technological barriers; and,
  • reference values for their operational and economic performance, which can be used for the modelling and analytical work performed in support of implementation of the SET-Plan.

This third edition of the Technology Map, i.e. the 2011 update, addresses 20 different technologies, covering the whole spectrum of the energy system, including both supply and demand technologies

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Carbon Sequestration in Forests
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Ross W. Gorte, 2009

Widespread concern about global climate change has led to interest in reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and, under certain circumstances, in counting additional carbon absorbed in soils and vegetation as part of the emissions reductions. Forests are a significant part of the global carbon cycle. Plants use sunlight to convert CO2, water, and nutrients into sugars and carbohydrates, which accumulate in leaves, twigs, stems, and roots. Plants also respire, releasing CO2. Plants eventually die, releasing their stored carbon to the atmosphere quickly or to the soil where it decomposes slowly and increases soil carbon levels. However, little information exists on the processes and diverse rates of soil carbon change.

Land use changes—especially afforestation and deforestation—can have major impacts on carbon storage. Foresters often cut some vegetation to enhance growth of desired trees. Enhanced growth stores more carbon, but the cut vegetation releases CO2; the net effect depends on many factors, such as prior and subsequent growth rates and the quantity and disposal of cut vegetation. Rising atmospheric CO2 may stimulate tree growth, but limited availability of other nutrients may constrain that growth.

In this context, timber harvesting is an especially controversial forestry practice. Some argue that the carbon released by cutting exceeds the carbon stored in wood products and in tree growth by new forests. Others counter that old-growth forests store little or no additional carbon, and that new forest growth and efficient wood use can increase net carbon storage. The impacts vary widely, and depend on many factors, including soil impacts, treatment of residual forest biomass, proportion of carbon removed from the site, and duration and disposal of the products. To date, the quantitative relationships between these factors and net carbon storage have not been established.

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Biochar Application to Soils: A Critical Scientific Review of Effects on Soil Properties, Processes and Functions
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F. Verheijen, S. Jeffery, A.C. Bastos, M. van der Velde, I. Diafas, 2010

Biochar is defined as “charcoal" (biomass that has been pyrolysed in a zero or low oxygen  environment) for which, owing to its inherent properties, scientific consensus exists that application to soil at a specific site is expected to sustainably sequester carbon and concurrently improve soil functions (under current and future management), while avoiding short- and long-term detrimental effects to the wider environment as well as human and animal health."

Biochar is a stable carbon (C) compound created when biomass (feedstock) is heated to temperatures between 300 and 1000ºC, under low (preferably zero) oxygen concentrations. The objective of the biochar concept is to abate the enhanced greenhouse effect by sequestering C in soils, while concurrently improving soil quality. The proposed concept through which biochar application to soils would lead to C sequestration is relatively straightforward. Carbondioxide from the  atmosphere is fixed in vegetation through photosynthesis. Biochar is subsequently created through pyrolysis of the plant material thereby potentially increasing  its recalcitrance with respect to the original plant material.

The estimated residence time of biochar-carbon is in the range of hundreds to thousands of years while the residence time of carbon in plant material is in the range of decades. Consequently, this would reduce the CO2 release back to the atmosphere if the carbon is indeed persistently stored in the soil. The carbon storage potential of biochar is widely hypothesised, although it is still largely unquantified, particularly when also considering the effects on other greenhouse gasses, and the secondary effects of large-scale biochar deployment.

Concomitant with carbon sequestration, biochar is intended to improve soil properties and soil functioning relevant to agronomic and environmental performance. Hypothesised mechanisms that have been suggested for potential improvement are mainly improved water  and nutrient retention (as well as improved soil structure, drainage).

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Review and Analysis of Ocean Energy Systems Development and Supporting Policies
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AEA Energy & Environment, 2006

Ocean energy technologies are at the early stages of development compared with other, more well-established renewable and conventional generation technologies. The oceans contain a huge amount of energy that can theoretically be exploited for generating useful energy. Ocean energy technology could contribute to meeting cost-effective, sustainable and secure energy demands in the medium to long term. 

The different types of ocean technologies are the following:

  • Ocean wave energy is the energy occurring from movements of water near the surface of the sea in an oscillatory or circular process that can be converted into electricity. Waves are a function of the energy transfer effected by the passage of wind over the surface of the sea. The distance over which this process occurs is called the ‘fetch’. Longer fetches produce larger, more powerful waves, as do stronger winds and extended periods of wind.
  • Tidal current energy is energy contained in naturally occurring tidal currents which can be directly extracted and converted into electricity. Strong tidal currents are most frequently found near headlands and islands. These retard the progress of the tidal bulge as it moves around the earth, leading to head differences that can only be equalised by a flow of water around and between the land features. It is this flow that constitutes the tidal current. Energy can be extracted using devices that move in response to the forces the current exerts, and use this movement to drive an electrical generator. (Tidal current is also referred to as tidal stream.)
  • Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is based on drawing energy from the thermal gradient between surface water temperature and cold deep-water temperature, by use of a power-producing thermodynamic cycle. A temperature difference of 20o C (from surface to approximately 1 km depth) is commonly found in ocean areas within 20o  of the Equator. These conditions exist in tropical areas, roughly between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer.
  • Salinity gradient energy can take two forms. The first, commonly known as the solar pond approach, involves the application of salinity gradients in a body of water for the purpose of collecting and storing solar energy. Large quantities of salt are dissolved in the hot bottom layer of the body of water, making it too dense to rise to the surface and cool, causing a distinct thermal stratification of water that could be employed by a cyclic thermodynamic process similar to OTEC. The second application of salinity gradients (and the one most commonly referred to when describing electricity generation from salinity gradients) takes advantage of the osmotic pressure differences between salt and fresh water. The exploitation of the entropy of mixing freshwater with saltwater is often facilitated by use of a semi-permeable membrane, resulting in the production of a direct electrical current.
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Global market outlook for photovoltaics until 2015
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European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), 2011

Over the last 10 years, photovoltaic(PV) progress has been impressive. The total installed PV capacity in the world has multiplied by a factor of 27, from 1.5 GW in 2000 to 39.5 GW in 2010 - a yearly growth rate of 40%. That growth has proved to be sustainable, allowing the industry to develop at a stable rate.

Three main factors have driven the spectacular growth enjoyed by PV in recent years:

  • Firstly, renewable energy is no longer considered a curiosity. PV has proven itself to be a reliable and safe energy source in all regions of the world.
  • Secondly, the price decreases that have brought PV close to grid parity in several countries have encouraged new investors.
  • And finally, smart policy makers in key countries have set adequate FiTs and other incentives that have helped develop markets, reduce prices and raise investors’ awareness of the technology.

The EU, having overtaken Japan, is now the clear leader in terms of market and total installed capacity - thanks largely to German initiatives that have in turn helped create global momentum. In the rest of the world, the leading countries continue to be those that started installing PV even before the EU. The market is expanding every year, with new countries joining progressively. In the so-called Sunbelt countries, decreasing prices are bringing PV closer to grid parity and helping spread awareness of its potential.

But what about the future of PV market development? With between 131 and 196 GW of PV systems likely to be installed in 2015, the forecasts are promising. But the financial crisis and competition with other energy sources have put pressure on policy makers to streamline the incentives for PV. PV is now a mature technology that is rapidly approaching grid parity. The time has come for reasonable support schemes in line with price evolution. In the coming months and years EPIA will support the adaptation of support schemes to prices. But until grid parity is reached, the PV industry is committed to ensuring the best possible use of support schemes.

The future of the PV market remains bright in the EU and the rest of the world. Uncertain times are causing governments everywhere to rethink the future of their energy mix, creating new opportunities for a competitive, safe and reliable electricity source such as PV.

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Beyond the e-government hype
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Greg Parston, 2010
Accenture Institute for Health & Public Service Value

The rush by government agencies worldwide to embrace the associated technologies collectively known as Web 2.0 has opened up a number of dazzling new ways citizens can participate in the public sector. Prodded by this private-sector groundswell and by the successful use of these technologies in election campaigns, local, regional and national governments are now focusing on Web 2.0 as they develop more accessible services and an array of participatory public platforms

Försäkringskassan, the Swedish government’s social insurer, provides financial protection to citizens in the forms of housing assistance, family aid, pensions, and sickness and disability benefits. Taking advantage of new online connectivity options, the agency launched a new service strategy to increase customer satisfaction and reduce costs by delivering service that better reflects the evolving needs of its customers. To achieve this, Försäkringskassan conducted extensive segmentation analyses, defining 17 discrete customer clusters based on citizens’ life events and the complexity of their needs. The agency then used information such as the service channels and preferences each segment favored to develop detailed customer insights. These insights enabled public managers to align each customer segment with the three primary contact channels—self-service, customer service centers or personal case workers.

The new approach is intended to decrease paper-based interactions, minimizing the use of complex forms, and eliminate unnecessary one-on-one meetings by moving more customer service cases to online self-service channels. Today, the organization delivers better outcomes, enjoys increased citizen satisfaction levels and uses resources more effectively, providing people with flexible, personalized customer service.

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Future Transport Fuels
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European Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels, 2011

Transport fuel supply today, in particular to the road sector, is dominated by oil, which has proven reserves that are expected to last around 40 years. The combustion of mineral oil derived fuels gives rise to CO2 emissions and, despite the fact the fuel efficiency of new vehicles has been improving, so that these emit significantly less CO2 , total CO2 emissions from transport have increased by 24% from 1990 to 2008, representing 19.5% of total European Union (EU) greenhouse gas emissions. 

The EU objective is an  overall reduction of CO2 emissions of 80-95%  by the year 2050, with respect to the 1990 level. Decarbonisation of transport and the substitution of oil as transport fuel therefore have both the same time horizon of 2050. Improvement of transport efficiency and management of transport volumes are necessary to support the reduction of CO2 emissions while fossil fuels still dominate, and to enable finite renewable resources to meet the full energy demand from transport in the long term.  

Alternative fuel options for substituting oil as energy source for propulsion in transport are: 

1.-Electricity/hydrogen, and biofuels (liquids) as the main options. 

  • Electricity  and  hydrogen are universal energy carriers and can be produced from all primary energy sources. Both pathways can in principle be made CO2 free; the CO2 intensity depends on the energy mix for electricity and hydrogen production. Propulsion uses electric motors. The energy can be supplied via three main pathways:

    • Battery-electric (with electricity from the grid stored on board vehicles in batteries) Power transfer between the grid and vehicles requires new infrastructure and power management
    • Fuel cells powered by hydrogen, used for on-board electricity production. Hydrogen production, distribution and storage require new infrastructure. 
    • Overhead Line / Third Rail for tram, metro, trains, and trolley-buses, with electricity taken directly from the grid without the need of intermediate storage.

  • Biofuels could technically substitute oil in all transport modes, with existing power train technologies and existing re-fuelling infrastructures. Use of biomass resources can also decarbonise synthetic fuels, methane and LPG. First generation biofuels are based on traditional crops, animal fats, used cooking oils. They include FAME biodiesel, bioethanol, and biomethane.

2.-Synthetic fuels, as a technology bridge from fossil to biomass based fuels, substituting diesel and jet fuel, can  be produced from different feedstock, converting biomass to liquid (BTL), coal to liquid (CTL) or gas to liquid (GTL). Hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO), of a similar paraffinic nature, can be produced by hydrotreating plant oils and animal fats. Synthetic fuels can be distributed, stored and used with existing infrastructure and existing internal combustion engines.

3.-Methane (natural gas and biomethane) as complementary fuels. Methane can be sourced from fossil natural gas or from biomass and wastes as biomethane. Biomethane should preferentially be fed into  the general gas grid. Methane powered vehicles should then be fed from a single grid. Additional  refuelling infrastructure has to be built up to ensure widespread supply.

4.-Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as supplement. LPG  is a by-product of the hydrocarbon fuel chain, currently resulting from oil and natural gas, in future possibly also from biomass. LPG is currently the most widely used alternative fuel in Europe, accounting for 3% of the fuel for cars and powering 5 million cars.

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The Blue Economy
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Gunter Pauli, 2010

The Blue Economy innovations are inspired by nature and provide tools for achieving true economic sustainability. Economic solutions are integrated into hole systems models that are compatible with Nature’s solutions: how to resolve the complex problems. Successful future industries – according to the Blue Economy principles – should reexamine the basics of science and find innovative solutions that apply the law of physics first.

The Blue Economy permits to respond to the basic needs of all with what we have. As such, it stands for a new way of designing business: using the resources available in cascading systems, where the waste of one product becomes the input to create a new cash flow. In this way, jobs are created, social capital is built and income rises – while the environment that provides the basis for our lives is no longer strained and polluted. Thus, we can evolve from an economy where the good is expensive, and the bad is cheap, to a system where the good and innovative is affordable.

To achieve this vision, thousands of innovations were screened and hundreds identified which imitate natural ecosystems and their efficiency. 100 of those innovations were presented as a Report to the Club of Rome in 2009. About one third of those 100 innovations has already been implemented in companies around the globe, one third is in prototyping status and one third has been scientifically proven but requires further research to create market-ready products. This new economic structure is able to provide 100 million jobs within a decade, if we truly understand and apply the principles of the Blue Economy

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Science, Technology and Innovation in the New Economy
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OECD, 2000

Scientific advances and technological change are important drivers of recent economic performance. The ability to create, distribute and exploit knowledge has become a major source of competitive advantage, wealth creation and improvements in the quality of life. Some of the main features of this transformation are the growing impact of information and communications technologies (ICT) on the economy and on society; the rapid application of recent scientific advances in new products and processes; a high rate of innovation across OECD countries; a shift to more knowledge-intensive industries and services; and rising skill requirements. These changes imply that science, technology and innovation are now key to improving economic performance and social well-being.

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A possible declining trend for worldwide innovation
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Jonathan Huebner
Technological Forecasting and Social Change

A comparison is made between a model of technology in which the level of technology advances exponentially without limit and a model with an economic limit. The model with an economic limit best fits data obtained from lists of events in the history of science and technology as well as the patent history in the United States. The rate of innovation peaked in the year 1873 and is now rapidly declining. We are at an estimated 85% of the economic limit of technology, and it is projected that we will reach 90% in 2018 and 95% in 2038.

 
Fusion-A clean future
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Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, 2009.

Increasing energy demands, concerns over climate change and limited supplies of fossil fuels mean that the world needs to fi nd new, cleaner ways of powering itself. Nuclear fusion – the process that provides the sun’s energy – can play a big part in our sustainable energy future.

 
Photovoltaic solar energy: development and current research
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European Commission

Photovoltaic electricity costs are becoming more and more competitive. A stronger effort towards further development and technological innovation will make the sector more productive and competitive, and accelerate its evolution. As a result, the whole community will benefit from the increasing possibility that photovoltaic energy will be able to contribute substantially to EU electricity generation by 2020.

 
Biomass co-firing: An efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
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European Bioenergy Networks (EUBIONET), 2003

The main reasons for the growing international interest in utilising renewable fuels are the objectives of promoting the use of renewable fuels in line with the statements in the European Commission’s White Paper and of meeting emission limits and targets set by the EU directives. Emission allowance trading may also pose new challenges to power producers in the future. It can already be stated with great confidence that power producers will have to cope with an increasing number of EU-level regulations concerning emission levels in general, and especially greenhouse gas emissions. Usually these regulatory actions aim at favouring the use of biomass.

 
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