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Opportunities for the use of renewable energy in road transport

This report provides an overview of the technological options and a policy framework needed for the transformation of the road transport sector in order to meet the challenges of reduction of GHG emissions and independence of oil through large-scale deployment of sustainable and effective renewable energy (RE) technologies.

It discusses the current state of the use of options for using renewable energies in road transport, and explores possible synergetic effects between the evolution of road transport and the increased uptake of renewable energy.

Policy options are also identified to accelerate the transformation of road transport towards significantly lower carbon emissions. The focus of this report is on battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles using renewable electricity.

One reason for taking electric vehicles as example is that this option is currently receiving a lot of attention, with part of the interest stemming from electricity companies looking for options to use electric vehicles to resolve challenges related to the foreseen increased use of intermittent renewable electricity production. Given the state-of-the-art of electric and plug-in vehicles on the one hand and the immanence of problems associated with large shares of wind energy production already occurring in some countries, this option is likely to be the first where the synergies emerging from a co-evolution of vehicles and energy system can be harvested.

The transport sector is one of the major emitters of greenhouse gases (and other pollutants). According to the IEA there is a need for a four-fold reduction of the carbon intensity of transport. Hence, the transport sector needs a transformation – a revolution in technology, infrastructure, transport concepts and political framework in order to achieve the goal of at least 50% CO2 emission reduction by 2050.

Read Opportunities for the use of renewable energy in road transport.