A comprehensive report entitled Biogas as Fuel for Buses, prepared by HOG Energy and signed off in December 2010, proposes that for climate and environmental reasons Norway should focus on biogas as fuel for buses. The transport sector in the country is responsible for 32% of total CO2 emissions, in addition to adverse regional emissions of NOx, SO2 and particulates. The report says biogas releases virtually no particles and very small amounts of NOx.
Measurements also show that the noise level of a gas engine is about half as high as that of a diesel engine. Additionally the report says investment in natural gas infrastructure will enable wider distribution of biogas as production increases. Norway is encouraged by Sweden’s example, where the proportion of biomethane has increased to 65%.
An interim report delivered in February 2010 resulted in the City Council in Bergen deciding to build a biogas plant in Rådalen with sewage sludge as raw materials, and build up an extensive infrastructure for natural gas. 81 buses now operate on natural gas in that city. HOG Energy prepared an English-language presentation on the work undertaken in Bergen, entitled Baltic Biogas Bus Project 2009 – 2012 (subtitled Introducing Gas Buses in Bergen: Strategies for decision making processes) in September 2010.
New gas buses are used in Trondheim, and biogas is in use as a fuel in Oslo. Also, Tromsø has put forward proposals for natural gas buses.
Paralleling this development is Norway’s shipping industry, moving quickly to reduce emissions by switching to liquified natural gas (LNG). NGV Global News maritime articles track some of these changes.
The report, only available in Norwegian, is available from NGVA Europe as a pdf file.