Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission, has urged the European community to build enough infrastructure to create the conditions for alternative fuels to power transport into the future. Delivering his address at the opening ceremony of NGV 2014 Brussels hosted by NGVA Europe, he points to natural gas as a very important element in the whole initiative: “While the technologies are already mature, it is – again – the lack of infrastructure that is holding up a broader uptake of gas as a vehicle fuel.”
“The first target coming up will be for CNG infrastructure in urban areas by 2020, then a 2025 infrastructure deadline for LNG for heavy duty vehicles and in ports. Although the dates are not completely ideal, I think that the time frame agreed is still reasonable and provides the necessary reliability for planning purposes. It is the signal that the industry was expecting in order to move forward”, Kallas continued, adding that deployment is well on the way.
To advance Europe’s alt-fuel goal, significant private investment is called for. Kallas wants European OEMs to raise their international competitiveness and for the industry in his region “to be a world leader in the wider transition from conventional to alternative fuels”.
Kallas is keen for the Europeans to act now. He encourages NGVA Europe’s members to play an assertive role to develop and agree on the common standards that are needed, both at the European and international standardisation organisations, aiming for a true single market for alternative fuels.
“We know that natural gas will play a major part in both road and maritime transport as the most attractive option to replace oil-based fuels such as diesel”, says Kallas “It is ideally suited to integrate gas renewables such as biomethane which can be mixed in at any ratio.”
“Around one-fifth of the EU’s total CO2 emissions come from road transport, of which heavy goods vehicles account for around a quarter. HGV emissions are still rising, mainly due to increasing road freight traffic. If we are to meet those targets, then the gradual replacement of oil sources by low-carbon fuels such as natural gas and biogas is more needed than ever.”
(Source: European Commission)