By Michael Rothenborg, November 2017
One of the toughest challenges of climate mitigation is greening energy for transport. The big revolution in this field is electrification, which will enable all transport to be fully powered by renewables instead of oil.
However, this is unlikely to happen in all countries and sectors anytime soon, and two studies now provide guidance on greening transport in areas where electrification is a less feasible option.
Ramboll is carrying out a study for Norsk Gassforum – a collaboration between 12 regional authorities aimed at promoting the use of natural gas, biogas and hydrogen in Norway – to investigate the feasibility of using biogas on the railroad systems that still run on diesel. This is, for example, the case with Norway’s longest railroad, the 700-km Nordlandsbanen.
Converting these railroads to electricity would require massive investments and take a long time. Biogas, on the other hand, can be gradually introduced in a relatively short time and is also able to deliver large CO2 reductions. Biofuel for airplanes offers another promising example.
In a report Ramboll estimates that, by 2030, up to 30% of all aviation fuel loaded at Avinor’s airports can be
sustainable – if public incentives are put in place.
Avinor operates most of the civil airports in Norway, and its CEO, Dag Falk-Petersen, was positive about the
project when the results were presented. He noted that investments in sustainable biofuels would also create new businesses and jobs.
A biofuel is a fuel that is produced through contemporary biological processes, such as agriculture and anaerobic digestion. Biogas is a type of biofuel – a gas produced by the anaerobic digestion or fermentation of organic matter.