Alternative fuels and vehicles | Do the european policies make sense?

Jean-Pierre SCHAEKEN WILLEMAERS, Chairman of the Energie and Climate Department of the Thomas More Institute

April 2011 | Tribune 30


Oil reserve depletion, security of supply, energy saving, energy independency, pollution and GHG emissions lead to the basic question: are there realistic alternatives to gasoline and diesel oil, the conventional fuels used for transport? A holistic approach involving all stakeholders like technology, business, consumers, governments, infrastructure and at last but not least environment, is the more efficient and realistic way to discuss this issue.

The solutions will be sustainable only if they meet the accessibility, availability and acceptability criteria. The European Commission sets a 10% target share of renewable energy in the transport sector by 2020. But under which conditions renewable energy is sustainable? To properly address the sustainability issue, energy consumption and GHG emissions must be computed globally i.e. over the alternative energy lifecycle: raw material growing and/or power generation, land use changes, industrial production, transport and so on.