The rapid growth of renewable energy has reached a new milestone, with renewable sources contributing more than two-thirds of new power added to the world’s electricity supply in 2016. The figures come from the International Energy Agency, whose director described them as ‘the birth of a new era in solar photovoltaics’.
The European Parliament could be on course to end state support for biodiesel from vegetable oils in 2030 after a vote in its environment committee. MEPs strongly backed the phase-out of food-based biofuels by 2030 as well as the termination of the use of palm oil biodiesel in the Renewable Energy Directive, as early as 2021.
Electric vehicles emit less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over their lifetimes than diesel engine cars, a new independent study has found. Even when powered by the most carbon intensive electricity in Europe, EVs will emit less and those emissions decrease further as more renewable electricity enters the grid, according to an analysis of the lifecycle emissions of the vehicles conducted by VUB university in Brussels for T&E.
Europe’s biofuels policies do increase global food prices. That’s the wide scientific consensus, according to a review of more than 100 economic modelling studies of the impact on food prices from increased demand for biofuels made from food crops. Increased demand for biodiesel has driven the price of vegetable oils in the EU, such as rapeseed, palm oil, soy and sunflower, up 171% per exajoule (EJ) of biodiesel produced, according to the analysis by consultancy Cerulogy for BirdLife Europe and T&E.
With Paris going to host the 2024 Olympic games, it’s ramping up plans for a shared and autonomous vehicle future. Sometimes seen as a 19th century pre-car capital, the city of light could become the world’s first post-car metropolis. By 2020 all diesel cars will be banned and, by the time the games roll into town, driverless taxis should be making ride after ride – freeing up precious parking space.
A strategy for turning Europe’s car fleet from fossil-fuel-powered to electric has been outlined in a new study for T&E. It suggests the continent must set a target of electric cars making up more than a half of all new vehicles sold by 2030, and that to achieve this joint efforts must now begin between the EU, member states and industry.
The EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) determines how EU money is spent. The current €1 trillion budget runs from 2014 to 2020 with almost €100 billion earmarked for investment in the transport sector. The current MFF Regulation states that “the Commission should present a proposal for a new multiannual financial framework before 1 January 2018”. This budget would most likely start from 2021.
Transport is the largest source of EU emissions and accounts for around a quarter of EU GHG emissions. Meanwhile air pollution from road transport contributes to over 400.000 premature deaths per year, 26.000 people die in traffic annually and the EU economy loses €100 billion every year in congestion. A large portion of the EU’s budget is currently spent on expanding road infrastructure and building up fossil fuel infrastructure (e.g. LNG terminals). A future EU budget should invest tax payers money more carefully, and prioritize investment in infrastructure that reduces the environmental impact of transport and assists member states in reaching their climate goals. In this paper T&E outlines how part of the post-2020 budget should be allocated.
This briefing collates a range of evidence and shows that carmakers are failing to achieve their own targets for sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. It also shows that the very limited choice of electric cars, long waiting times to receive cars, limited availability and crucially a lack of marketing investment are contributing for carmakers’ lack of sales.
The average car sits unused for more than 90% of the time, carries on average just one and a half people and costs on average €6,500 a year to own and run. Each car occupies 150m2 of urban land and still this is not enough – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.
Crop-based biofuels were seen as a way to reduce the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels and decarbonise the transport sector. But emerging evidence about negative environmental and climate impacts of these biofuels has led to the European Commission proposing to gradually phase-out the policy support in the EU. Industry stakeholders argue that this would adversely affect past investments and put jobs at risk.