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Include renewable gas accounting methodology from 2025 - NGVA Europe

As legislators enter into the negotiations for a final agreement between the European Parliament and Council on the new regulation setting carbon dioxide (CO2) standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), NGVA Europe calls for the inclusion of a methodology to account renewable gaseous fuel already from the 2025 intermediate target.

A Volvo 460 methane-diesel tanker truck transporting liquefied biogas (LBG) from Air Liquide Group subsidiary, FordonsGas Sverige AB, a Swedish gas distributor, gas refuelling station developer and operator. NGVA Europe calls on EU legislators to include a methodology to account renewable gaseous fuel already from the 2025 intermediate target in the carbon dioxide (CO2) standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs).

According to Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe), it is “fundamental” that a mechanism for inclusion of renewable and synthetic fuels in the range of alternatives to reach the final carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction targets is developed.

In parallel tailpipe CO2 emissions measurement, necessary as an indicator of vehicle efficiency and of fuel consumption, emissions associated with the fuel provision need also to be weighed in. Looking to the much wider decarbonization target provides the necessary signal to both vehicle manufacturers and biofuels producers to preserve the focus on investments.

Methodology needed to assess both existing and near-future alternatives

The type of methodology is open but needs to be defined in order to be consistent with the rest of the EU legislation. Given the multiple missions that the heavy-duty transport sector is required to fulfil, there is no silver bullet powertrain technology or energy carrier.

Thus the mechanism needs to assess different technologies and alternatives, both those that are currently available and those under development. Furthermore, the timeline is crucial for the heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) sector.

Delaying the conception of the methodology would represent a missed opportunity. This is because a considerable amount of renewable gas is already available and compliant with the strictest sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Therefore, accounting for their contribution towards the intermediate target in 2025 is the most justifiable timeline, fully in line with the technology deployment of gas for freight mobility and renewables uptake, NGVA Europe stressed.

Low fuel consumption, strong performance and low emissions

NGVA Europe also points out that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction is the combined result of efforts merging different contributions related to engine/vehicle technologies. Trucks running on gas are ranked among those with the lowest fuel consumption available on the market.

By ensuring a strong performance in terms of fuel efficiency, in combination with extensive maintenance intervals, gas-powered trucks already have strong overall climate performance compared to fossil-diesel fueled options.

Existing distribution and refuelling infrastructure

NGVA Europe argues that existing gas distribution and refuelling infrastructure is already in place while some of the other alternatives are not expected to scale up quickly.

The development of a methodology will enhance the already existing infrastructure and the possibility of low-carbon emissions mobility that natural and renewable gas offer.

E.ON’s public refuelling station for compressed biogas (CBG) at its Högbytorp facility in Stockholm, Sweden.

Furthermore, investments needed to develop and expand the infrastructure further are “feasible and competitive” when compared with other technologies and would not result in increased costs for the end consumer.

In this transitional period for the European transport and energy sectors towards zero- and low-emission driving, the push for CO2 savings should look at “all reasonable options without being unidirectional at any costs.”

Truck makers need to be provided with complementary and feasible policy solutions to reach the ambitious targets expected already in 2025. This will enable the sector to plan and invest accordingly.

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