Transport biofuels in global energy–economy modelling – a review of comprehensive energy systems assessment approaches

The high oil dependence and the growth of energy use in the transport sector have increased the interest in alternative non-fossil fuels as a measure to mitigate climate change and improve energy security. More ambitious energy and environmental targets and larger use of nonfossil energy in the transport sector increase energy–transport interactions and system effects over sector boundaries.

While the stationary energy sector (e.g., electric-ity and heat generation) and the transport sector earlier to large degree could be considered as separate systems with limited interaction, integrated analysis approaches and assessments of energy–transport interactions now grow in importance. In recent years, the scientific literature has presented an increasing number of global energy–economy future studies based on systems modelling treating the transport sector as an integral part of the overall energy system and/or economy. Many of these studies provide important insights regarding trans-port biofuels.

To clarify similarities and differences in approaches and results, the present work reviews studies on transport biofuels in global energy–economy modelling and investigates what future role comprehensive glo-bal energy–economy modelling studies portray for transport biofuels in terms of their potential and competitive-ness.

The results vary widely between the studies, but the resulting transport biofuel market shares are mainly below 40% during the entire time periods analysed. Some of the reviewed studies show higher transport biofuel market shares in the medium (15–30 years) than in the long term (above 30 years), and, in the long-term models, at the end of the modelling horizon, transport biofuels are often substituted by electric and hydrogen cars.

This article is published in Global Change Biology Bioenergy

Author: O. Ahlgren, M Börjesson Hagberg, and M Grahn
Publish date: 2017-11-23
Language: English

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