The IEA supports international energy technology research, development, deployment, and knowledge transfer through multilateral groups (formally called Implementing Agreements). The experts participating in the activities of the Implementing Agreements represent public and private sector entities worldwide. Together, these experts share knowledge – and resources – to advance energy technologies.
Countries worldwide need to improve the fuel economy and reduce greenhouse emissions of road vehicles. Significant improvements in fuel economy can be achieved in the next five to ten years if countries implement the necessary policies. Policy packages composed of fuel economy labelling; standards and fiscal measures have proven to be effective in meeting targets. Renewable energy contributes to CO2 emission reductions. For example, in Europe, 10% of energy in transport must be from renewable sources (e.g. biofuels and renewable electricity).
The primary focus of the Implementing Agreement on Advanced Motor Fuels (AMF IA) is to facilitate the market introduction of advanced motor fuels and related vehicle technologies. The AMF IA provides a neutral platform for fuel analyses and reporting, drawing on the multifaceted expertise of its participants, industrial partners and networks. There are 16 Contracting Parties, including China and Thailand.
Most public transport systems worldwide include a majority of buses. Transport officials must balance key considerations such as the initial investments required and fleet maintenance costs with the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as local emissions (mainly particulates, oxides of nitrogen).
One recent AMF IA project — Fuel and Technology Alternatives for Buses — set out to address how vehicle technology and fuel used affect emissions and fuel consumption. Altogether 11 national laboratories and international agencies participated in the study, sharing existing data and jointly carrying out new measurements in laboratory conditions and on the road.
The study included measurements of fuel consumption, greenhouse gases and regulated emissions in a variety of driving cycles. A large number of fuels were examined, including conventional, synthetic and bio-based diesel fuels as well as alternative fuels for dedicated vehicles.
Lifecycle, or well-to-wheel analysis was carried out for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The results show that while burning clean fuels such as methane, ethanol and dimethyl ether can provide advantages over diesel in reducing regulated emissions such as particulates or airborne soot, the regulated emissions are first and foremost determined by the sophistication of the engine and the exhaust control system. Greenhouse emissions, on the other hand, are determined by efficiency and the carbon intensity of the fuel.
Lastly, a cost assessment of both direct (purchase, operation and maintenance) and indirect costs (related to the effects on health and the environment) was carried out. The detailed report provides insights for municipal and community transport planning and implementation.
* Photo courtesy of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
For more information: www.iea-amf.org
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