This year the International Gas Union (IGU) published its latest report Natural Gas for vehicles (NGV). The document was created by IGU Study Group 5.3 in cooperation with United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) Working Party on Gas and investigates the recent global developments regarding methane powered vehicles in the period from 2009 to 2012.
Based on the drawn conclusions it also hints at recommendations and presents those to the world gas industry.
A total of 61 experts from 24 countries have contributed to the paper. NGVA Europe has been involved deeply in this joint effort, providing two of the publication’s chapters. The report furthermore also adopted the NGVA Europe position papers Minimum infrastructure needs for methane (ng/biomethane) refuelling across Europe & EU emissions policies and its impact on the European NGV market.
Reflecting the recent changes in the use of natural gas since the last report was published in 2009, the publication’s main part Market Profile provides an overview of the global situation regarding NGVs in different continents and countries of the world. The chapter draws a wide picture of “legal conditions and governmental support” (or lack of it) and also deals with the latest technological trends as far as the production and manufacturing of NGVs and the related equipment and infrastructure is concerned. “ Today, natural gas and biomethane represent the most practical, realistic and easiest way to reduce pollution coming from road transportation”, the executive summary states.
According to the report, current global statistics show that compared to the year 2000 the number of NGVs worldwide has risen from 1.2 million to 14 million units, equalling an increase by 1200%. Mainly responsible for this growth is Asia, which has taken over the position as the global leader in the development and application of NGVs from Latin America with Pakistan, Iran, India & China recently showing the most spectacular dynamics.
“The average rate of the world NGV fleet growth reached 15% in the last decade of the past century, and 26% in the 21st century. The world gas consumption in transport is expected to increase from 20 bcm in 2010 up to 40-45 bcm in 2030. The coming decades will show the dramatic growth of use of liquefied natural gas and liquefied biomethane.”
In the European Union natural gas consumption is expected to increase by around 16% by 2030. Despite the great environmental benefits of natural gas/biomethane as a fuel and a constantly growing CNG & LNG vehicle portfolio, the market share of NGVs is still comparably small, currently 0.4% of the total running park, which equals around 1 million units.
In accordance with NGVA Europe’s position the report stresses that EU emission reduction targets, especially the reduction of CO2, is the main driver to boost the European NGV market. “A market share of 20% of natural gas in transport fuels would allow a 5% reduction of the CO2 emissions from all European vehicles. Assuming that 20% of the gas used would be made up of biomethane, the CO2 reduction would increase to 7%”, the document states.
As also pointed out by NGVA Europe further emphasis has to be put on the need to establish a Minimum infrastructure for Methane (NG/biomethane) refuelling across Europe, which remains the bottleneck for the uptake of gaseous fuels. In this context European projects such as the GasHighWay and the Blue Corridor help to “increase the general awareness of target groups in the use of natural gas vehicles (NGVs), increase the supply of NG/biomethane by boosting the investments in distribution systems for these alternative fuels and in biogas production and biogas upgrading to enhance NGVs demand”, the report states.
Improving and harmonising the legislative/regulatory environment, expanding incentives for investors and the further development of the NGV diversity are additional measures mentioned, suited to increase the market share of NGVs in the EU and worldwide.
The kick-off meeting for the next triennial report 2013-2015 took place in Moscow last November 13th. Once again NGVA Europe has been requested and will actively contribute to the new report.
LNG World News Staff, December 11, 2012; Image: NGVA