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Research Papers: Alternative Energy Sources

Driving on Renewables—On the Prospects of Alternative Fuels up to 2050 From an Energetic Point-of-View in European Union Countries

[+] Author and Article Information
Amela Ajanovic

Energy Economics Group,
Vienna University of Technology,
Vienna 1040,Austria
e-mail: Ajanovic@eeg.tuwien.ac.at

Gerfried Jungmeier

e-mail: gerfried.jungmeier@joanneum.at

Martin Beermann

e-mail: Martin.Beermann@joanneum.at
Joanneum Research,
Graz 8010,Austria

Reinhard Haas

Energy Economics Group,
Vienna University of Technology,
Vienna 1040,Austria
e-mail: Haas@eeg.tuwien.ac.at

The price increases for feedstocks and wood-based resources are derived from the average price increases over the last ten years, 2000–2010. However, if the demand for wood increases considerably, higher price increases may also take place.

Technological learning works as follows: For many products and services, unit costs decrease with increasing experience. The idealized pattern describing this kind of technological progress is referred as a learning curve, progress curve, experience curve, or learning by doing [13-15]. In its most common formulation, unit costs decrease by a constant percentage, called the learning rate, for each doubling of experience [16].

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Manuscript received July 2, 2012; final manuscript received January 11, 2013; published online June 3, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Andrea Lazzaretto.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 135(3), 031201 (Jun 03, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: JERT-12-1151; doi: 10.1115/1.4023919 History: Received July 02, 2012; Revised January 11, 2013

The core objective of this paper is to investigate the perspectives of “renewable fuels” mainly from an energetic point-of-view in a dynamic framework until 2050 in comparison to fossil fuels. In addition, the impact on the economic prospects of an improvement of the energetic performance is analyzed. As renewable fuels, various categories of first and second generation biofuels as well as electricity and hydrogen from renewable energy sources are considered. The most important results of this analysis are: (i) While for first generation biofuels, the relatively high share of fossil energy is the major problem, for second generation biofuels, the major problems are the low conversion efficiency and the corresponding high input of renewable feedstocks. Up to 2050, it is expected that these problems will be relieved, but only slightly. (ii) The energetic improvements up to 2050 will lead to substantial reduction of energetic losses in the well-to-tank as well as in the tank-to-wheel part of the energy service provision chain. (iii) By 2050, the total driving costs of all analyzed fuels and powertrains will almost even out. (iv) The major uncertainty for battery electric and fuel cell vehicles is how fast technological learning will take place especially for the battery and the fuel cells.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

WTT and TTW—conversion in the energy service providing chain

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Fig. 2

The feedstock/fuel conversion factor fconv for an energetic WTT assessment of conventional- and bio-fuels for 2010 and 2050 (data sources: Refs. [9,23,23])

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Fig. 3

Conversion factor fconv for an energetic WTT assessment of conventional fuels and electricity for 2010 and 2050 (data sources: Refs. [9,23,23])

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Fig. 4

Conversion factor fconv for an energetic WTT assessment of conventional fuels and hydrogen for 2010 and 2050 (data sources: Refs. [9,23,23])

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Fig. 5

Development of fuel intensity, power-specific fuel intensity, and power (kW) of new vehicles in EU-15 from 1990 to 2009 [26,27]

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Fig. 6

Normalized development (1990 = 1) of fuel intensity, power-specific fuel intensity, and power of new vehicles in EU-15 from 1990 to 2009 [26,27]

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Fig. 7

Historical developments of passenger cars' fuel intensities and assumptions for future development up to 2050 (for average car size of 80 kW) (data source: Refs. [9-11,26-29])

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Fig. 8

Renewable and fossil energy shares in the whole WTW energy service provision chain in 2010 for conventional fuels versus biofuels

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Fig. 9

Renewable and fossil energy shares in the whole WTW energy service provision chain in 2050 for conventional versus biofuels

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Fig. 10

Renewable and fossil energy shares in the whole WTW energy service provision chain in 2010 for conventional fuels versus fuels used in BEV and FCV

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Fig. 11

Renewable and fossil energy shares in the WTW energy service provision chain in 2050 for conventional fuels versus fuels used in BEV and FCV

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Fig. 12

Total costs of service mobility in passenger cars in 2010

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Fig. 13

Total costs of service mobility in passenger cars in 2050

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