University of Twente Student Theses


Developing a realistic view on the availability of renewable resources for the road transport sector in the Netherlands in 2050

Nastos, Vasileios (2011) Developing a realistic view on the availability of renewable resources for the road transport sector in the Netherlands in 2050.

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Abstract:In this study several scenarios on the Netherlands' road transport sector evolution were developed with respect to the future transport demand, the vehicle fleet composition, the vehicle and energy production efficiency improvements, and the energy mix in order to obtain an environmentally sustainable model for transportation in 2050. The reduction target in road transport well-to-wheel CO2 emissions with reference to 1990 levels was set to 60%, as mentioned in the most recent White Paper on Transport of the European Commission. The scenario for the transport demand in 2050 was estimated using the projections by the Welfare and Environment (WLO) study of 2006, and the most recent estimates of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). Subsequently, three scenarios on vehicle fleet composition were created implementing data from PBL for the first one, from a policy scenario of the “EU Transport GHG: Routes to 2050?” report for the second, and assuming a further decoupling from fossil fuel technologies for the third. Another three scenarios were plotted based on different assumptions on vehicle powertrain energy consumption, each one assuming further increases in efficiency, reaching to the lowest (according to thermodynamics) consumption in the third scenario. Finally, three scenarios were created as well for the fuel and electricity mix, with the last one presupposing a system based 100% on renewable resources. This procedure produced 27 scenarios for which the well-to-wheel CO2 emissions were calculated and compared with the targets set for 2050. The scenarios were further analyzed with respect to energy and land requirements and implications, the demand-supply mismatch, and the system’s sustainability and security. The range of results for carbon dioxide emissions was found between zero and about 20 million tons, for energy consumption between about 200PJ and 450PJ, and for land use from 14% to 128% of the Netherlands. The lowest values referred were found for the most efficient fleet composition and the lowest consumption rates. It is worth mentioning that the lowest value on land use is provided by the energy mix which uses the highest rate of fossil resources. One of the goals of this report was to discover the limits to growth of the road transport sector in the Netherlands. The results presented hereafter strengthen the author’s opinion that technological improvement is a necessary but not sufficient condition to achieve sustainability; changes in mentality, lifestyle, patterns of consumption and production, and social structure are needed.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Sustainable Energy Technology MSc (60443)
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