UKERC Energy Data Centre: ETI Publications



Transport - An affordable transition to sustainable and secure energy for light vehicles in the UK - Full Report


Citation ETI Transport - An affordable transition to sustainable and secure energy for light vehicles in the UK - Full Report, ETI, 2013. https://doi.org/10.5286/UKERC.EDC.000763.
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Author(s) ETI
Project partner(s) ETI
Publisher ETI
DOI https://doi.org/10.5286/UKERC.EDC.000763
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Abstract The UK has committed to a legally binding obligation to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 (against 1990). The primary issue is atmospheric concentration of CO2 which, once emitted, remains in the atmosphere for up to two centuries. Consequently, minimising cumulative CO2 emissions is at least as important as the 2050 obligation.

Light vehicles contribute around 16% of UK CO2 emissions, and are a major factor in congestion and urban air quality. Light vehicles will remain central to UK mobility in 2050, so transforming the energy infrastructure is essential to emissions reduction.

Cutting transport carbon emissions is expensive compared to most other sectors. Innovation in other parts of the energy generation system such as the development of biomass electricity generation with carbon capture and storage could allow some fossil fuel to still be used in light vehicles in 2050. This could amount to approximately 40% of the 2010 energy mix. This is likely to significantly reduce the overall cost of carbon reduction.

To make energy affordable, capital costs need to be amortised over long payback periods (often 20+ years) with low investment risk and high utilisation at scale. A century of evolution created an efficient energy infrastructure which any new solution must compete with.

The most important finding is that UK energy and climate change goals can be achieved without needing consumers to compromise on expectations for light vehicles. The least risk, least cost, evolutionary pathway is defined in this report for developing the UK energy infrastructure for light vehicles. This path is highly likely to achieve UK energy and climate change goals for 2050 and minimise atmospheric concentration of CO2 from cumulative emissions. It retains significant market flexibility to continually optimise choices during this transition period.
Associated Project(s) ETI-TR1006: Consumers, Vehicles and Energy Integration (CVEI)
Associated Dataset(s) No associated datasets
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