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Sustainable European Transport System in a 100% Renewable Economy

AuthorsGarcía-Olivares, Antonio ; Solé, Jordi ; Samsó, Roger; Ballabrera-Poy, Joaquim
KeywordsTransport infrastructure
Transition cost
Embodied energy
Rail transport
Issue Date23-Jun-2020
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationSustainability 12(12): 5091 (2020)
AbstractEurope must move towards a 100% renewable transportation system for climate, energy and sustainability reasons. We estimate the capital and energy required for building and operating a renewable transportation system providing similar services as the EU-28 transport system of 2016. It could be based on: biogas or fuel cell vessels; liquid biogas powered aircrafts; electric railways and fuel cell or electric vehicles between major cities; and car sharing, electric buses and electric two- and three-wheelers, for short journeys. A system of charging posts on the streets and roads for passenger and commercial e-vehicles is studied. Alternatively, a Tracked Electric Vehicle system of continuous power on European roads would improve energy efficiency and the saving of scarce metals (Ni, Li), at a lower cost, if only national roads were electrified. The investment for the construction of the whole system would be 2.3–2.7% of the EU’s GDP per year for 30 years. The new system operation would require 16% less energy than that of 2016, with reduction of 70% in road transport. However, shipping and aviation would demand 162% and 149% more energy, respectively, if liquefied biogas were used as fuel. A type of land transport fully based on trains would provide a similar service to that of an electric vehicle fleet, with a 29% lower energy consumption.
Description© 2020 by the authors.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125091
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