The use of natural gas as a transportation fuel in Germany will rise to 4% of the “energy mix” by 2020, according to the German natural gas association Zukunft Erdgas. The 4% target was agreed to during a summit last December between the German car industry, the German environment ministry and Germany’s biggest industry trade union, reports NGVA Europe.
The main topic of the conference was “sustainable mobility concepts,” of which natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are considered an integral part. In the closing statement of the conference, compressed natural and liquefied natural gas were mentioned as particularly suitable for buses and commercial vehicles, not only because of the lower CO2 emissions, but also because of the extremely low emissions of nitrogen oxides and the virtual absence of particulate matter in natural gas.
Other advantages are the lower noise levels of NGVs and the reduced fuel consumption, according to Zukunft Erdgas, and the German vehicle industry will bring new and attractive vehicles on the market.
The 4% goal means the amount of NGVs on Germany’s roads will have to increase tenfold over the next five years. Countries such as Italy show that such a target is possible, as long as the right political conditions are met, says Zukunft Erdgas. Germany will also expand its network of refueling stations for natural gas, in accordance with the Clean Power for Transport initiative of the European Union.
The German ministry of economic affairs is prepared to extend the present system of tax deductions for natural gas as a fuel beyond the deadline of 2018, according to Zukunft Erdgas. The ministry also says it will promptly implement the “climate protection 2020” program supporting energy-efficient commercial vehicles.