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Upgraded biogas for transport in Sweden: effects of policy instruments on production, infrastructure deployment and vehicle sales
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8871-2085
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3315-4201
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Chemical Engineering and Technology, Energy Processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0635-7372
2015 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

Sweden is a leading country in the development of upgraded biogas for use in the transport sector. The introduction of a new vehicle fuel is complex when the production, infrastructure, and vehicle fleet must be developed simultaneously. The aim of this article is to present and analyse the development of upgraded biogas in the Swedish transport sector in relation to policy instruments and the availability of a natural gas grid. Plausible implications for the future development of the biogas system are also analysed.

The development of upgraded biogas in Sweden's transport sector is heavily influenced in several ways by domestic policy instruments. Investment support schemes and exemptions from energy and carbon dioxide taxes have been key instruments in initiating the construction of new biogas production facilities and infrastructure. The study of the biogas development in relation to the natural gas grid presented in this article indicates that it may not be necessary to construct a comprehensive network of pipelines for methane (natural gas) to develop the market – at least not initially. In Sweden and elsewhere the biogas volumes will still be quite small in the near future and it is possible to achieve biogas development without an available methane gas grid.

Public procurement, investment schemes and reduced fringe benefit tax have likely been important policy instruments in the introduction of biogas vehicles, whereas the support for private biogas cars has been short-sighted in some ways, and not sufficient to achieve a competitive cost of ownership for biogas cars in relation to diesel cars.

The future strategy for biogas should be based on a realistic potential for using biogas in the transport sector; this would determine whether further market expansion is necessary or if incentives should be focused on development of the production side to cover the current demand for vehicle gas.

The development of biogas production likely depends on continued tax exemptions, which are currently available only until the end of 2015; it is uncertain whether they will remain in place. If biogas should be promoted further among private car owners, more visible incentives for private cars are needed together with incentives for expanding the fuelling infrastructure network.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015.
Keyword [en]
Biomethane, Biogas, Transport, Alternatively fuelled vehicle, Policy instrument, Natural gas grid
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173837DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2015.08.056ISI: 000368207500017ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84959508922OAI: diva2:855362
Energy Systems Programme

QC 201509

Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-09-21 Last updated: 2016-05-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The role of methane and hydrogen in a fossil-free Swedish transport sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of methane and hydrogen in a fossil-free Swedish transport sector
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are required to limit the severe risks associated with a changing climate. One measure is to disrupt the fossil-fuel dependency in the transport sector, but it appears difficult and costly in comparison to other measures.

Vehicles and fuels are available, but no single alternative can replace petrol and diesel in all parts of the transport system. None of them are ideal regarding all of the following aspects: vehicle performance, fuel production potential, sustainability, infrastructure, technology development and economy. Instead, several fuels are needed.

In this thesis, the aim is to investigate the role of methane and hydrogen in a fossil- free vehicle fleet in Sweden, and compare them with other fuels in terms of well-to-wheel energy efficiency and economy. Processes for producing methane from biomass, waste streams from pulp mills and electricity are studied with techno-economic methods. Furthermore, well-to-wheel studies and scenarios are used to investigate the fuel chains and the interaction with the energy and transport systems.

Effects of policy instruments on the development of biogas in the Swedish transport sector are also analysed and policy instruments are suggested to increase the use of methane and to introduce hydrogen and fuel cell electric vehicles. The results reveal that tax exemptions and investment support have been and will continue to be important policy instruments, but that effective policy instruments are needed to develop fuelling infrastructure and to support alternative vehicles.

Electricity will be an important transport fuel for several reasons; the electric powertrain enables high energy efficiency and electricity can be produced from various renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, other fuels will be needed as complements to electricity. The results reveal that methane and hydrogen and associated vehicles may be necessary to reach a fossil-free vehicle fleet in Sweden. These fuels have several advantages:

-        The function of the vehicles resembles conventional vehicles but with lower local and global emissions.

-        Methane is a well proven as a transport fuel and hydrogen infrastructure and FCEVs, are commercial or close to commercialisation.

-        They enable high well-to-wheel energy efficiency.

-        They can be produced from renewable electricity and act as energy storage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. 93 p.
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 55
renewable transport fuels, biogas, methane, hydrogen, electrofuels, pyrolysis, well to wheel, transport policy, energy policy
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Research subject
Chemical Engineering
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-174018 (URN)978-91-7595-706-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-23, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 09:30 (Swedish)
Energy Systems Programme

QC 20150929

Available from: 2015-09-29 Created: 2015-09-24 Last updated: 2015-09-29Bibliographically approved

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