Technology Fact Sheets

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Alternative Fuels

Despite the significant efficiency gains diesel engines have made in the past few decades alternative fuels to diesel that lower emissions and/or have higher energy densities are being researched and produced in the aim to further reduce emissions. The below fact sheets cover some of these developing alternative fuels.

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Biofuels

Biofuels are regularly proclaimed as a way forward for the ‘greening’ of transport services. They have gained particular distinction within the EU and the US. The current generation of biofuels do produce significant carbon emissions when burned as a fuel but these emissions are considered as part of the "short term carbon cycle".

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Euro Truck Standards

Diesel itself is a very efficient fuel and at the moment only carbon free or climate neutral produced fuels generate less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel. Due to only diesel being currently available in enough substantial quantities to fuel the entire industry, diesel will continue to be the dominant industry fuel for the immediate future.

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Next Generation Aircraft

Despite greater efficiency in aviation transport over the past two decades, aviation’s share of emissions has increased from 3-4 % in 1990 to around 8% of all transport emissions today. This indicates a rapidly growing aviation transport sector. While air freight transport represents only a small percentage of domestic freight movement within Australia, with an expanding import and export market reducing aviation’s emissions will be important if Australia is to meet its emission reduction standards by 2050.

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Hybrid and Electric Advances

The report from the Australian Low Carbon Transport Forum "Greenhouse Gas Abatement Potential of the Australian Transport Sector" (CSIRO, 2012) found that the greatest abatement option for reducing emissions by the year 2050 is through the implementation of electric and (plug-in) hybrids. They estimate that with full roll out of electric vehicles for light transport purposes could reduce emissions by 36 MtCO2e in Australia alone.

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Shipping Advances

International shipping produces more emissions from energy use than all but five countries, producing 2.7% of global carbon emissions annually (EESI, 2012). Despite this huge percentage the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has estimated that shipping which emits around 870 metric tonnes per year of carbon dioxide will double or triple this figure by 2050 under business as usual conditions (IMO, 2009).

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Lighting for Warehouses

Throughout the world lighting consumes a significant percentage of global electricity use. It is estimated that more than 2,200 terawatt hours of energy is used for lighting every year at a cost of between $190 and $250 billion1. This is approximately 17.5% of total global energy use. In Australia lighting can account for more than 60% of energy costs in a standard office. As a result any increases in lighting efficiency will produce big savings for an individual company.

 

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Diesel Truck Upgrade Efficiencies

With the vast majority of heavy good vehicles running off diesel powered engines in Australia greater efficiency in diesel engines has much potential to reduce GHG emissions in the short-term. Diesel itself is a very efficient fuel and at the moment only carbon free or climate neutral produced fuels generate less greenhouse gas emissions than diesel. As only diesel is currently available in enough substantial quantities to fuel the entire industry, diesel will continue to be the dominant industry fuel for the immediate future. Furthermore existing heavy vehicles can be retrofitted with a range of items to help increase their efficiencies.

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