The Clean Power for Transport Package consists of a Communication on a European alternative fuels strategy, a Directive focusing on infrastructure and standards and an accompanying document describing an action plan for the development of liquefied natural gas in shipping.
Among the main measures proposed are hydrogen, LNG and CNG alternatives.
– Hydrogen: Germany, Italy and Denmark already have a significant number of hydrogen refueling stations although some of them are not publically accessible. Common standards are still needed for certain components such as fuel hoses. Under this proposal, existing filling sites will be linked up to form a network with common standards ensuring the mobility of hydrogen vehicles. This applies to the 14 Member States which currently have a Hydrogen network.
– LNG: this option is used for waterborne transport both at sea and on inland waterways. Liquefied natural gas infrastructure for fuelling vessels is at a very early stage, with only Sweden having a small scale LNG bunkering facility for sea going vessels, with plans in several other Member States. The Commission is proposing that LNG refueling stations be installed in all 139 maritime and inland ports on the Trans European Core Network by 2020 and respectively 2025. These are not major gas terminals, but either fixed or mobile refueling stations. This covers all major EU ports.
The fuel is also used for trucks, but there are only 38 filling stations in the EU. The Commission is proposing that by 2020, refueling stations are installed every 400 km along the roads of the Trans European Core Network.
– CNG: it is mainly used for cars. One million vehicles currently use this fuel representing 0.5% of the fleet – the industry aims to increase this figure ten-fold by 2020. The Commission proposal will ensure that publically accessible refueling points, with common standards, are available Europe-wide with maximum distances of 150 Km by 2020.
Member States will be able to implement these changes without necessarily involving public spending by changing local regulations to encourage private sector investment and behaviour. EU support is already available from TEN-T funds, cohesion and structural funds.
Source: European Commission.
You will find a complete report on this issue in the February edition of The GVR.