Over the next 25 years, world demand for liquids fuels is projected to increase more rapidly in the transportation sector than in any other end-use sector. Over the 2006-2030 period, transportation accounts for nearly 80 percent of the total increase in world liquids consumption. Much of the growth in transportation energy use is projected for the non-OECD
nations. Many rapidly expanding non-OECD economies are expected to see strong growth in energy consumption as transportation systems are modernized and income per capita increases the demand for personal motor vehicle ownership (EIA, 2009).
Figure 2: OECD and Non-OECD Transportation Sector Liquids Consumption
Source: Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook, 2009
As presented in the previous chapter, the world currently depends on fossil fuels and crude oil. The ecological consequences of Man’s hunt for oil and its drawbacks have been of increasing severity. From air pollution caused by the emission of green house gases, predominantly caused by traffic, to major environmental disasters (i.e. the Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska or most recently the explosion of BP’s offshore rig Deepwater Horizon in the Golf of Mexico), these and other reasons have caused a change in mind with many people and governments. Hence, there has been a very notable development in interest for alternative forms of energy and fuels, especially for the transportation sector. Today there are various alternatives to gasoline and diesel. Drawing on the US Department of Energy (2010), the most common alternative fuels and their characteristics are:
Renewable fuel, produced from animal fats and vegetable oil
Can be blended with regular diesel and used in light-duty and heavy-duty diesel engines