Roadmap to renewable methane economy

Roadmap to renewable methane economy

Roadmap to renewable methane economy was developed by the Finnish Biogas Association for the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications in 2012. 

The roadmap describes a path to a sustainable 100 % renewable transport energy system by 2050. It is based on targets set by the Finnish government in 2009 in its long-term climate and energy strategy: greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector should decrease by 80-95 % from 1990 levels by 2050. Purpose of the roadmap is to show one way of achieving the maximum target -95 %. Here transport sector is not defined like in the inventory rules of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Instead of covering exhaust pipe emissions only, emissions of the whole lifecycle of transport energy is included. It means taking into account emissions also in agricultural, waste management and energy sectors.

The target in 2050 is a sustainable 100 % renewable energy based transport energy system. It means that most of primary energy sources will be emission-free, such as solar and wind energy. Since wastes will be produced anyway, they will also be utilized the best possible ways. A mixture of secondary energy sources for covering all types of transport energy needs is chosen for minimising not only lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, but also other types of emissions and other negative environmental impacts. The three main groups are direct renewable energy use, direct and indirect renewable electricity and renewable gaseous fuels. Renewable liquid fuels will only have a small role, since they have much larger emissions and lower energy efficiency than renewable gaseous fuels. 

Currently liquid biofuels are the dominating renewable energy forms in all other transport modes except rail transport, where renewable electricity dominates. From this situation the path goes to diversified supply and consumption. Large diversity of technological solutions are needed for replacing fossil fuels. It means that there will be many more options to select in fuel stations and vehicles will become much more fuel flexible. After the declining trend of fossil fuel use has been established, diversity of renewable options may decrease in favour of the most sustainable solutions.