|Price and environmental quality are two of NGVs’s biggest strengths and opportunities. Click to enlarge.|
A report prepared for the International Gas Union (IGU) concludes that natural gas has a tremendous opportunity to become a much more widespread global transportation solution, given the constant rise of oil prices, downward trends in oil reserves, and upward trends in gas reserves and supply (partly through the exploitation of hydrates and renewable bio-methane).
Another driving factor is environmental concern over criteria pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions from petroleum-fueled vehicles.
A study group of 30 worked on the report for three years. The report was presented to the World Gas Conference in Amsterdam 5-9 June 2006.
|Four generations of CNG systems for light-duty vehicles.|
The study includes an overview of existing technologies for light- and heavy-duty vehicles, fueling, fuel production and storage in 23 countries. The report also analyzes adoption trends in those countries.
Successful growth of the natural gas vehicle market will require internationalization, support from governments, and more OEM product, according to the report.
Specific recommendations include:
Support worldwide harmonization efforts for regulations, codes and standards for NGVs (retrofit and OEM) including:
- ISO standards and UN regulations
- Fuel connectors and filling
- Vehicle type approval
- Regular vehicle inspections
- Harmonization of fuel measurement units and accuracy
- Highest level international standards and regulations for retrofits
Support strategic approach to regionalization / internationalization of fuelling infrastructure strategy (and vehicle homologation).
Engage all stakeholders.
Lobby for consistency in long-term policies.
Support awareness and growth of other methane options including renewable bio-gas strategies and use of LNG in specific niche markets and specialty applications where: 1) vehicle range is a factor and; 2) where vehicle size is compatible with large fuel storage capacities (i.e. over-the-road haulage, marine and rail applications).
A follow-on project over the next three years will use the report and the associated databases to look more closely at the national, regional and global potential and markets for NGVs.
The purpose of the new project is to develop a global strategy for NGV commercialization using different and appropriate technologies, covering on and off the road applications and taking into account CNG, LNG and biomethane. The updated report will be presented at the next World Gas Conference in Argentina in 2009.