An ‘all of the above’ strategy for transportation
July 29, 2017
Electricity generation has moved in dramatic fashion toward an “all of the above” strategy, especially in Texas, where wind and solar are responsible for an increasing amount of power.
Transportation, on the other hand, is still largely dependent on gasoline and diesel. Recent announcements from Volvo and Tesla, however, signal a sea change. Volvo has pledged to become the first major car manufacturer to go all-electric. Tesla has delivered the first of its Model 3 all-electric cars.
Transportation’s future has begun to shift. Today, it makes up roughly one-third of U.S. energy demand and depends almost entirely on oil.
Efforts to incorporate ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen and natural gas have hit problems – corn-based ethanol has driven up food prices, for example – and penetration remains low.
The lower power density of these alternatives, coupled with an underdeveloped network of fueling stations, has stymied their use. They have done little to reduce carbon emissions. Clean diesel, a highly efficient technology, isn’t an oxymoron, but the Volkswagen scandal soured those prospects.
So something else is required to shrink transportation’s carbon footprint.