Vice President Siim Kallas speech on alternative energy in transportation

Vice-President of the European Commission, Siim Kallas, recenltly gave a speech on making the most alternative energy to drive transport forward . Transport accounts for nearly a third of the final energy consumption. There is a need to reduce the consumption of oil-based fuels - and in transport generally. For that, he said, there has to be enough infrastructure to allow access to cleaner fuels. Redarding LNG in the shipping industry he said :

''Natural gas is probably the only globally available fuel that reasonably allows ships and waterborne transport to meet their emissions targets - and the EU's new requirements for maximumsulphur content in marine fuels. These are 0.1% in Sulphur Emission Control Areas by 2015 and 0.5% in all EU waters by 2020. Ships face a real challenge to get access to this fuel. The first large LNG ferry has been sailing between Turku and Stockholm since early this year. It has to be fuelled by a custom-made bunker barge in Stockholm, the first in EU shipping.

I use this example to illustrate that wedohave this technology; we are already a world leader in this area. But it also illustrateshow urgently. Europe needs more LNG fuelling stations. This is why the Commission has proposed making them available for waterborne vessels in the EU's major sea, river and canal ports, and for trucks along the main motorways.

Here, the idea is not for a "one size fits all" approach - each of these fuelling stations will have its own best suited local solution. It can also make sense to start locally with small and flexible infrastructure that can be expanded as demand increases.

Our proposed review of EU ports policy recognises the shift in shipping from oil products towards gas as a fuel, and the subsequent need for ports to offer significant facilities to access, store and provide gas to transport users.

I am confident that it will take less than 20 years before most ships will be able to use LNG, and also on intercontinental journeys.''

Source: EUROPA