IEA Paper Evaluates Contribution of Natural Gas Vehicles to Sustainable Transport

1 November 2010:  The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a working paper titled “The Contribution of Natural Gas Vehicles to Sustainable Transport,” which considers costs and benefits associated with using natural gas vehicles (NGVs) for road transport, as well as policies related to its use and market development.

The paper begins by highlighting the current status of NGV markets and technology, before discussing their environmental performance, economics and policy, and sustainable pathways for their future use. The paper also includes six case studies of policy and markets for NGVs in Brazil, India, Iran, Pakistan, the US, and Europe.

Among its main findings are that, depending on the national context, NGVs can have very positive benefits on air quality and noise, energy security, and budgets by reducing the need for road fuel subsidies. Such vehicles also provide large CO2 savings in comparison to many alternatives. Finally, the paper also finds that in most cases, infrastructure costs have been balanced by market growth and have had resulted in positive returns, although sometimes government support may be necessary.  [The paper]