Nov 24, 2009

12 Fuel Options that could Change the World in 10 Years or Less?

According to a new report out this week from technology and consultancy giant Accenture, one or more — but almost certainly not all — of a dozen low-carbon transportation fuels now under development could transform that market (which accounts for about half of global primary oil consumption and up to 30 percent of global carbon emissions) within a decade.

What will make a fuel technology disruptive? According to Accenture, it will have to: reduce hydrocarbon fuel demand by more than 20 percent (in other words, scale up) by 2030 and result in at least 30 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissio

ns compared to the conventional fossil fuel it's replacing. It will also have to be within reach from a business standpoint, meaning it will be commercially available within five years and be competitive with oil priced at $45-90 per barrel.

These 12 technologies are "in play," although government policies will have a significant effect on which ones emerge as winners in coming years.

  • Next-generation internal combustion engine
  • Next-generation agriculture
  • Waste-to-fuel
  • Marine scrubbers
  • Synthetic biology (sugar-cane-to-diesel)
  • Butanol
  • Bio-crude
  • Algae
  • Airline drop-ins
  • PHEV/EV/electrification engines
  • Charging
  • Vehicle-to-grid (V2G)
The shift that Accenture expects to arrive as a result of these technologies is not just from one fuel to another, but also from a market that relies primarily on fuels derived from hydrocarbons to one with more variation from country to country.

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