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Greenhouse gas emission reductions are at the centre of national and international efforts to mitigate climate change. In road transportation, many politically incentivised measures focus on increasing the energy efficiency of established technologies, or promoting electric or hybrid vehicles. The abatement potential of the former approach is limited, electric mobility technologies are not yet market-ready. In a case study for Germany, this paper focuses on natural gas powered vehicles as a bridging technology in road transportation. Scenario analyses with a low level of aggregation show that natural gas-based road transportation in Germany can accumulate up to 464 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emission reductions until 2030 depending on the speed of the diffusion process. If similar policies were adopted EU-wide, the emission reduction potential could reach a maximum of about 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent. Efforts to promote natural gas as a bridging technology may therefore contribute to significant emissions reductions.
PAPER REVISED: 2012-03-27
PAPER ACCEPTED: 2012-04-14
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