Evaluating the Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable, Low Carbon Transportation Sector Fueled by Renewable Energy
Vision & Challenge
ACORE will convene all the relevant stakeholders to increase the role of renewable energy in the rapidly evolving, low carbon transportation sector.
The United States transportation sector consumes more energy than any other country, has relied on a single fuel for decades, is a significant source of harmful air toxics and emits thirty-one percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, the United States has been diversifying its liquid transportation fuel sources to include renewable, clean, low carbon biofuels, while also increasing deployment of electric vehicles. Corn ethanol currently displaces 10% of our gasoline and is capable of supplying far more; cellulosic ethanol plants began commercial operations in 2014, leading the way for the next generation of home grown biofuels; drop-in advanced biofuels offer promising hedges against volatile oil prices for high fuel consumers; and U.S. biodiesel production grew 64% in 2013, providing a renewable, clean fuel for diesel locomotives. Simultaneously, electric vehicles sales have grown exponentially, along with innovative programs to power them by renewable energy.
The diversification of our transportation fuel sources to include domestic, renewable, clean fuels requires key stakeholders to collaborate around the development and integration of several components of a sustainable transportation system: enabling federal and state policy; robust market demand; low-cost, available financing and innovative technology.
Objectives & Program
This Initiative convenes, educates and empowers stakeholders to: (1) examine the challenges and opportunities related to the transition from a fossil fuels-dominated transportation infrastructure to one driven by greater efficiencies and renewable energy; (2) identify and advance understanding of the policy mechanisms, regulatory implementation, market conditions and financial structures that must be in place to facilitate this transition; and (3) educate the public and policy makers about these components and the corresponding benefits of a transportation sector fueled by increasing amount of renewable energy.
Specific areas of focus include, but are not limited to: (1) effective implementation of the RFS to leverage long-term market demand for and investment in biofuels; (2) stable, long-term tax policy to leverage private sector investment in biofuels and electric vehicles; (3) game-changes efforts of developing a sustainable transportation sector in the Western U.S.; (4) the growth of electric vehicles, including the role they can and should play in the cost effective and reliable integration of renewable energy into the grid; and (5) communication efforts to amplify the facts about biofuels and electric vehicles while discrediting the myths.
A Committee of sustainable transportation leaders, composed of ACORE members, has been formed to bring to bear their experience, expertise, and perspectives from across the sector, to broaden and deepen Initiative inputs and support consensus building. The Committee is engaged in structured activities and deliverables, including market, technology, finance and policy analysis; drafting of formal comments; holding topical meetings and webinars; and providing public and policy maker education through ACORE’s various communications platforms and partnerships. The Advisory Committee convenes monthly calls to advance its objectives.