Final Report for Task 2.3 – PIER Transportation Research Area – Alternative Fuel Research Roadmap

Published: November 2010

Client: California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program

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Executive Summary

A concerted effort is being made at a State and National level to increase the use of alternative fuels in transportation and other areas. The legislature in California passed AB1007 (Pavley 2005) that requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) to develop a plan to increase alternative fuel use in California to reduce oil dependency and air pollution. The State Alternative Fuels plan, developed under Assembly Bill 1007 (Pavley 2005), presents strategies and actions needed to increase the use of alternative nonpetroleum fuels (CEC/CARB 2007). This includes milestone goals for the years 2012, 2017, and 2022, with a longer term plan for a multi-fuel transportation fuel infrastructure in California by 2050. Other State initiatives include Assembly Bill AB 118 (Nunez 2007) to create an alternative fuel and vehicle technology program, AB32 (Nunez/Pavley 2006), the Global Warming Solutions Act, and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) under CARB to reduce the carbon intensity of fuels. In pursuing such aggressive implementation goals for alternative transportation fuel use, it is important to understand what limitations there are to the expansion of alternative fuels use and the role research and development can play in facilitating this expansion. To effectively utilize research funds in this area, it is important to establish goals and identify areas where research funding will provide the most value. The Public Interest Energy Research-Transportation Research Area (PIER-TRA) of CEC contracted with CE-CERT to develop a roadmap to guide its research efforts into the near and medium term. As part of the roadmap development process, CE-CERT produced several Alternative Fuels Technology Snapshot white papers addressing the state of various alternative fuel technologies in the areas of resource cost and supply potential, fuel production, distribution and utilization roadblocks, gap analysis and technology assessment, and recommendations of fuel pathways. These white papers formed the building blocks for this roadmap. A summary of the Technology and Commercialization Gaps, Potential Research Areas for Funding, and Research Recommendations follows: General Factors or Considerations Scope of Fuel and Fuel Technologies Reviewed This roadmap is specific to the PIER Transportation Alternative Fuels Research Area. This research area covers alternative fuels that are combustion-based. Electric vehicle technologies and their associated energy sources are covered under another section within the PIER Transportation Group. As such, electric vehicles and their associated fuel/energy sources are not covered under the scope of this roadmap.

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