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1.3.3 Clean Power for Transport Initiative

Transportation in Europe is heavily dependent on oil, which counted for 94 % of the sector's energy needs in 2010 (EC, 2013a). The fact that 84 % of it is imported, in combination with the recent political instability of major exporting regions, raises genuine security of supply concerns. The cost of oil imports for transportation was close to €1 billion a day in 2011 and this figure should be viewed in conjunction with increasing volatility and uncertainty (crude oil prices have left their historic range of $10–$30 per barrel, and rose to nearly $150 per barrel before the global downturn in 2008). Furthermore, mitigating the environmental impact of transportation has already been documented in the previous sections as a primary objective of the EU transportation policy. Alternative fuels are, therefore, urgently needed to switch to a post-oil economy.

Research has led to the successful development of alternative fuel solutions for all transportation modes. However, their market uptake is slower than usual, mainly due to the fact that the use of alternative fuels requires the gradual build-up of charging and refuelling infrastructures and, thus, significant investments. The relationship between vehicles capable of running on alternative fuels and the appropriate refuelling infrastructure is often described as a 'chicken and egg' problem, requiring state intervention.

Faced with this challenge, the EC adopted in January 2013 the so-called 'Clean

Power for Transport' package aiming to facilitate the development of a single market for alternative fuels for transportation in Europe. The package consisted of:

• a comprehensive European alternative fuels strategy for the long-term substitution of oil as energy source in all modes of transportation (EC, 2013a),

• an action plan for a broad market uptake of LNG in the shipping sector (EC,

2013b), and

• a proposal for a Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels recharging and refuelling infrastructure, accompanied by its impact assessment.

Following the inter-institutional negotiations, the above proposal led to Directive 2014/94/EU of 22 October 2014 (EP&C, 2014), which:

• requires Member States to adopt national policy frameworks for the market development of alternative fuels and the deployment of the relevant infrastructure,

• sets minimum coverage and timetable for each use of alternative fuels in accordance with Table 1.1 below,

• ensures the use or common technical specifications for recharging and refuelling stations, and

• paves the way for setting up appropriate labelling of alternative fuels, as well as for providing information that enables sound price comparisons by the end users.

Member States have to submit their national policy frameworks to the Commission within 2 years and report on their implementation on 3-year intervals thereafter. The Commission will assess and report on those national policy frameworks in order to ensure coherence at Union level.

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