STORM Paper # 2 Hydrogen technology is unlikely to play a major role in sustainable road transport

Hydrogen technology is unlikely to play a major role in sustainable road transport

Patrick Plötz

ABSTRACT:

Road transport remains dominated by fossil fuels. Transport is responsible for about one-quarter of all energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and about 72% of this is due to road transport. However, the emissions budgets implied by the Paris Agreement mean that transport should be climate neutral — that is, it should have net zero greenhouse gas emissions — within just a few decades. Urgent action is thus needed, and stock turnover in road transport is slow.

Non-technological changes, including a reduction in travel (due to, for example, working from home) and a shift to more sustainable modes of transport (such as rail and bikes), can — and should — contribute to greenhouse gas emissions reductions in road transport. However, their role will be limited as behavioral change at the massive
scale that is required is slow and almost all advanced economies are trapped in car-dependent systems