Title: Determining the environmental impacts of conventional and alternatively fuelled vehicles through LCA


Publication Year: 2020

Proposed by: Mark Richters

Project Areas: General Policy and Market, Passenger Cars, Heavy Duty Vehicles


Transport is an important contributor to several environmental issues, including air pollution and climate change. The EU has set challenging objectives for tackling these. To help support decision making on mitigating actions in the transport sector it is paramount to develop a better understanding of the environmental impacts of road vehicles over their entire lifecycle. This report summarises a
range of vehicle life-cycle assessment (LCA) studies available in the public domain, which were found to be of varying focus, data quality, detail and coverage. It develops a policymaker-oriented LCA methodology for light- and heavy-duty vehicles covering a selection of major powertrain types and fuel chains for the 2020 to 2050 timeframe. The study has combined state-of-the art vehicle LCA with novel methodological choices to develop results for a range of environmental impacts for 14 electricity chains, 60 fuel chains, and 65 generic vehicle/powertrain combinations across 7 vehicle types. It has also provided several suggestions for policy-makers, based on these results, especially recommendations for future LCA research.


Title: Identifying non-agricultural marginal lands as a route to sustainable bioenergy provision - A review and holistic definition

Authors: A.Hursthouse, E.João, P. Mellor, R.A.Lord, R.Thomas

Publication Year: 2020

Proposed by: Richard Lord

Project Areas: Biomass Availability


Concerns regarding global food security, direct or indirect land use change from bioenergy production require a better understanding of the alternative landbanks that may exist. The potential of ‘marginal’ land, whether for food or fuel production, has been the subject of much previous research but is currently compromised by the lack of a clear, globally accepted definition. A critical omission in the plethora of existing explicit or implicit definitions in use is the lack of comprehensive or consistent inclusion of non-agricultural land types, here re-defined as those now rendered unsuitable, unacceptable or permanently unavailable for food purposes. The result is variable inclusion of such land types in different areal studies, uncertainty regarding the nature of any land identified as ‘marginal’, in turn leading to inconsistent estimates of the role they could play in the provision of sustainable bioenergy.

The purpose of this research is to review the full range of possible ‘marginal’ land resources, especially those which are non-agricultural so avoid food competition, from previously-developed brownfield land, to former landfills or old mineral workings. Literature examples are compared to determine which land types have actually been included and quantified. In these case studies, non-agricultural types may equal other marginal lands at country or provincial scale, becoming dominant in urban regions. An inclusive definition is proposed, together with a graphic classification scheme, to guide future studies and enable quantification of truly non-agricultural marginal land as a potential contribution to sustainable bioenergy provision as part of the net zero, circular economy.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 101006717.