Enabling environmental decision making on energy sources

The EU is getting serious about tackling transport emissions, which are responsible for some 25 % of all greenhouse gases. For example, mandatory EU emission reduction targets for new cars have been put in place, with specific targets set for 2015 and 2021. New innovative ways of achieving fuel efficiencies are also being explored.

One such initiative, which has been carried out by the BIOLCA project with funding from the EU's LIFE+ Programme, has developed software capable of assessing the environmental, social and economic impacts associated with different sources of energy.

Sources of energy covered include petrol, diesel, bioethanol, biodiesel, electricity, natural gas, LPG and kerosene. Most significantly, the environmental impact of each of these energy sources is calculated with the whole lifecycle in mind - from extraction, generation or cultivation right up to use. This is important, as emission levels can depend on the type and origin of raw materials used and the method of production employed.