[35] Can electricity be a fuel?

Biofuels can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to varying degrees, when compared to fossil fuels. The reduction potential varies between 10% and 90%, depending on the fuel used and how it is managed (in some extreme cases, due to land use change, the carbon balance can be even worse than the fossil alternative).

A new development since 2012 is the rapid electrification of transport, for which there is both political momentum and market developments. In carbon-intensive electricity systems, some biofuels can perform well, but on average, electricity works better than most fuel types, and will do so increasingly as the electricity system decarbonises.

[34] The potential of hydropower

The US was the first to build large-scale hydropower stations; and now these installations are ageing. Upgrading them could boost the hydropower output at a cost of less than 4 cents /kWh without the environmental disruption of new dam construction. This also applies in Europe and for other types of renewable energy: technology keeps on developing. Upgrading and repowering existing sites is rapidly becoming an interesting market for hydropower. The same trend can be observed for wind energy plants.