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Alternative fuel technologies: Where should you place your bets?

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Wondering which alternative fuels are right for your company? A new Accenture report makes some educated guesses.

If you’re responsible for thinking through the environmental impact of your company’s transportation fleet, Accenture has published a report outlining the viability of alternative fuel sources and their potential impact to disrupt commercial transportation and logistics functions.

The report, called “Betting on Science – Disruptive Technologies in Transport Fuels,” outlines the commercial potential for fuel technologies that promise to do the following:

  • Reduce hydrocarbon fuel demand by more than 20 percent by 2030
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent compared with the hydrocarbon fuel they are replacing
  • Has the potential for real commercial presence within the next five years
  • Can compete with oil sources priced between $45 and $90 per barrel

There are 12 technologies covered altogether, ranging the gamut from plug-in hybrid vehicle engines to sugar-to-diesel engineering to algae and other biofuels. The report weighs all the regulatory and research and development concerns that could hold back each option –- or push it to the front of the pack.

For example, even though algae might yield more fuel than soybeans, it is further from commercial production. While plug-in hybrids seem to make the most sense right now, the upfront costs of deploying public charging infrastructure AND the scarcity of the Lithium needed are drawbacks.

The report can be found at this link.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure