SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik), the company in charge of Public Transport in the town and the county of Stockholm, announced that its fleet will include 80 buses running on biomethane this year. An SL analysis showed that biomethane is the most environmental friendly and economically attractive biofuel.
SL, in charge of the whole of the Public Transport in and around Stockholm, operates more than 700.000 travels a day. As SL is concerned about environmental impact of its activity, it has run for quite a long time an environmental policy of CO2 emissions reduction. Thus, SL introduced its first biogas buses by 2003, to reach lately the number of 52 units, which run today with gas natural and bioethanol buses.
An SL analysis that tackles different alternative fuels shows that biomethane is the most efficient biofuel : bioethanol does not offer the same environmental advantages, apart from other ethical concerns. The biomethane use as fuel for vehicle in Public Transport clearly creates an attractive environmentally closed loop : this means that the town-dwellers themselves, with the production of their organic wastes, supply the ressources required for the fuel production of their own public transport.
SL states that biogas is the first-hand choice as it is the cleanest fuel available today. Thus, it announces an expansion of the number of biogas buses: 80 (currently 50 articulated gas buses) by the end of that year, and, over the next four years, a view of 500 units. Today, these buses operate in the inner city of Stockholm, where air quality is the worst. But, as the number of these biogas buses increases, they will operate in the suburbs of Stockholm.
The expansion of the biogas buses depends of course on the local production capacity of biomethane. SL has secured the long term supply via agreements with Stockholm Water and Käppala Association.
Source: Biogasmax, press release, 2009-01-05.