Improving Efficiency and Energy Security of Transportation and Reducing Emissions
Enhancing efficiency of transportation sources can improve energy independence and economic and functional resilience in the transportation sector while reducing greenhouse gas and other emissions. Distributed and diverse energy production and utilization can enable transportation infrastructure to function even under extreme conditions, and energy efficiency and domestic energy production reduce the need for foreign energy sources.
The U.S. DOT Volpe Center works with its sponsor agencies to identify, plan for, integrate, and evaluate the efficacy of efficiency, energy diversification, and emissions reduction projects. This includes developing a plan for the first carbon-neutral airport in the U.S., calculating and reporting pollutant emissions for various agencies, modeling future demand for low-carbon technology adoption, and modeling benefits of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulatory changes. The U.S. DOT Volpe Center also provides support to FAA for its participation in the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) efforts to develop a global market-based measure to cap carbon emissions in international aviation, which took effect starting in 2021.
Research and Reports
- Best Practices and Strategies for Improving Rail Energy Efficiency
Reviews and evaluates international and U.S. passenger and freight rail industry segments for improving energy efficiency (E2) performance and attaining environmental sustainability goals
- Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)
Analyzes and assesses the costs and benefits of national fuel economy standards
- CAFE Compliance and Effects Modeling System: The Volpe Model
Estimates how manufacturers could comply with a given CAFE standard by adding technology to anticipated future vehicle fleets, and estimates impacts of that additional technology on fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic costs and benefits
- Reducing Heavy Truck Fuel Consumption
Improves vehicle fuel economy, analyzes emerging technologies and alternative fuel sources, and models emissions to establish fuel consumption standards
- Renewable Energy in Highway Right-of-Way
Presents resources and workshops to assist transportation agencies in pursuing renewable energy projects such as solar
- Highway Renewable Energy: Photovoltaic Noise Barriers
Presents state of practice and business case for photovoltaic noise barriers
- The Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT)
Models fuel burn, emissions, and noise of aviation activities from the flight level up to global levels. Used nationally for fuel burn, emissions, and noise inventories and internationally for future fuel burn, emissions, and noise projections for the global aviation sector.
- Achieving Airport Carbon Neutrality
Presents approaches to getting airports to carbon neutrality
- U.S. Airport Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories: State of the Practice and Recommendations for Airports
Presents state of practice and recommendations for greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. airports
- Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI®)
Supports a multi-organizational coalition dedicated to promoting the development and deployment of safe, green alternatives to today’s jet fuels