TRIAS is a project formed to develop sustainability impact assessment of strategies integrating transport, technology and energy scenarios.
Energy and transport both constitute important systems of our human society. Nearly all human activities in European societies require energy input. Mobility becomes more and more important for todays life. In economic terms this is reflected in the employment opportunities generated by transport e.g. the 7.5 Mio employed in the transport service sector of the EU25. The downside of this development becomes obvious looking at the growing share of transport emissions on total human greenhouse gas emissions, which is reaching 30% today, and the nearly 100% dependence of transport on fossil fuels.
Given this current framework the requirement for changes in the transport system becomes obvious. Both, behavioural and technological changes will be necessary to change the harmful trends and make transport sustainable delivering support to social development and fairness, economic growth and environmental stability.
However, the future framework of the transport system is intimately linked with energy supply. This is what happened in the past, when the relatively cheap availability of petroleum oil shaped the expansion of the transport system facilitating with high levels of mobility. These patterns have generated an unsustainable growth of road traffic, which in turn imposes increasing concerns for its burden in terms of emissions of greenhouse gases, pollution, accidents, noise, etc. and for the future availability of the quantities of fuel required. Given that most of the dispersion trends will likely continue in the future, an assessment of potential trajectories for technological change in the transport and energy fields is of crucial importance to develop sustainable transport strategies.
Integrated assessment of future strategies
Thus, transport and energy constitute two major supporting systems of human life such that strategies changing technologies in these fields will provide significant impacts on the economy and potentially also on the societal development. Therefore integrated assessment of transport technologies and transport energy supply together with economic, environmental and social impacts is required. For this integrated assessment TRIAS suggests to use a set of established models covering the previously mentioned aspects and to apply them in an interlinked manner to analyse the full picture of impacts induced by strategies including technology, transport and energy scenarios. Investigated scenarios will both be developed in TRIAS and will be taken from external sources like other European projects, national or international studies. Such scenarios will be discussed in the course of adhoc forums involving all relevant stakeholders as well as in the TRIAS discussion forum. In terms of technological changes TRIAS will focus on the analysis of two main options: using hydrogen and biofuels as transport fuel.
The applied models will act at European scale (EU25) and include: POLES for energy modelling, ASTRA for transport and economic modelling as well as integrated sustainability assessment, VACLAV for detailed transport modelling and Regio-SUSTAIN for small scale analysis of environmental impacts. All models have been successfully applied in past European projects and especially the dynamic properties of POLES and ASTRA enable to draw trajectories of impacts of future strategies until 2030. The combination of these models will help to develop the Sustainability Impact Assessment Method (SIA) providing a range of indicators for the energy, transport, economic, social and environmental fields within a consistent picture of linked and coherent models. Public participation will be ensured by the organisation of workshops with stakeholders as well as by a discussion forum located on the TRIAS website.