The International Energy Agency predicts that diesel will be the #1 fuel moving people and freight around the globe. Diesel fuel is expected to displace gasoline as the top passenger transportation fuel while remaining the top fuel used in the goods movement industry. Meanwhile, industrialized and rapidly industrializing economies are set to issue standards to improve emissions from diesel powered vehicles helping to improve air quality around the world.
Today, 22 million barrels of gasoline and 18 million barrels of diesel fuel are consumed each day, according to the World Energy Outlook just published by the International Energy Agency. According to this report, diesel will be the fastest growing fuel in the transportation sector rising to just over 30 million barrels a day of fuel consumed by 2040. The growth in alternative fuels, such as natural gas, electric plug-ins and hydrogen fuel cells and even biofuels like biodiesel, are expected to grow but will not eat into diesel's expected dominance even as diesel engines are expected to become much more fuel efficient.
While diesel is expected to take the top position as the #1 fuel, countries around the world have adopted or will adopt regulations to dramatically reduce emissions from diesel powered engines. The U.S., the European Union, Australia, Japan and other industrialized nations have adopted regulations requiring cleaner diesel fuel and engines to improve emissions and air quality. Here in the U.S., regulations were promulgated in 2007 for heavy-duty trucks that cut emissions by 98%. Similar regulations are required of off-road machines and equipment in 2014. Meanwhile, other countries have followed a similar path to clean diesel.
While more diesel fuel is expected to be consumed over the next 25 years, emissions from diesel sources is anticipated to fall substantially. The clean diesel success story has not gone unnoticed by other rapidly industrializing countries including India and China that have issued regulations requiring cleaner fuels along with a timetable to require cleaner engines. As more diesel fuel powers everything from small passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks and locomotives, the emissions profile from these engines is expected to substantially improve resulting in cleaner air for everyone around the globe.