Events and links
Chairman's Message of Annual Report 2011
With the end of another exciting year for the Advanced Motor Fuels (AMF) Implementing Agreement, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to everyone for their continued support and participation, and to re-iterate my conviction of the importance of the work the AMF is pursuing.
Despite the slow recovery from the worldwide economic crisis, overall energy demand has increased by 5%, according to the latest International Energy Agency (IEA) Energy Outlook, reinforcing the need for lower carbon energy sources. Transportation energy demand has followed a similar trend, and even with the introduction of ever more stringent efficiency regulations, there remains a need to find alternatives to oilderived fuels and to de-carbonize the world’s transportation energy systems. Notwithstanding the importance given to the electrification and weight reduction of the vehicles in the transportation sector recently, work needs to continue on the internal combustion engine to ensure that the transition to other energy sources is done without detrimental impacts. Therefore, the importance and relevance of the work performed by the AMF have been reconfirmed, and many new projects have been developed.
There is a growing realization, as noted in the IEA’s Technology Perspectives, that for the foreseeable future and up to 2050, all energy resources, energy carriers, and conversion/propulsion systems will be part of the transportation mix. Technology will play a critical role in converting resources into energy carriers, and in transforming energy carriers into personal mobility. Consideration needs to be placed on the role of international policies and global resource quality in altering transportation fuel properties and vehicle propulsion options. The complex interrelationships between energy carriers and end-use technologies, if not recognized and coordinated, could lead to a reduction in the effectiveness of policy instruments.
This past year presented a number of challenges, especially as governments had to review their expenditures and make some difficult decisions, most notably in the realm of research and development programs. As a result we have revisited the operational principles of the AMF, and many new Annexes have been started under a Task sharing model to provide flexibility for participation under fiscal constraints. Cost-sharing Annexes still are the preferred AMF cooperation mechanism, due to their effectiveness in delivering results in a timely manner, but the main goal of information sharing and cooperation needs to be upheld even in periods of financial duress.
The combination of a need to identify low-carbon transportation energy solutions and the pressures exercised on government spending has made 2011 a dynamic year in terms of membership. At the same time as some countries have had to re-consider their participation in IEA Implementation Agreements due to domestic fiscal constraints, interest was raised from a number of non-member countries, in a large part due to the efforts of the Sub-Committee for Membership and Outreach, headed by Dr. Larry Johnson, of Argonne National Laboratory. As such, while we regretfully accepted the notice of Thailand and Australia to retract from the AMF, we are encouraged by the progress made by Turkey, South Korea, and Israel in their efforts to become new members. Further, efforts to increase the linkages between AMF and Latin American countries continue and are raising the awareness and interest of AMF activities in this region.
The AMF has also undergone some administrative changes, with the arrival of both a new chairman and a new secretary in 2011. I believe that I speak on behalf of myself and that of our new secretary when I express my sincere thanks to Dr. Nils-Olof Nylund of the VTT research center in Finland and to Lic. Eng. Claës Pilo of SDAB for their outstanding work as Chairman and secretary over the past years. Their efforts have placed the AMF in a great position to face the challenges of its next work term. Dr. Nylund also generously agreed to take on the role of Vice-Chairman for Europe, which has been very useful in allowing for a smooth transition. The AMF Executive Committee also welcomed a new Vice-Chair for Asia, Dr. Shinichi Goto of AIST, and would like to thank our departing Vicechairman, Kazunori Nagai of NEDO. I would finally like to take the opportunity to welcome our new Secretary, Dina Bacovsky from Bioenergy 2020+, and to thank her for the amazing way she has taken ownership of the AMF secretariat role. Her support and dedication have been invaluable in achieving the success we have known in this year of transition, and her links with the Bioenergy Implementing Agreement have also helped us pursue our goals of better cooperation within the IEA.
In addition to the collaborative mechanisms and administrative changes that were initiated, the AMF is also reviewing the way it strategically identifies opportunities for collaborations. To support these efforts, a new Sub- Committee on Strategy was created under the leadership of Olle Hadell, from the Swedish Transportation Administration. This committee will focus on identifying key areas of interest to AMF participating countries where the AMF can play an active role and can provide valuable information and advice. This new committee will be joining the special Sub-Committee for Membership and Outreach in supporting the Executive Committee’s efforts to increase the relevance and impact of the AMF work on the international community.
In summary, the AMF remains an amazingly active Implementing Agreement, with projects touching all spheres of the transportation sector. It provides relevant and detailed fuel and technology performance data and knowledge on the potential for current and future fuels and technologies to achieve the IEA transportation energy goals, and on potential regulatory barriers that could impact the performance of the various transportation energy options. Interest and participation are ever increasing, and we are revisiting both the way we identify our work priorities and how we disseminate our information to ensure it is provided in a format that is useful to policy makers, regulators, industry, and the public to help them identify the most effective ways to reduce the environmental impact of the transportation system on a life cycle basis. The redesign of our website, the primary tool used for information dissemination, will be one of our primary undertakings this year, and should help us further the impact of our work.
I look forward to another great year of AMF collaborative work in 2012.
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