The Energy Policy Act of 1992 defines alternative fuels as methanol, denatured ethanol, and other alcohol; mixtures containing 85 percent or more (but not less than 70 percent as determined by the Secretary of Energy by rule to provide for requirements relating to cold start, safety, or vehicle functions) by volume of methanol, denatured ethanol, and other alcohols with gasoline or other fuels. Includes compressed natural gas, liquid petroleum gas, hydrogen, coal-derived liquid fuels, fuels other than alcohols derived from biological materials, electricity, or any other fuel the Secretary of Energy determines by rule is substantially not petroleum and would yield substantial energy security and environmental benefits.
Japan is pursuing alternative fuels in order to reduce its dependence on oil. Oil once accounted for nearly 80% of Japan's demand for primary energy. But the oil crises of the 1970s prompted the government to set targeted reductions of this figure. Calls for development of oil alternatives have also grown around the world in recent years from the standpoint of preventing global warming. Natural gas is a common alternative fuel used in industry and electric power generation, and nuclear power and coal are also referred to as alternative fuels in the wide definition. With automobiles responsible for 40% of Japan's crude oil consumption, the nation is promoting development of such natural-gas-based fuels as gas-to-liquid fuels and dimethyl ether as well as fuel cells, which generate electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.
Substitutes for traditional liquid, oil-derived motor vehicle fuels like petrol and diesel. Includes alcohol, biodiesel, compressed natural gas, and others. The alternatives are promoted for pollution reduction properties and/or to reduce dependence on oil.