Alternative fuels

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID



- complete



Thematic areas


Tallinn explored the use of biofuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. The city obtained the know-how and expertise about the implementation of biofuels in the public transport bus fleet.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Tallinn was looking into conditions, perspectives, risks and obstacles to the implementation of clean and energy-efficient vehicles.

The main objectives of the measure were to:

  • raise awareness of biofuels among transport managers;
  • learn from other European cities that have implemented biofuels; and
  • draw conclusions, give recommendations to specify state and local transport development plans for the expansion of biofuel or ethanol powered buses in Tallinn’s public transport fleet.

Before the implementation of the measure, there were no biofuel powered vehicles in Tallinn’s public transport fleet. A general lack of knowledge about biofuels is one of the reasons why alternative fuels have not previously been implemented in Tallinn. As part of the measure Tallinn wants to assess risks, fill gaps in legislation and reach out to decision makers and stakeholders.

 Two studies were carried out in the scope of the measure:
• The first was conducted by the Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) and was concentrated on different aspects of legislation at Estonian and European level.
• The second study was conducted by the Stockholm Environmental Institute Tallinn Centre (SEI) and was aimed at technical, socio-economic and environmental impacts of bio-diesel, bio-ethanol and diesel-electric hybrid technologies.


The measure was implemented in the following stages:
* Study on legislative aspects of implementing alternative fuels (December 2009 – March 2010) – the study was conducted by TUT.
* Study on technical, socio-economical and environmental aspects of implementing alternative fuels (December 2011 – March 2012) – the study was conducted by SEI.
* Spreading the knowledge among stakeholders (March 2012 – June 2012) – two workshops were organized for presenting and discussing the results of the studies with stakeholders.

The evaluation was based on interviewing the stakeholders with a survey during the workshops. Their own estimation of their awareness before and after reading the studies was asked.


The result from the evaluation was as follows.
• Awareness was raised – The awareness of the stakeholders on alternative fuels was raised by 67%

The most important barrier encountered during the measure was: The selection of measures had no wider expert participation and thus had to be reconsidered in the inception phase. This caused delays in implementation since it took time to achieve clear understanding of the new objectives of the measure and actions to implement.
The most important driver encountered during the measure was: Constructive partnership with project partners. It affected the outcome of studies, in accordance with all partners understanding. There was a relatively good understanding of the topic and objectives between TBC, TUT and SEI throughout the process.

Lessons learned, recommendations:
• The measure with its results is transferable to other Estonian cities, however the situation might be different in other countries.
• Positive lesson: the measure was based on studies only. Useful knowledge was obtained with considerably less effort and resources than with physically implementing the fuels.
• Planning of a project (like MIMOSA) measures should be done in a possibly wider circle of experts and community to put effort and resources into measures that would be useful for society. The measures should be in accordance with the available resources in the organisation, including qualified backup. This applies also to the evaluation team.
• The recommendation for other cities: before implementing anything physically it is good to take time for a proper study and consider all aspects that can be estimated without implementing. It is possible to find similar experience in other cities and countries and try to find elements that are similar and transferable.


.eu web awards
European Mobility Week
Smart Cities Marketplace
EU Logo

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of CINEA. Neither the European Union nor CINEA can be held responsible for them.

This website is hosted by an environmentally-friendly server provider.