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3.6.4. Fuel transport

Fossil and other fuels are transported by different modes of transport from their origin to power plants and other uses. Based on existing analyses and recent experiences, barge transport of coal and oil seems particularly sensitive to climate variations.

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Climate change is projected to increase the risk of river flow droughts in several regions of Europe (see Section 3.1.2). Inland navigation can be restricted during drought conditions due to low water levels in rivers. For example, the unprecedented drought that affected considerable parts of Europe in spring and summer 2018 resulted in restrictions to the shipping of commodities, including coal and oil, on the Rhine, Elbe and Danube rivers. Shallow waters required vessel operators to reduce loads, which led to increased shipping costs, with subsequent knock-on effects throughout the supply chain (Lehane, 2018).

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