Technology - 05/November/2019

E-fuels the next big idea for aviation and trucking

Enthusiasm for e-fuels is growing, but it is still unclear where the renewable energy will come from to produce them

The oil and gas industry does not believe the internal combustion engine is history just yet. In its Vision 2050, unveiled in 2018, FuelsEurope, a Brussels-based trade association representing EU refiners, plots a future for “low-carbon liquid fuels”. These are drop-in replacements for diesel and petrol that offer an alternative to going fully electric. Traditionally, this has meant biofuels from plant matter and organic waste, but policy makers, fuel suppliers and NGOs in Brussels now see greater potential in so-called e-fuels.

E-fuels, also called powerfuels or power-to-liquids, are renewable power turned into fuel. The idea is that wind or solar energy powers an electrolyser, which splits water into hydrogen (and oxygen). The hydrogen is subsequently combined with carbon to create a new, green fuel. E-fuels are likely to have most potential to help decarbonise hard-to-electrify sectors, such as aviation.

“Global demand for liquids is growing. If you look in particular at aviation, shipping and petrochemicals, they are all growing out to 2040,” said John Cooper, director general for FuelsEurope, at the launch of its Vision 2050 plan. He highlighted that while electrification can be a solution for half the oil currently used in Europe, green solutions for the other half are still to be found. If the EU wants to be climate neutral by 2050 — and the world wants to live up to the Paris climate agreement — “low-carbon liquid fuels" are a necessary part of the picture, says Cooper.

...

Read full article

With a subscription you not only buy perspectives on the energy transition unavailable elsewhere, you also support independent and much needed expert journalism focused on achieving a global decarbonised energy economy

 

DIGITAL MONTHLY
€12/month
Unlimited access anywhere
 
Introductory offer: 30-day FREE TRIAL
DIGITAL + PRINT
€99/6 months + 1 magazine
Unlimited access anywhere
+Biannual high-class magazine. Free shipping worldwide
Introductory offer: 30-day FREE TRIAL
DIGITAL YEARLY
€119/year
Unlimited access anywhere
 
Introductory offer: 30-day FREE TRIAL

 

Learn about group pricing. Click this link

Already a subscriber?

Login

Share


Comments are closed.

Related articles

Shipping industry coasts towards decarbonised future

Efficiency measures have cut greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry, but if the sector is to be part of the climate solution, radical action to adopt new cleaner fuels is the only answer

Read more

It is increasingly apparent that failing to support workers and communities on the losing side of the low-carbon transition will not only be unjust, it may derail the whole process. Decisions need to be made about where the money will come from to finance retraining for new jobs and provide social safety nets while the transition takes place

Underwriting a just transition

The finance sector will play a crucial role in the clean energy transition and has a strong incentive to get involved

Read more

Geothermal heating is gaining a foothold, but accounts for only a small share of the renewable heat sources used globally. The benefits are plenty. Long-term, it is cost-effective, stable and clean, but initial costs are high

The heat source beneath our feet

Geothermal heating has plenty of potential as a long-term solution to decarbonise heating and cooling systems

Read more

Ships emit vast volumes of black carbon from their smokestacks, a much more powerful carbon forcer than carbon dioxide

The tide is turning

If the global marine transportation sector were a country, it would be ranked sixth in terms of CO2 emissions. A number of progressive leaders in the industry are starting to explore alternative ways to propel their ships, but more investment is needed.

Read more

The potential to power planes with clean synthetic fuels

The potential to power planes with clean synthetic fuels

Reducing emissions from the ever growing aviation sector is no easy task. Renewables-based synthetic kerosene production is one solution currently being explored

Read more

The bumpy road to urban electric buses

The economic argument for switching from diesel to electric is gaining strength

Read more

Processing...
Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER
Sign up to the FORESIGHT Climate & Energy Newsletter. Get free opinion pieces and photo essays. You will also be the first to know when new expert articles are published.
ErrorHere