E-Fuels – Just a Hopeful Prospect or a Contribution to the Energy Turnaround in the Transport Sector?
Are synthetic fuels from renewable electricity just a hopeful prospect for the oil and vehicle industry or are they a serious alternative option for transport-sector decarbonisation? There is enormous pressure to act. With about 170.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2017, the transport sector in particular has a negative impact on Germany’s carbon footprint. One advantage of e-fuels is that they can be used in existing vehicle fleets, enabling marketing via existing infrastructure, as is also the case for biofuels. That means access to fuel tank close to customers at practically every public or transport industry filling station. The greatest hurdles are the huge investment costs and criticism that producing such fuels constitutes inefficient use of scarce renewable electricity. On the other hand, a further question that must be addressed is whether introduction of CO2 pricing will boost renewable and sustainable alternative fuels across the board.
Tobias Block from the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) will focus in particular on these questions concerning the general conditions needed to accelerate market entrance. Prof. Dr. Christian Küchen, Managing Director of the German Petroleum Industry Association (MWV), will present the latest technological innovations for e-fuel production and marketing. Ralph-Uwe Dietrich from the German Aerospace Center will explain how these fuels should be evaluated. A concrete case of implementation will be introduced using the example of the Shell Rheinland refinery. Dr. Jörg Dehmel, Shell Germany and Dr. Frithjof Kublik will be presenting findings from the PtL feasibility study.