FuelsEurope, which represents the interests of 40 companies operating refineries in Europe, says that low carbon liquid fuels could help the transport sector deliver on the European Union’s 2050 carbon reduction targets, and intermediate CO2 reductions of 100 million tonnes ‘are achievable by 2035’.
Announcing the ‘pathway’ to a low carbon future, John Cooper, Director General of FuelsEurope, said: ‘With a clear societal and scientific case for far-reaching climate action, and taking into account the economic and social impact of the coronavirus crisis, we respect that there will be no return to business as usual for the fuels industries.
‘With the focus increasingly turning to recovery and new investments, we believe now is the time to start policy discussions with EU and national policy makers, and customer stakeholders to design the enabling policy framework for the deployment of these essential low-carbon fuels.’
Noting that low carbon liquid fuels will have a strategic role to play in sectors such as aviation, maritime and heavy-duty transport ‘where no equivalent technological alternatives currently exist’, FuelsEurope said that these fuels will be sustainable fuels from non-petroleum origin with no or very limited CO2 emissions during their production and use.
‘First blended with conventional fuels, these low carbon fuels will progressively replace fossil-based fuels,’ said the association.
Cooper emphasised that: ‘Complementary to electrification and hydrogen technologies, low carbon liquid fuels will be essential throughout the energy transition and beyond 2050, ensuring security of supply, providing consumer choice and also building Europe’s industrial leadership.’
The pathway set out by FuelsEurope could enable a reduction in transport emissions of up to 100 mt of CO2 per hear by 2035.
Cooper continued: ‘Evaluation of scenarios by Concawe describes first new plants to produce up to 30 Mtoe of low carbon fuels by 2030, with an investment cost estimated at €30-€40 billion.
‘This would include several first-of-a-kind plants at industrial size for the newest technologies.’
By 2050, up to 150 Mtoe of fuels could be produced with cumulated investments in the order of €400-€650 billion, he suggested.
‘In the most ambitious scenario, climate neutrality could be achieved for all remaining liquid fuel in road transport, with a 50% reduction in carbon intensity for EU’s aviation and maritime sectors.’
FuelsEurope says it is outlining a set of policy principles, which it believes will be central to delivery the industry’s climate-neutral ambition.