The potential of electricity-based fuels for a low-emission transport sector in the EU

Autoren: Patrick Schmidt, Werner Weindorf, Dr. Werner Zittel, Tetyana Raksha, Jan Zerhusen
Datum: November 2017

The study by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) together with Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik (LBST) examines the future energy needs of the European transport sector as well as the necessary requirements for the expansion of renewable energy generation capacity and the associated investments needed to achieve the climate protection targets of 95 percent by 2050 in transport.

This was the challenge:

 

Against the backdrop of the transport sector’s failure to contribute to European and national climate protection targets to date, the study examines the future energy needs of the European transport sector, as well as the necessary requirements for the expansion of renewable energy generation capacity and the associated investments required to achieve the climate protection targets of 95 percent in transport.

Key questions of the study are:

What contribution can e-fuels make to achieving the EU climate protection targets for transport?

How large is the demand for renewable energies for the provision of the energy quantities required for the transport sector?

What cumulative investments would be needed for energy and fuel supply by 2050?

What are e-fuels?

E-fuels are gaseous and liquid fuels produced on the basis of renewable electricity, such as hydrogen, methane, synthetic petrol and diesel fuels including paraffin.

What we studied:

The study considers different scenarios for the development of the shares of propulsion types and fuels of all transport modes in passenger and freight transport in the EU. Based on these scenarios, the resulting energy requirements of the transport sector in the period up to 2050 are modelled and the investments required for the provision of the energy sources are derived. The premise in each case is compliance with the European climate protection targets.

The bottom line:

The results show that e-fuels are necessary to achieve the EU climate protection targets for the transport sector. More than 70 percent of the final energy demand of all transport modes in the EU will be met by e-fuels in 2050, even in a highly battery-electrified transport scenario. The largest share of these e-fuels will be needed for aviation, shipping and road freight transport. The demand for renewable electricity to supply the entire EU transport sector with climate-neutral fuels in 2050 could exceed today’s EU electricity production by a factor of 1.7 (eDrives/Low/95%) to a factor of 3 (PtL/High/80%).

A German summary of the study can be found here.

Study

The potential of electricity-based fuels for a low-emission transport sector in the EU