Brussels, 25 January 2023
On 24th January, the International Transport Forum published a study on the potential of e-fuels to decarbonise long-haul aviation and maritime shipping. The report analyses how E-fuels - like hydrogen, ammonia, e-methanol or e-kerosene - can be produced from renewable energy and feedstocks in ways that are cheaper and maximise emissions cuts without direct electrification. The report also explores how to deploy e-fuels and how governments can assist in adopting low-carbon fuels.
The report recommends 1) to introduce carbon pricing - global or regionally - for shipping and aviation 2) to scale up the production of low-carbon e-fuels throughout targeted policies 3) to accelerate the deployment of electrolyser and renewable electricity generation capacity 4) to regulate the lifecycle emissions intensity of e-fuels, including non-CO2 emissions.
According to the authors of the report Andreas Kopf, Till Bunsen and Matteo CragliaIt reaching a significant level of e-fuels use will take at least a decade and will require solid policy support to reduce the price gap with conventional fossil fuels. E-fuels will likely remain a scarce resource in the medium term, that is why in the meantime both governments and companies should not neglect initiatives to reduce avoidable airline trips, improve the energy efficiency of shipping vessels and aircraft, and shift transport demand to more energy-efficient modes.