First global powerfuels-conference: first study results show potential savings of 140 gigatonnes CO2 by 2050

Andreas Kuhlmann: Hydrogen and powerfuels are key to a transition of the global energy system to climate neutrality.

Powerfuels will play an important role in global energy markets by the middle of the century. Global trade will make possible a cost reduction of powerfuels for Europe of up to 30 percent. They will contribute to yearly worldwide savings of 140 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent of which 18.5 gigatonnes are saved in Europe. These are the core findings of the study “Powerfuels in a Renewable Energy World“ by the German Energy Agency (dena) and LUT University, which is discussed at the Global-Alliance-Powerfuels-Conference. The study describes a transformation path of the world energy system compatible with the Paris agreement. Powerfuels are synthetic gaseous or liquid non-biofuels that draw their energy content from renewable electricity.

The conference conducted in cooperation with the Energy Cluster Denmark shows once again: the global development of powerfuel capacity is accelerating. To reach the long-term climate goals, the investment conditions need to be stabilised. A central precondition for realising the full climate protection potential is the further development of direct capture technologies, which make possible the direct use of CO2 from the air as raw material for powerfuels.

Andreas Kuhlmann, Chief Executive of dena and speaker for the Global Alliance Powerfuels says: “The multinational and national hydrogen strategies, as they are currently implemented in Europe and Germany, will deliver important momentum for the development of a sustainable, cross-border energy system with powerfuels as a link between the sectors. Now a market start-up needs to be achieved. This depends mainly on securing demand for powerfuel-products, to allow for the substitution of emission-intensive gaseous and liquid energy sources. Long-term purchase agreements, comparable to power purchase agreements (PPAs), would be a good first step. Only then can powerfuels realise their full potential. They make a worldwide trade of renewable energy possible and contribute to the decarbonisation of many applications and sectors, which cannot be powered economically with renewable electricity for a long time to come.“

Cooperation is key for the market start up, according to Glenda Napier, CEO of conference partner Energy Cluster Denmark: “We see the coming 5 years as very essential for industrialisation and scaling of the innovative projects, started during the recent years. Building up a complete supply chain in parallel with moving the end users to electro fuels, rely on credible business cases and constructive cooperation.”

The conference clearly shows that companies and states are intensifying their engagement with hydrogen, and its liquid and gaseous derivatives - powerfuels - and are participating in the long-term development of global, sustainable markets. Currently, there are about 50 large projects for hydrogen and powerfuels under development with a planned production capacity of four million tonnes per year.

About the Global Alliance Powerfuels

The Global Alliance Powerfuels was founded in 2018 as cooperation between leading global companies and scientific institutions initiated by the German Energy Agency (dena). Its goal is to advance the market-readiness and start-up of powerfuels worldwide. Together with 15 members and 20 partners, it works to integrate powerfuels into the global energy market.