A New Horizon, the Role of powerfuels in the Global Energy Transition - this was the motto of a Global Alliance Powerfuels Roundtable held in Berlin on April 8, 2019. The timing and location could not have been better, as the event was aligned with the Berlin Energy Week, which brought together several thousand energy experts from all over the world in Berlin to discuss the challenges of the international energy transition.
In the Humboldt Carré in Berlin over 70 experts from all over the world came together to discuss the importance of powerfuels for the future of the global energy transition. On this occasion, the discussion paper "Powerfuels: A missing link to a successful global energy transition" was presented. The paper outlines the role of powerfuels in the energy transition process, presents the current technologies, takes a look at the diverse application possibilities and focuses on individual countries on the supply and demand side. The aim of the discussion paper is to stimulate international discussion and bundle feedback from around the world.
„The many advantages of this mature technology make it a missing link in the energy transition. In order to advance them further, a rapid ramp-up is now necessary.“
In her opening speech, Kristina Haverkamp, Managing Director of the German Energy Agency, stressed the importance of powerfuels as one of the four pillars of a climate-friendly energy supply - alongside renewable energies, energy efficiency and progressive electrification. "Powerfuels can become a win-win situation if the framework conditions improve. Events like today's help to raise awareness and acceptance and thus stimulate the regulatory environment and project development step by step".
Christoph Jugel, Director Energy Systems, dena and Project Manager Global Alliance Power Fuels, presented in his opening statement the main arguments for synthetic, gaseous or liquid energy sources and raw materials on the basis of renewable electricity:
- Powerfuels allow to reduce GHG emissions of applications that cannot be directly electrified and provide additional options for those sectors that are currently mainly supplied with fossil fuels.
- They reduce the cost of the energy transition by capitalising on the given energy infrastructure.
- Powerfuels leverage the global potential of renewable energies and materialising economic gains of international trade.
- Finally powerfuels open new options for de-fossilization of consumers' existing applications where alternative abatement measures are unfeasible (economically, technologically) or where investment cycles are long.
Dr. Dolf Gielen, Director of Innovation and Technology Centre, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), projected that Hydrogen will make up 10-20 percent of the world’s energy supply by 2050. The technologies are extremely promising in order to play a significant role in the global energy transition, but this would require cost reduction and political will to shape the future.
Dr. Carsten Rolle, CEO World Energy Council Germany (WEC), took a similar view: In a roadmap, WEC Germany had shown how the market could develop further. The Netherlands and Japan have already taken significant steps and Germany is also developing its own hydrogen strategy.
In three interactive fishbowl discussions, the participants explored how their own experiences could drive powerfuels’ level of acceptance, new business opportunities and their importance for climate protection targets.
It turned out that participants from many countries of the world, such as the Philippines or South Africa, believe that powerfuels has good long-term prospects.
Walter Merida of the University of British Columbia reported on a successful USD 68 million funding project to develop the technology on a larger scale on the university campus.
Dr. Kurt Wagemann, CEO Dechema - the expert network for chemical engineering and biotechnology in Germany - reported on a German PtX-project within the Kopernikus Project Program, in which, supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science and partners, the technology will be further developed over the next ten years. Projects like this would increase the acceptance in the ministries, in the scientific community and among the citizens.
The event showed that energy experts from all over the world experts recognize the great potential and seek international discussion.
The next possibility to join the global discussion is on 17 June in Brussels. Then the Global Alliance Powerfuels invites you to a new roundtable within the framework of the EU Sustainable Energy Week. Registrations are now possible at: "Powerfuels in the European energy transition: The need for effective regulation"