What are Powerfuels?


A missing link to a successful global energy transition

Powerfuels are synthetic gaseous or liquid non-biofuels that draw their energy content from renewable electricity. Powerfuels are renewable and climate-friendly and can be used as energy carriers and feedstock.

The definition of Powerfuels embraces a broad range of technologies including hydrogen, synthetic gas (e.g. methane, propane) as well as synthetic liquid fuels and chemicals (e.g. methanol, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, ammonia, Fischer-Tropsch products). In line with the long-term goal of reducing GHG emissions, the carbon needed for the production of hydrocarbon powerfuels (methane, propane, methanol etc.) can originate from carbon capture of existing emission streams and biogenic sources or from direct air capture technologies that draw carbon dioxide from the ambient air. Nitrogen (required for ammonia synthesis) can be captured by direct air separation units. In line with the definition of powerfuels, “e-fuels”, “synthetic fuels” and RFNBO (Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin) are synonyms.


Various possible powerfuel processes, end products and example applications.

A global perspective is essential to address climate change

Due to the inherently global nature of climate change, a global approach is required to mitigate global warming. For the first time, there will be common binding minimum standards from 2024 onward for reporting by states on their greenhouse gas emissions and climate protection measures. The challenge of climate change presents both wide-ranging threats and opportunities for the private sector. Governments are called upon to promote policies that safeguard competitiveness, economic growth and jobs, and enable companies to use their innovative power to protect the climate and make the transition to a sustainable global economy possible. In this context, technology openness is key in order to enable a level playing field between the various climate change mitigation options available.

Powerfuels are game changers

Powerfuels are game changers for reaching climate targets due to 5 key reasons:

1) Powerfuels are climate-friendly solutions for applications with no viable alternatives.

2) Powerfuels reduce the overall costs of the energy transition by capitalising on already existing and well-developed infrastructures and providing long-term storage options.

3) Powerfuels allow worldwide trade and transport of potentials of renewable energy production on a global market.

4) Powerfuels can accelerate the de-fossilisation of existing consumer end-use equipment as green drop-in alternatives to fossil fuels.

5) Powerfuels provide flexibility as they can fit any country-specific decarbonisation approach.