Whether it's refueling or heating, the current situation clearly shows the war in Ukraine is also affecting energy supplies in Germany. The rising energy and fuel costs are already threatening the existence of many. But how can the European energy dilemma of high energy import dependency from Russia on the one hand and ambitious climate targets on the other be overcome in the current crisis? What role do hydrogen and renewable fuels play in this?
The European energy dilemma
On the one hand, a secure and affordable energy supply must be guaranteed, and on the other hand, the energy sector must become environmentally friendly in order to achieve the set climate targets. Currently, about 60% of the European energy demand is covered by imported fossil fuels and 15% by renewable energies. Thus, we are far away from an environmentally friendly, climate-neutral and stable self-sufficiency in energy.
A contribution to solving the dilemma
In a detailed paper, the eFuel Alliance has outlined possible solutions to address this dilemma. For example, a global view plays an important role - especially in the expansion of renewable energies. Reserves of fossil fuels are largely concentrated in a few regions of the world, which increases dependence on individual countries. The potential of renewable energies, on the other hand, is much more diversely distributed. However, renewable electricity is difficult to store and transport over long distances. Therefore, conversion into chemical energy carriers such as eFuels is necessary to utilize the global potential. eFuels can be produced where climatic and geographic conditions allow low-cost production and where there is no competition for use. The effectiveness of wind turbines in Patagonia and in Germany, for example, differs by a factor of four.
"We are convinced renewable fuels can replace up to 70% of Russia's crude oil imports by 2030 if the greenhouse gas reduction quota is set at 20% in the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II)." Says Monika Griefahn, spokesperson for the eFuel Alliance, co-founder of Greenpeace and former Environment Minister of Lower Saxony. "In addition, 60 million tons of CO2 will be reduced and, in our view, the climate targets set can be achieved if the discussion is open to all technologies, i.e. if eFuels are included."
Ralf Diemer the managing director of the eFuel Alliance adds, "If the build-up of eFuels production starts now, the first quantities of climate-neutral fuels will be available as early as 2025 and at affordable prices. However, the necessary policy framework to enable eFuel production on an industrial scale is still lacking. The eFuel Alliance has already made policy proposals that meet the sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
Read the solutions to the main challenges HERE.
Source: eFuel Alliance