The cost-effectiveness of electrofuels in comparison to other alternative fuels for transport in a low carbon future
Conference contribution, 2016
In future, a complement to biofuels, which also can originate from biomass, is electrofuels. Electrofuels are synthetic hydrocarbons, e.g. methane or methanol, produced from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water with electricity as primary energy source. The CO2 can be captured from e.g. biofuel production plants and thereby potentially provide an opportunity for biofuel producers to increase the yield from the same amount of biomass. This project assesses if there are conditions under which electrofuels are cost-effective compared to other fuels for transport in order to reach climate targets. Energy systems analysis are conducted using a well-established energy-economic long-term global energy systems model developed to include also electrofuels as transportation fuels. In this initial assessment, the results indicate that electrofuels is not the most cost-efficient option for road transport. It may become a complement to other alternatives if assuming very high cost for fuel cells and batteries. In future studies it would be interesting to analyze the impact from assuming that carbon capture and storage technologies will be large scale available, the effect of fluctuating electricity prices, and the role of electrofuels in the aviation and shipping sectors.