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Our first-of-a-kind quantitative assessment of the contribution of Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) towards climate neutrality in the EU, shone a spotlight on greater realism across the estimated capacity of CCU to be a climate-mitigating solution. Here are some of the key questions the report is answering:

What will be the energy use of CCU products in 2050?

CCU-related technologies require a significant amount of low-carbon electricity, but the EU has the potential to produce more than half of the CCU fuels demand by 2050 to move away from fossil fuels, increasing energy sovereignty and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the results of our modeling exercise on the contribution of CCU towards climate neutrality in the EU, the following has been shown:

  • CCU fuels will answer more than half of the fuel demand by 2050, representing about 17.5% of the total energy demand by that year.
  • The domestic production of CCU fuels and chemicals for the transport and industry sectors will require up to 1187 TWh of low-carbon electricity in 2050. This represents approximately 22% of the modelled low-carbon electricity production in the EU by that year.
  • Despite the need for some imports of CCU fuels and H2 to answer the demand for non-fossil carbon feedstock in the EU, CCU fuels, together with renewable energy developments and electrification will therefore help strengthen EU energy sovereignty and decrease the import of primary energy from 60% (today) to 10% (by mid-century).

What is the potential of CCU to harness new renewable and low-carbon energy assets in the EU?

Producing CCU fuels for sectors that cannot be electrified on a short-term scale can provide the EU with the potential to reach #climateneutrality, move away from fossil fuels and increase its energy sovereignty.

Based on the results of our 2050 vision scenario, the following has been revealed:

  • More than half of the fuel demand (1161 TWh) will be supplied by CCU fuels, and the EU has the potential to produce at least half of this demand. The potential for CCU fuel production depends on low carbon, renewable electricity and captured CO2
  • The electricity required for the domestic production of CCU fuels and chemicals represents about 22% of the total electricity consumption (5328 TWh) in the EU, which will mainly be needed for H2 production and Direct Air Capture (DAC).
  • 11% of emission reduction in transport will come from using CCU fuels. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions from maritime, aviation and inland transport sectors (including heavy-duty and long-haul vehicles and inland waterways) will be reduced by 35, 38 and 2% respectively.

In this sense, there must be a focus on defossilisation to reach climate targets. CCU can decrease emissions by reusing biogenic CO2, atmospheric CO2 and unavoidable process emissions to achieve these goals.

Want to learn more?

This exercise is the first stage of a continuous process to monitor and quantify the role of CCU in contributing to climate neutrality in the EU. One of the main results is the creation of CLIMACT 2050 PATHWAY EXPLORER FOR CCU, the first-of-a-kind, open-access CCU model to explore and put in context the contribution of the different CCU pathways in the EU.

To read the full report and have access to the model click here.