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Producing Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CCU) fuels for sectors that cannot be electrified on a short-term scale can provide the EU with the potential to reach climate neutrality, move away from fossil fuels and increase its energy sovereignty.

Over the last two years, CO2 Value Europe performed a scenario development and modelling exercise quantifying the role of CCU fuels and chemicals in different sectors. The results from this exercise showed that by 2050:

  • 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 availability.
  • 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.

CO2 Value Europe calls on future policymakers to revise the 2040 sunset clause for RFNBOs made from unavoidable CO2. This call is reiterated in our recently released guidelines, ’7 Guidelines to Boost the Deployment of CCU for the New EU Political Cycle’. Guideline 6 is especially relevant to CCU fuels and advises policymakers to “Reinforce and unblock the role of CCU fuels (both renewable fuels of non-biological origin and recycled carbon fuels).”

Defossilisation requires a much faster deployment of renewable and low carbon energy assets. New EU rules on green hydrogen (and CCU derivatives) and regulation around low carbon hydrogen (and derivatives) need to be fit-for-purpose. EU climate targets should be reinforced to create a clear path to move away from fossil resources.

Read the full 7 Guidelines here.

Read our quantitative assessment here.