Hydrogen Mobility Ireland (HMI), a group of Irish stakeholders looking to develop the use of hydrogen for transport in Ireland, has issued a report on how the development of a hydrogen ecosystem can facilitate the production of sustainable e-fuels for use in aviation and shipping transport.
In the report “The role of hydrogen derived e-fuels in aviation and maritime and the opportunities for Ireland,” HMI pointed out that biofuels, recycled carbon fuels and e-fuels are expected to play a major role in the decarbonisation of the transport sector.
HMI explained that e-fuels, produced from hydrogen and captured CO2, can produce drop-in fuels chemically identical to fossil fuels, with fewer constraints on feedstock availability and supply chains compared to biofuels.
In regard to the use of e-fuels in maritime specifically, MHI said: “For smaller vessels and short voyages, options include battery electrification, hydrogen fuel cells and hydrogen ICEs. For larger vessels and longer voyages, where the energy density of batteries and hydrogen make them less attractive, e-fuels, such as methanol and ammonia, are expected to be better solutions.”
MHI pointed out that the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) and International Maritime Organisation guidelines already allow methanol to be used as a marine fuel, making it a potentially attractive short- to medium-term solution.
In the report, MHI also said that the role of e-fuels within policy is growing, particularly in Europe, adding that there are strong signals that the EU sees e-fuels contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the aviation and shipping sectors. For example, under FuelEU Maritime, there is an e-fuels sub-target of 2% in shipping fuels for 2034.
In regard to Ireland specifically, MHI noted that developing the Irish hydrogen economy and its expansion to e-fuels could result in a Gross Value Added (GVA) of €11m/year in 2030 up to €300m/year in 2050, with 10,500 associated jobs by 2050.
However, the ability and success of establishing an e-fuels sector in Ireland relies on three key factors, MHI said. Those are:
- Feedstock security: If Ireland aims to produce e-fuels domestically, significant renewable power for electrolysis and CO2 will be required.
- Technology de-risking: De-risking technologies and investments is likely to require supply-side support (e.g. capex support, tax credits, loan guarantees).
- Revenue certainty: there is need for support in bridging the gap between the costs of e-fuels and alternatives and for long-term certainty in revenues from e-fuels.
Source – https://www.offshore-energy.biz by Aida Cucuk