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10 May 2021, 14:27
Edgar Meza

German government and industry agree on power-to-liquid aviation fuel roadmap

German federal and state governments and industrial leaders have agreed on a roadmap aimed at establishing climate-friendly power-to-liquid (PtL) aviation fuel production. The PtL roadmap is intended to create the basis for the annual production of at least 200,000 tonnes of sustainable kerosene for German air traffic by 2030. This corresponds to a third of the current fuel requirement for domestic German air traffic. Electricity-based, sustainably produced fuels are a key element in making CO2-neutral flying a reality. The plan aims to produce PtL fuels from green hydrogen and sustainable carbon dioxide. The carbon can be obtained from unavoidable CO2 sources, such as bioenergy plants and industry, therefore drastically reducing the overall amount of air traffic CO2 emissions, according to the plan.

While the manufacturing processes are technically proven, PtL fuels have not yet been produced in relevant quantities or at market prices due to the lack of industrial-scale production facilities, according to the environment ministry. The roadmap illustrates how a market ramp-up for sustainable PtL fuel can succeed. Peter Gerber, president of the German Aviation Association (BDL) and CEO of Brussels Airlines, said industry and government would “work together on the basis of the PtL roadmap to ensure that these sustainable fuels are available in sufficient quantities and at competitive prices”. Gerber added that the aviation industry could participate in the construction of industrial plants for the production of sustainable aviation fuels through the purchase guarantees.

The German government has increasingly sought to make emissions-free aviation a part of the country’s energy transition, although industry experts have also warned that sustainable fuels alone are no enough to make air traffic climate neutral.

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