15 Apr 2020, 15:23
Benjamin Wehrmann

Oil industry lobbies German government to boost synthetic fuels amid corona crisis

Clean Energy Wire

The German Petroleum Industry Association (MWV) has urged the government to ramp up the use of synthetic fuels in the mobility sector during the "economic restart" that will follow the corona crisis. Together with the Hamburg Institute for Heating and Oil Technology, the oil industry lobby group called on the government to expand its support of "renewable fuels" and also advocate a large-scale introduction at the European level. "Renewable energy production could get an important boost beyond the power sector," MWV head Christian Küchen said, adding that "consistent CO2 pricing" would have to be part of a policy package directed at greater use of synthetic fuels, which can be "progressive biofuels" or fuels made with renewable electricity using so-called power-to-x technologies.  

According to the oil industry groups, power-to-x industries could create up to 470,000 jobs in Germany by 2050, meaning a quick ramp-up of the technology could also be an asset in the economic recovery from the recession caused by the outbreak. While power-to-x production could be done much cheaper than in Germany in many countries, the domestic industry would benefit from becoming an international supplier of machinery and industrial facilities, the lobby groups argue. "The government therefore should integrate concrete measures for creating a reliable environment for the market introduction of synthetic fuels in its economic recovery programme," they said. After an introductory stage in road transport, synthetic fuels could be used in aviation, shipping, heating and industrial processes.

The German government is aiming for global leadership in power-to-x based hydrogen technologies, which are considered crucial for meeting the country’s goal of a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. It will be sketching its plans to get there in a highly anticipated national hydrogen strategy, which is expected in the coming weeks.

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