UK Policy Brief Points to Alternative Fuels As Vital to Meeting Net-Zero Ambition

October 11, 2019 – Last month, the Royal Society published a report laying out the potential for alternative fuels to help meet the UK’s goal of bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 even as travel demand continues to increase. The report focused on eFuels and biofuels. Efuels are made by combining hydrogen, produced using sustainable electricity to power the electrolysis of water, with carbon dioxide, from direct air capture or from industrial exhausts. Biofuels can be made from biological material, such as waste from forestry or farming, or from processing existing biofuels, such as ethanol. The report identifies the challenge of bringing down the higher production costs of these fuels when compared to traditional fuels in order to encourage greater use. The fuels have the advantage of being able to take advantage of known technologies and existing infrastructure. The Deputy Chair of the Steering Group that produced the report said: "Synthetic fuels could offer an interim solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 'defossilizing' difficult to address transport modes such as aviation.” The Chair added: "While there is no silver bullet for meeting the government's net-zero ambitions, investing in technologies now which can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels will be vital to realizing those goals.”

Read the Royal Society’s Policy Briefing here.

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