About the project

Non-fossil carbon-based fuels can be produced based on biomass (biofuels) or based on carbon neutral electricity and CO2 (electrofuels). Biofuels currently dominate the market for non-fossil fuels and technology development brings increasingly competitive biofuel production. With the prospect of a renewable power system, the demand for balancing power from biomass is expected to grow, thus increasing competition for biomass between the power- and transport sectors.

Sweden, in addition to its ambitions for the transport sector, has a political goal of a renewable power system by 2040. In power systems with large amounts of variable renewable energy (VRE), the use of biomass or other carbon-based fuels for thermal power generation can provide the flexibility. Such a VRE based system may also produce electro-fuels, and, in fact, producing electro-fuels can act as a tool to manage variations within such a system, by providing an offset for periods of high wind- and solar generation. Hence, biomass may be used in two different ways to ensure production of renewable transport fuels. Either as biofuels, or as balancing power to a renewable power system that supplies electro-fuels. Which route that is most cost-effective heavily depends on technical parameters as well as demand for negative emissions with BECCS (Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage), and constraints on biomass supply.

This project investigates how bio energy for CO2 neutral electricity and transport is used most cost-effectively, under the assumption that biomass is a limited resource. It combines a state-of-the-art, sector-integrated energy system model with a transport module in order to support policy development, as well as robust long-term investments in the power- and transport sectors. The transition pathways for the European transport- and power systems, in particular how carbon-based fuels may be produced and used in these systems during the coming 20-30 years, will be analyzed. The results will contribute new knowledge about transition pathways towards a GHG neutral and resource efficient society, where energy services are provided by robust and flexible systems using renewable energy sources.

Results were presented (in Swedish) in a webinar on 22 March, 2022. A recording is available here:

Facts

Manager
Fredrik Hedenus, Chalmers

Contact
hedenus@chalmers.se

Participants
Markus Millinger, Göran Berndes and Lina Reichenberg, Chalmers // Tom Brown and Elisabeth Zeyen, Technische Universität Berlin

Time plan
1 July 2020 - 31 December 2021

Total project cost
2 253 000 SEK

Funding
The Swedish Energy Agency, the f3 partner organisations, Chalmers and KIT.

Swedish Energy Agency's project number within the collaborative research program
50460-1

The project has a reference group including representatives from Preem, Göteborg Energi, Energiföretagen, Södra and Fossilfritt Sverige.