Future Fuels: the future is hapenning now

On 18 January, Eurofuel organised an online Technical Webinar entitled “Future fuels: the future is happening now”.

If you missed it, here are the key take-aways:

- low carbon and renewable liquid fuels reduce CO2 emissions

- the technology is ready: to upscale their production, what is needed is an enabling policy framework to encourage investments

- they are compatible with existing boilers

- they are a credible alternative to other solutions to decarbonise heating


On the road towards decarbonisation, electricity will be an important tool, but will not be able to satisfy all the energy needs. We will need several solutions, and low carbon and renewable liquid fuels are one of them. Moritz Bellingen, President of Eurofuel and Energy Policy Director at en2x, the German Association of Fuels and Energy, reminded the audience of their benefits: reliability, flexibility, affordability and efficiency. Low carbon and renewable liquid fuels are easy to store and transport, contrarily to other renewable energy resources which are intermittent. They are in compatible with existing technologies and supply infrastructure.

Fuel producers and researchers showcased the latest developments in the deployment of low carbon / renewable liquid fuels plants.

Jürgen RechbergerJuergen Rechberger, Vice President of Hydrogen & Fuel Cell at AVL, the world’s largest independent company for development, simulation and testing in the automotive industry, explained in particular the developments in Austria on Power to Liquid.

Klaus LuckaDr. Klaus Lucka, a Mechanical Engineer and Managing Partner at TEC4FUELS, which is a competence centre for conventional and alternative fuels and lubricants and their application in existing and new technologies, then focused on paraffinic fuels in heating applications. He explained their methodology to ensure that the different types of blends with HVO were fit for purpose, and presented the results of the tests which showed no problem.

Quentin GauthierQuentin Gauthier, Technical Manager at Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel refined from waste and residues, also focused on HVO. HVO reduces greenhouse gases emissions by up to 90 % compared to fossil diesel, while being of equivalent quality. He confirmed that the feedstock met all the sustainability requirements and that one of the biggest advantage is that consumers can use it as they are used to with today’s fuels.

Christian HalperChristian Halper, from en2x, the German Association of Fuels and Energy, presented a German initiative, “Green fuels ready”: a new label to show consumers the technical suitability of their heating systems for alternative fuels.

Together with Guido Saenen, from Informazout, the Belgian information centre dealing with the rational use and saving of liquid fuel for heating, they presented the approach of the sector towards decarbonisation:

  1. Increase efficiency with a condensing boiler
  2. Install a hybrid system
  3. Incorporate low crbon and renewable liquid fuels

Guido SaenenConsumers investing in heating systems are eager to have a future-proof system so the sector has carried out several field tests. Guido Saenen and Christian Halper presented the experiences carried out in Belgium and in Germany to ensure that the low carbon and renewable liquid fuels would be compatible with boilers. The 15 new low carbon fuel plants in Belgium in 2021 and all the previous installations are running without any problem with the low carbon and renewable liquid fuels.

Moritz BellingenMoritz Bellingen, President of Eurofuel, then presented Eurofuel’s roadmap towards 2050: what will the future of liquid heating fuel look like?

Due to efficiency measures in building insulation, heating technology and the introduction of renewables in hybrid systems, the sales of liquid fuels for heating will be drastically reduced. Yet, some consumer will not be able to use alternatives to liquid fuel. Depending on the policy framework, he sees two different scenarios:

  • In a “restrictive scenario”, if there is no level playing field between the different low CO2 energy sources, and where low carbon and renewable liquid fuels are not accepted as a solution for heating, the sales of liquid fuel would decrease to 3 million tonnes.
  • In an “Enabling scenario” where the need to use liquid energy sources is recognized low carbon liquid fuels are accepted as a credible solution to meet the climate targets, the sales of liquid fuel would stabilise at 8 million tonnes. All liquid fuel heating systems would be supplied with 100 % regenerative fuel with 0 CO2-emission in 2050.

EurofuelSandrine Devos Secretary General Sandrine Devos, who moderated the event, concluded “There is no question that we need to decarbonize the heating sector. We need all the solutions to achieve this, the presentations from today showed us one of them especially suitable of off-grid households. Our objective is the recognition of the potential of low carbon and renewable liquid fuels for heating”.