Low Carbon Pathways

Exploring opportunities and challenges for the EU refining industry to transition towards a low-CO2 intensive economy.

In December 2015, COP21 in Paris made an important step to address the risks posed by climate change and to keep the global temperature increase to “well below 2°C” and drive efforts to limit it even further to 1.5 degrees. To achieve these goals, the EU is exploring different mid-century scenarios leading to an EU low-carbon economy by 2050.

To support the EU low emissions strategy, Concawe is exploring a cross-sectorial Low Carbon Pathways (LCP) programme, identifying opportunities and challenges for different low-carbon technologies and feedstocks to achieve a significant reduction of the CO2 emissions associated with both the manufacturing and use of refined products in Europe in the medium (2030) and longer-term (2050).

This is intended to be an informative space where all interested stakeholders can have access to all our relevant LCP related publications and events/conferences. A series of publications has already been published and more will follow articulated around two main areas:

Refining Technologies: From maximising CO2 efficiency to the Refinery 2050 concept

These Concawe refining-related series of reports focus on the transition of the European refining industry and products towards a low-CO2 intensive economy and explores the technical implications of the deployment of the Vision 2050 across the EU refining system contributing effectively to the EU decarbonisation goals.

Some of the technologies identified will be addressed in specific related studies including, among others, energy efficiency, use of low-carbon energy sources (electrification, green hydrogen), CO2 capture and storage, and the progressive replacement  of crude oil by “low-carbon” feedstocks (e.g. advanced biofeedstocks, e-fuels). External factors such as the required availability of low-CO2 electricity, hydrogen or low-carbon feedstocks together with the effective deployment of R&D programs are also investigated as key enablers to boost the effective deployment of the technologies identified.

Role of low-carbon fuels in transport sector

Through specific deep dives on passenger cars, heavy duty, marine and aviation sectors, other joint research projects are being conducted to provide better scientific understanding on the role of low-carbon fuels across different transport sectors.  The potential impact in terms of CO2 savings (Well-To-Wheels and Life-Cycle Analysis), cost and additional external requirements and infrastructure will be included as part of our joint work which will be conducted through specific programmes with relevant and specialized partners and contractors.

It is important to note that none of our Concawe LCP related works are intended to be a roadmap for the whole EU refining and transport industries. Different factors coupled with local and structural constraints will determine individual companies’ preferred route to contribute to EU goals to mitigate climate change.

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