Transition towards Low Carbon Fuels by 2050: Scenario analysis for the European refining sector

02 Sep 2021

This report is a theoretical assessment of different potential trajectories (scenarios) for the EU refining industry to contribute to EU climate targets. With a wide focus on road, aviation and maritime sectors, three potential demand scenarios show the total volume of low carbon fuels that could be required to contribute to climate neutrality in EU transport by 2050 as well as the number of plants and level of
investment required (Volumes ranging from ~70 up to ~160 Mtoe/y with a cumulative ~190-660 B€/y investment at the end of the period). For the purpose of simplification, it includes only a limited number of examples of low carbon feedstocks and technologies (food-crop based, hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO), Biomass-to-Liquid (BTL), e-fuels, clean hydrogen and Carbon Capture and Storage).
A look into sustainable biomass availability identifies no major constrains in the realisation of the scenarios according to a recent publication from Imperial College London Consultants [IC 2021]. This document is not intended to become a roadmap for the industry; other trajectories could be defined or appear depending on the framework conditions as well as the successful development and scale-up of the different technologies and their related value chains.