E4tech was commissioned by Transport & Environment (T&E) to assess whether, when and how direct air capture (DAC) could be scaled up to make e-kerosene at the scale needed to decarbonise European aviation. Decarbonising aviation will require significant ramp up of sustainable aviation fuels, including e-kerosene, a fuel produced by combining renewable hydrogen with carbon dioxide (CO2). T&E wanted to know how feasible it would be to do this using CO2 captured from the air, through DAC. This is particularly timely, as the European Commission is preparing to launch Refuel EU aviation, an initiative to boost supply and demand for sustainable aviation fuels in the EU, which is expected to include a target for use of e-kerosene.
On 3rd March 2020, the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water presented a letter to parliament announcing that the government will introduce a Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) blending obligation by 2023, if an equivalent European obligation is not put in place by this time. This announcement was made on the basis of a study that E4tech and studio Gear Up carried out for the Dutch government investigating the effectiveness of a renewable energy obligation for aviation. With the recent approval of the Green Deal, momentum has grown around implementing stronger European policy on low-carbon aviation, with special focus on SAF.
In a report just launched at COP24 in Katowice and commissioned by Drax, researchers from Imperial College London and E4tech looked at how 25 countries in the last decade have decarbonised their power sector, changed fossil fuel consumption, increased EV sales, deployed CCS capacity and improved energy efficiency of households, buildings and transport. Across these five metrics, the UK, behind only Denmark, has made considerable progress towards the energy transition required to achieve climate targets.
After 44 months of activities E4tech successfully completed the “Efficient firewood utilization in households” project, part of the Serbian-German cooperation programme “Development of a Sustainable Bioenergy Market in Serbia “, run by GIZ, the German development agency. The project’s main objective was to improve the efficiency of firewood use in households. An awareness building campaign was implemented in the chosen pilot regions of Leskovac and Vlasotince (“South Serbia Region”) as well as Užice and Bajina Bašta (“South-West Serbia Region”), with the municipalities Ivanjica and Nova Varoš serving as “Control Region” in the impact evaluation of the undertaking.
Solar energy innovation could make a valuable contribution to the UK economy, especially in key areas such as advanced concepts, building applications and component technologies, according to a new report supported by E4tech. Although the UK is unlikely to lead development and deployment of globally dominant crystalline PV or solar thermal technologies, there are aspects such as advanced coatings that the UK could help to improve. However, the UK excels in R&D of advanced PV concepts such as polymer-based PV, offering longer term opportunities.