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German coalition pushes ramp-up of climate-friendly PtL aviation fuels

Sustainable fuels

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer and the President of the BDL Air Transport Association, Peter Gerber, signed the "PtL Roadmap" today together with representatives from other federal and state ministries as well as the aviation industry, mineral oil industry and plant manufacturers and operators.

(Translated from German)

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze, Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer and the President of the BDL Air Transport Association, Peter Gerber, signed the "PtL Roadmap" today together with representatives from other federal and state ministries as well as the aviation industry, the mineral oil industry and the plant manufacturers and operators. With this joint roadmap, politics and business agree on the necessary requirements and necessary measures to set up and expand the production of power-to-liquid kerosene over the next few years. The PtL roadmap is intended to create the basis for producing at least 200,000 tons of sustainable kerosene annually for German aviation by 2030. This corresponds to a third of the current fuel requirement for domestic German air traffic.

Electricity-based, sustainably produced fuels are one of the most important building blocks to enable CO2-neutral flying. In the so-called power-to-liquid process, liquid aviation fuels are produced from hydrogen and sustainable carbon dioxide that are sustainably obtained with additional renewable energies. Initially, the carbon can either come from unavoidable sources of CO2, eg from bioenergy plants and industry, but it should be removed from the atmosphere using technical processes. Since only the previously ingested CO2 is emitted when flying with PtL kerosene, the CO2-Emissions in aviation are gradually being drastically reduced. The manufacturing processes are technically proven to the greatest possible extent, but so far the fuels have not been available in relevant quantities or at market prices. There is a lack of production on an industrial scale. The PtL roadmap now shows how the market ramp-up of sustainable PtL kerosene can succeed. With this timetable, politics and business are taking advantage of the opportunity in Germany to develop and expand crucial industrial know-how and technology leadership in the manufacture and use of sustainably produced electricity-based aviation fuels.

“Our goal is CO2-neutral flying. To achieve this goal, the replacement of fossil kerosene with sustainable aviation fuels is essential. In the long term, the best ecological solution is fuels that are produced from atmospheric CO2 with the help of renewable energies. It has been proven that this works - politics and industry will now work together on the basis of the PtL roadmap to ensure that these sustainable fuels are available in sufficient quantities and at competitive prices. We welcome the agreement that regulatory measures for the market ramp-up should be designed in such a way that they are effective on the one hand and competition-neutral on the other. On this basis, we want to participate in the construction of industrial plants for the production of sustainable aviation fuels" - Peter Gerber, President of the BDL Aviation Association and CEO at Brussels Airlines

The essential measures and requirements relate to the technology, sustainability and the market ramp-up for PtL fuel. That means in detail:

  • The technological development of the individual PtL production systems and components as well as their interaction on an industrial scale will be optimized: For this purpose, demonstration and pilot systems must be created, because the manufacturing processes have been tried and tested, but so far only on a laboratory scale. In order to ensure smooth production processes on an industrial scale, among other things, the BMVI plans to set up a platform for the development, testing and demonstration of different production processes for PtL fuels and the BMU to set up demonstration systems.
  • Sustainability criteria must be set consistently, bindingly and reliably, ecologically and socially. Sustainable electricity-based kerosene can only be produced with additional renewable energy and must have a certain reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. In the further development of the sustainability criteria for PtL kerosene, the actors in the roadmap will work to ensure that the highest possible, binding standard is established at European and international level. These requirements should not only relate to the purchase of electricity, but also to other aspects such as water availability, land use and environmental compatibility.
  • In supporting the market ramp-up, it is crucial that binding targets for the purchase and sale of renewable kerosene are set, which regulatory framework conditions are required and which state, technology-open funding is necessary for a self-sustaining market: The roadmap stipulates that the federal and state governments are promoting the development and production of PtL kerosene and thus initially creating an offer. A binding minimum quota on the aviation fuels sold in Germany and an obligation to purchase ensure that demand and investment security is created for the market players despite the higher cost of the fuels. Distortions of competition for air traffic are to be avoided. For this reason, regulatory measures should be designed in such a way that they are effective on the one hand and competition-neutral on the other. On this basis, the aviation companies undertake to purchase relevant quantities of PtL kerosene in the next few years.

What the signatories have to say about the PtL roadmap:

Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze: “Electricity-based fuels are the impetus for CO2-neutral air traffic. After all, aircraft for everyday air traffic will not be able to fly electrically for the foreseeable future. PtL kerosene is therefore a key, climate-friendly alternative to fossil kerosene. Electricity-based fuels should find their way from the laboratory to industrial production as soon as possible. With the PtL roadmap, politics and business are facing the great challenge of reducing air traffic CO2-to make neutral. The BMU is doing national and international development work with the PtX-Lab Lausitz and the International PtX-Hub Berlin. We are currently transposing the European directive for renewable energies in transport into national law. We are thus creating a sustainable basis for promoting the industrial production of PtL kerosene. The gradually increasing statutory lower quota for PtL kerosene planned by the federal government will massively boost its production from 2026 onwards. With the legal requirements, the federal government creates the necessary investment security that is urgently needed for the further development of climate-friendly technologies and plant construction. The PtL roadmap accompanies an important stage on the way to CO2 neutrality in air traffic."

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer: “By switching to electricity-based kerosene, we can save millions of tons of CO2 emissions in air traffic. However, electricity-based fuels are not currently being produced in marketable quantities. The federal government, the federal states and industry have therefore developed a joint roadmap on how we can initiate the market ramp-up in Germany. The BMVI has also commissioned the German Aerospace Center to design a production system together with partners from research and industry so that we can produce the fuel economically and put it into use more quickly. Our goal is to fly climate-neutral."

Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier: “With electricity-based kerosene based on green hydrogen, we are showing that flying and climate protection do not contradict each other. With the important step for the market ramp-up of green hydrogen, we want to expand the technological leadership of German companies and advance the development of a global hydrogen economy. The Federal Ministry of Economics supports the market ramp-up through various funding programs and the design of the regulatory framework. We are thus making an important contribution to the development of hydrogen technologies and global climate protection."

Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller: “We need a global energy and transport turnaround. This includes CO2-emission-free synthetic fuels - also for air traffic. We will not be able to meet the growing demand in Europe alone. The next step we need is an energy and climate partnership with Africa. Because Africa has the sun, hydropower for production and many young, motivated people. In Morocco, German development cooperation is building a reference plant for green hydrogen and synthetic fuels. This strengthens the technology leadership in Germany, creates jobs on site and is a very effective contribution to climate protection."

Minister of State Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing: "Even if we can avoid short-haul flights in the future and relocate other transports by expanding rail and intelligently coupling modes of transport - there will be areas in which the There is no alternative to air traffic and we are dependent on it. We are united by the goal that we want to consistently transform this air traffic: It has to be CO2-Be neutral and climate-friendly. It is important that we quickly take the step towards building various production facilities in the federal states with the federal funding concepts in order to gain initial quantities of PtL kerosene and, above all, experience for further market ramp-up. In Hesse, we have set an important course with the competence center for climate and noise protection in air traffic. The roadmap also underlines once again how central the massive expansion of electricity generation from renewable energy sources inside and outside Europe will be for achieving the Paris climate protection goals. "

Peter Gerber, President of the BDL Aviation Association and CEO at Brussels Airlines: “Our goal is CO2-neutral flying. To achieve this goal, it is essential to replace fossil kerosene with sustainable aviation fuels. In the long term, the best ecological solution is fuels made from atmospheric CO2 produced with the help of renewable energies. It has been proven that this works - politics and industry will now work together on the basis of the PtL roadmap to ensure that these sustainable fuels are available in sufficient quantities and at competitive prices. We welcome the agreement that regulatory measures for the market ramp-up should be designed in such a way that they are effective on the one hand and competition-neutral on the other. On this basis, we want to participate in the construction of industrial plants for the production of sustainable aviation fuels, for example in the form of purchase guarantees. "

Reiner Winkler, BDLI Vice President Aviation and CEO of MTU Aero Engines AG: “The energy transition in the sky is a task for society as a whole. Only sustainable aviation can guarantee mobility and climate protection in the long term and thus retain the “license to operate” in the long term. The measures described in the PtL roadmap must be implemented quickly and consistently in order to achieve the climate targets that have been set. As a first step, a rapid development of pilot plants for the production of synthetic fuels in Germany is necessary. In addition to integrated flight systems, lightweight structures and digitization, primarily innovative drive technologies represent the most promising way to decarbonise air traffic. We are now seizing the opportunity: Our highly innovative industry, together with our excellent research landscape, has the know-how that the climate-neutral aircraft of the future will come from Germany and Europe. Investments in innovations and technical progress pay off: The future of aviation is based on sustainability and climate neutrality. "

Wolfgang Langhoff, Chairman of the Board of the Mineralölwirtschaftsverband (MWV) and Chairman of the Board of Management of BP Europa SE: “We are convinced that the PtL roadmap shows a reliable plan for how we can efficiently achieve the goal of decarbonising aviation in cooperation with politics and business. 200,000 tons of PtL kerosene per year is a realistic first step that is by no means too small: it will enable about a third of all German domestic flights to be decarbonised by 2030."

Dr. Uwe Lauber, CEO of VDMA AG “Power-to-X for Applications” and Chairman of the Management Board, MAN Energy Solutions SE: “Electricity-based fuels are essential for climate-neutral aviation. The German mechanical and plant engineering industry would like to make a contribution with its engineering skills and technological leadership. The market ramp-up for "Power-to-X" must be initiated in this decade so that these technologies can also establish themselves internationally."

  • Responsible for the design and implementation of the PtL roadmap are: on the part of the federal government, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the federal states represented by the Hessian Transport Minister Tarek Al Wazir, and on the part of the industry the Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry (BDL), the Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industry (BDLI), the Mineral Oil Industry Association ( MWV) as well as the working group “Power-to-X for Applications” of the Association of German Mechanical and Plant Engineering (VDMA).