Metastudy published on the Life Cycle Assessment of Electricity-Based Synthetic Fuels

Publication in ew - Magazine for the energy industry in August 2019

The transport sector is lagging behind the targets set for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Effective measures to reduce emissions are therefore urgently needed. In this context, the focus of political and public debate - in addition to electric mobility - is increasingly shifting towards electricity-based synthetic fuels. However, there is currently no consensus as to which of the numerous alternatives performs best regarding environmental implications. For a comparison to be successful, it is essential to select a suitable method for assessing the environmental impact. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one such method and is already established in many areas to investigate environmental impacts over the entire life cycle. But does this also mean that results from different studies can be directly compared?

We have investigated this question in a comprehensive study published in EW 7-8|2019 under the title "Ökobilanz strombasierter synthetischer Kraftstoffe: worauf es ankommt ". It analyses 23 publications that provide results for a LCA of electricity-based synthetic fuels in the transport sector with regard to important methodological assumptions. It becomes clear that due to the multitude of assumptions and framework conditions, a comparison between studies and fuels is only possible if assumptions and data are presented transparently and the methodological framework is chosen uniformly.

For the project "Begleitforschung Energiewende im Verkehr" (BEniVer) with the funding code 03EIV116C, the challenge is to harmonise the methodological framework with the participating projects of the funding initiative "Energiewende im Verkehr" (EiV) as far as possible.

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