Tackling Hard-to-Decarbonise-Sectors: Applications and Production of Powerfuels

IRENA is drafting a report on emissions reduction strategies for 'Hard-to-Decarbonize-Sectors'. At the same time, the German Energy Agency (dena) is working intensely on the topic of electricity-based fuels and chemicals (“powerfuels”/”electrofuels”). To foster the mutual understanding of these topics, and create a space for open debate, on 23 March 2020, IRENA and dena organised a virtual workshop where the two organisations and experts from key others discussed the production and end-use implications of powerfuels.

The organisations involved in this virtual call discussed about the role of powerfuels in future energy systems, the use of powerfuels in energy intense sectors, economics behind the production of power to fuels and the carbon sources options for their production.

See the key outcomes and findings.

More about the outlook of powerfuels in aviation and shipping.



Welcome and Introduction: The role of powerfuels/electrofuels in the future energy system

Dolf Gielen, IRENA
Kilian Crone, dena


Electricity-based fuels in Aviation

Valentin Batteiger, Bauhaus Luftfahrt


  • What is the outlook for the sector vis-à-vis biofuels?
  • Which policies would be suitable for scaling e-fuels in this sector?
  • Which production pathways would be sustainable? How to certify?

Decarbonisation strategies for the maritime sector

Emma Skov Christiansen, World Economic Forum Keith Dawe, Cargill


  • Which fuels and scenarios could we envision?
  • How to tackle infrastructue challenges for new fuels?

The supply side: The economics of electricity-based fuels

Ireneusz Pyc, Siemens Gas and Power


  • There is a wide range of estimates regarding the economics of converting renewable power into chemical energy carriers. What can be expected in the short and medium term?

Defining rules for sustainability Power sources for powerfuels

Chris Malins, Cerulogy


  • As powerfuels may become globally traded commodity: Is there a challenge in balancing the decarbonisation of local power systems vs. export of renewables – or synergies, fostering the energy transition in such regions?
  • Which rules can be devised to safeguard the sustainability of power sources?

Carbon sources

Dolf Gielen, IRENA


  • Which rules can be devised to safeguard the sustainability of carbon sources?
  • With regard to industrial point sources, which sources should be excluded under which circumstances, and which GHG savings credited?
17:30 Conclusion & Next Steps