The French e-fuels office revealed that it had identified 24 synthetic fuels projects in France. This organization, which was created in the summer of 2023, brings together experts, professors, researchers, industrialists and financiers.
The prospects are very good according to the publication of the French e-fuels office, since France is home to synthetic fuels projects in 18 departments. These have the potential to produce 528 kTep (kilotons of oil equivalent) of e-fuels.
However, this will require a large amount of investment to achieve this. The synthetic fuels office estimates that it will possibly take 3.6 billion euros to reach the target.
Of these 24 projects, seven are already at the level of development on an industrial scale. The office notes, however, that meeting the production target will have an impact on the electricity grid. In fact, between 14 and 18 TWh of electricity per year will be needed, or the equivalent of 3% of French production.
This demand comes from the electrolysis of water needed to extract hydrogen. This then serves as the basis for synthetic fuels, as explained by Cédric de Saint-Jouan, spokesperson for the office.
“France has relatively cheap electricity and in large quantities, we are asking that a part be dedicated to e-fuels to launch the sector”he clarified. “There are the skills and the know-how, France is not late, it is right on the starting line and everything is there to make it work.”
Obviously, with the development of electric cars, the quantity of electricity necessary for all automotive projects will be difficult to mobilize.
A new global industry
Worldwide, there are more than 500 e-fuel projects produced from hydrogen. Of these, 77 have a production capacity greater than 200 kToe. And within these 77 projects, around ten are in the final investment phase to get started.
Among these different companies, there are several types of products. Some make synthetic ammonia, which has the potential to become a marine fuel. E-kerosene could be used in aviation, while e-methanol also has potential for marine transport.
“Where there are the most projects is where the price of electricity is lowest”, declared Charlotte de Lorgeril. Also spokesperson for the e-fuels office, she is part of the Sia Partners firm. His research showed that southern countries are in the majority in these projects, thanks precisely to the price of electricity.
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