Climate-neutral alternative fuels

Project details

Title: Climate-neutral alternative fuels 
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Brazil
Lead executing agency: Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações (MCTIC)
Overall term: 2017 to 2022

GIZ Brasilien Fotografin: Soninha Vill

Context

In Brazil, the demand for fuel in the transport sector is increasing by around five per cent each year. Despite a fall in the price of raw materials worldwide and difficult economic conditions, fuel in Brazil is becoming more expensive. Most goods are transported by truck, and air travel is the predominant form of passenger transport. The politically supported and rapidly increasing connection of remote cities to the airline network entails enormous logistical challenges. Long and complicated fuel transport routes to airports, and to supply boats and ships, trucks, cars and motorcycles, generate high costs and damage the environment. And the growing demand for fuel is only partly satisfied by increasing production of biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

Objective

An international reference model is created for the production and use of climate-neutral alternative fuels in aviation and other transport segments without the potential for electromobility.

Approach

Alternative fuels produced using wind and solar energy are one possible solution for climate-friendly transport. Alternative fuels are particularly promising in transport segments for which electromobility is unlikely to be an option. Brazil is very well placed to produce and use alternative fuels: It has huge potential of photovoltaic, wind and other renewable energy sources, which are not only climate-friendly, but also cost-effective.

The core element of the initiative is a pilot project to prove the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of producing and using these fuels. Lessons learned will be documented systematically and fed into the debate on the decarbonisation of transport. The partner institutions are the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The first phase of the project comprises the theoretical proof of feasibility and cost-effectiveness, concept development and the preparation of relevant actors. In the second phase, the actors will implement the pilot project. Lessons learned will be disseminated internationally.

Results

The project focuses on involving Brazilian institutions and companies in refining technologies for climate-neutral fuels – right from the start and using their own resources. This will lay the foundations necessary to mainstream the production of these fuels in Brazil in the long term.

The evidence – gathered under real conditions – supporting the economic viability of producing and using synthetic fuels from renewable energy sources will open up a new, climate-neutral fuel option for aviation and other transport segments without the potential for electromobility (e.g. shipping). The project results will contribute to the decarbonisation of the transport sector – both in Brazil and worldwide.