30.03.2020 | Axpo Nordic supplies wind power for environmentally friendly power-to-fuel-project in Sweden
Relying on eMethanol in the far north: A European consortium is preparing to commission the first production facility for cost-efficient, carbon-neutral fuel in the year 2023 in Sweden. Axpo Nordic and six other companies are combining their expertise to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions, particularly in the marine sector and road transport. Currently there is a lack of viable, low-carbon fuel options at scale.
Today, numerous companies are looking for the fuel of the future. They all have one question in common: Is it possible to reduce the enormous CO2 emissions produced by the traffic and transport sector with the help of technological innovations in addition to e-mobility? Might there even be a possibility to convert already existing CO2 emissions into a carbon-neutral fuel?
"Yes, it's possible," says Claes Fredriksson, CEO and founder of the Swedish start-up Liquid Wind. The company, established in 2017 and based in Gothenburg, specialises in developing circular energy facilities and is committed to action against climate warming – with the goal of accelerating the transition to carbon-neutral transportation infrastructure and industry. The focus of activities is on development, financing, construction and operation of replicable facilities for liquid, carbon-neutral eMethanol produced from captured carbon dioxide, water and green electricity.
"Any amount of carbon-neutral energy can be stored with eMethanol. In fact: The fuel can be synthetically produced with renewable energy from wind, solar or run-of-river hydroelectric plants. In this synthesis, methanol is produced from water and carbon dioxide collected from large-scale emitters," explains Claes Fredriksson.
Not only is the flexible, liquid fuel carbon neutral, it can also be easily transported and stored, making it possible to chemically store renewable energy over long periods of time without losses.
Together with Axpo Nordic, COWI, Carbon Clean Solutions, Haldor Topsoe, Nel Hydrogen and Siemens, Liquid Wind initiated a consortium for this power-to-fuel project. Each of the seven companies will contribute its expertise to integrate and optimise the fuel generation process. The project is an important milestone to meet the growing demand for renewable fuels, and will enable a more sustainable transport industry.
Claes Fredriksson explains: "Industry and politics are already making major efforts to reduce emissions and to conduct business more sustainably. The whole world must reduce carbon emissions. eMethanol can make a decisive contribution here. Now we have to develop the facilities to locally produce the fuel. Our consortium intends to bring a renewable fuel to market in a scalable process to meet growing demand and enable a more sustainable future."
The members of the consortium are developing the technology for the first facility in Sweden which is set to be built in the second half of 2021. As of 2023, the facility will produce 45,000 tonnes of eMethanol annually, enabling a significant reduction of carbon emissions by 90,000 tonnes. Under the long-term cooperation, the consortium plans to develop a model for a standardised eMethanol generation facility. By 2030, six such facilities will be built, and the concept will be scaled and licensed internationally.
Axpo Nordic, the Axpo subsidiary for the Nordic markets, will handle power supply to the planned pilot facility. This includes long-term fix-price supply of power from renewable energies, intra-day optimisation and balancing quantity fluctuations. Given the extensive portfolio of wind power plants that it manages and optimises for its Nordic customers, Axpo Nordic is the ideal partner for the consortium led by Liquid Wind. In addition to the strong power purchase agreement (PPA) business, Axpo Nordic specialises in providing tailored renewable energy products and services to its customers and partners from commerce, industry and energy production.
Tomas Sjöberg, Managing Director of Axpo in Sweden, comments: "As a company oriented toward sustainability and innovation, we are very pleased to be part of this pioneering project and to make a major contribution to the development of an environmentally friendly fuel."
A development that is advancing quickly. Liquid Wind is currently in contact with potential fuel buyers, for example from the shipping industry. In the course of the year, long-term contracts for the sale of the production capacities from the first eMethanol facility will be signed. Liquid Wind also maintains promising contacts with major investors in order to secure project financing by ensuring stable, long-term investment perspectives.