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14 comments on “E-mobility, hydrogen or biofuels?”

  1. Many thanks to Mr. Ahlers for this comprehensive guest article. This time to the three technological candidates for the energy transition in the mobility sector. A fair look at the strengths and weaknesses of e-mobility, hydrogen and biofuels (alcohols). As usual, critical and with an interesting perspective on past decades energy policy. Thank you also for the open indication of the conflicts (in the best case development potential), which show all three approaches across the entire value chain.

    With all justified criticism of the alternatives, we must not forget that we need alternatives. You mentioned the problems of fossil diesel. Not only to finally break the lethargy in climate protection in the mobility sector, but also to be prepared for the post-fossil era. A direct policy approach that has been around for some time is the update of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). Some pressure can be built up here by further increasing the mandatory quotas for low-carbon fuels.

    In the short and medium term, a colorful mix of second generation biofuels can cost-effectively reduce our carbon footprint in the mobility sector. In the long term, we can look forward to the strengths of e-mobility, green hydrogen (fuel cells) and third-generation biofuels.

  2. Finally someone who reports on facts and not on fancies and wishful thinking.
    The media should finally stop reporting only on lobbyists' interests, then we would reach the zero CO2 target by 2050 much faster.
    Dr. Tanner
    CH train

  3. Basically, they are right. The production of rapeseed and grain, corn, food still have priority, or more on their side; Seaweed such as cyano bacteria can be used without restriction.
    They have up to 43% lipids and 25% proteins. They will be doubled in 2 hours.
    H. Moddemann

  4. Regarding H. Moddemann's contribution, it should be added that about 2 billion tons of grain, maize and co end up in the feed troughs of the meat industry every year. The usable share for animal fattening is just 10 to 12 percent. The majority (“rest”) pass through the digestive tract of the livestock uselessly. Over 78 percent of the ingredients, the layman speaks of waste, could thus be used to convert 660 billion liters of bioethanol and 520 million tons of biological carbon dioxide for the food industry. Yearly! Without additionally using a single square meter of agricultural area!

    PS: The total European (EU 28) petrol and diesel consumption in 2019 was just under 350 billion liters.

  5. We can reduce methane without any problems, we only have to do without meat, butter, cheese, milk, yoghurt, eggs, meat, shoes and the like.
    Unfortunately, people don't want to miss hamburgers and Co. People in Germany alone eat 65 kg of meat / head / year.

    13 million cattle, 6 million sheep, 25 million pigs and 120 million chickens are found in Germany alone and supply us with their products.

    In short: abolishing cattle = much, much less methane = much better for the environment.

    And when we run out of cattle, 60 percent of the agricultural land used today, which is used only for cattle as pasture and for the cultivation of animal feed, is available for growing food.

    Sorry, we don't need more agricultural land for growing food. So much that the industrialized nations throw 20 billion tons into the trash every year.

    And if we still manage not to throw away any more food and produce it for the garbage can, more agricultural land will become free and we will save tons of GHGs because there is no need for cultivation, transport, processing and storage. That would be a step in the right direction.

  6. There is no other way than electrification to transport.
    The manufacturers have long understood this and the broad market is following suit.
    PS The BlombergNEF sees the share of electric cars by 2040 at over 60%.

    No study can help against this, the alleged advantages of biofuels, nicely talked about.

    Here the .

  7. Here is the link to BloombergNEF and the Energy Outlook. As a bioenergy enthusiast, it's great to see that biogas in addition to fuel cells and CCS was added as a new category.

    @time I think the article shows quite nicely that no technology is "glossed over", but rather constructive and open solution approaches are discussed.

  8. I would like to ask Mr. TIME if he has any idea how much PV and wind energy still has to be built to "electrify the transport"?
    In 2018, 198 TWh of "green electricity" was fed in, the energy consumption in road traffic was 710 TWh.
    The fact that the manufacturers get involved in the market is also due to the enormous amount of funding they receive from us tax figures.

    Studies really can't do anything nice, but basic math skills might help.

  9. Tomorrow's traffic will be like a bouquet - there will be something for everyone and every application - and biofuels will be a flower in the bouquet. This flower may be a little smaller than the other flowers, but not less important. That is exactly why I recently founded a startup that supports transport companies in choosing the right flower. The choice is and will become increasingly difficult, especially in road freight transport. In addition to the classic diesel truck, gas truck (CNG, LNG), biogas truck (CBG, LBG), biofuel truck (bioethanol, HVO), electric truck, (electric) retrofit truck, Hybrid trucks and soon hydrogen trucks will be added. Uff, which truck should a transport company choose next - which one today, tomorrow and the day after? Depending on who you ask, you always get a different flowery answer.
    Greetings AR from Camideos

  10. Fuels from the field are the future. Fill up the car in 5 minutes and drive as usual. Our companies can continue to exist and build the necessary components. Electric cars have become a flop. Hydrogen too cumbersome and energy-consuming. I find liquid fuels, like those from Gevo, to be a reliable future that benefits everyone. Enough e-cars have already burned down. The fire brigade has better things to do than provide extra containers with water.

  11. Respect for this post!
    For the reasons mentioned (primarily a lack of infrastructure and dirty marginal electricity), the widespread impression in this country that electromobility is about to make a global breakthrough is wrong. The use of e-cars will be limited to niche applications for a long time to come. There will only be a rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions if nuclear energy is expanded and fossil fuels are replaced by green hydrocarbons. Biofuels can also play an important role here.

  12. In an industrial society, affordable mobility is essential for its citizens. If they (the government) only rely on e-mobility and hydrogen without acceptance by the population, there is a risk that more extreme factions will be elected in the next elections. Without environmentally friendly biofuels, which, unlike e-cars, charge dirty electricity from the grid (currently the German electricity mix is ​​over 700 g CO2/kWh), these make a real and not an ideological contribution to climate protection. The mantra-like arguments of the plate/tank, food safety debates are so outdated and only serve the oil companies.

    China is being done a disservice by focusing on e-mobility. For the production of electric cars, Germany relies on raw materials such as cobalt, silicon, neodymium and many others, all of which are under Chinese controls. The German auto industry is already under pressure and there is a real danger that the farewell culture that we have seen in the German textile and steel industries will continue. A million jobs were lost. Will we soon experience the next big wave with the loss of the automotive industry?

  13. Agree with them completely, Mr. Ahlers. Our energy policy is not sustainable, at least not in the sense of the sustainability triad, which describes sustainability very sensibly as a balanced interaction of ecological, economic and social aspects. We are currently mainly ideological, glorifying some energy sources while demonizing others. Biofuels and bioenergy in general have great potential to have renewable energy available 24/7, produced independently domestically without major dependencies on international suppliers and large parts of the value chain domestically. However, even after 15 years, we in Germany are still morally stuck in the bioenergy of the 1st generation and hardly support the 2nd or 3rd generation. All energy sources have advantages and disadvantages and only as a team of energy sources does it become a flexible shoe.

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