As part of the “Innovation Liquid Energy” project, the most state-of-the-art Power-to-Liquid facility in Europe will be built in Graz. In the future, this will make synthetic fuels, which can then be processed to produce eFuels. This way, Austria will not only achieve a socially acceptable energy revolution, but also gain an advantage in terms of its status as a business location.
Cleaner electricty that can be stored for the first time
Austria is taking another important step towards achieving its energy and climate goals. By 2022, the most innovative Power-to-Liquid plant in Europe will have been built at the AVL List GmbH site in Graz. This will make it possible to manufacture affordable synthetic fuels using green electricity, green hydrogen and CO2 – carbon dioxide. These can then be processed to produce so-called eFuels. This means that it will be possible to store surplus energy from sustainable sources (e.g. sun, water, wind) in liquid form for the first time. “Our plant has several benefits. On the one hand, it will significantly improve the production of synthetic fuels, as our plant will be extremely efficient. On the other hand, it will make it possible to store and save renewable energy in a practical manner,” explains Prof. Helmut List, CEO of AVL List GmbH.
Energy revolution without expensive conversions
Another advantage of eFuels is the fact that they possess the same properties and efficiency levels as fossil fuels, but with CO2-neutral energy utilisation. This massively reduces greenhouse gas emissions without having to forgo established infrastructures in mobility, air and sea transport, and the space heating market. There is no need for expensive conversions. Not only does the environment benefit, but also many residents: “You cannot achieve ambitious environmental goals by implementing restrictions, but by being open to new technology. With new, innovative approaches, we are making an important contribution towards a socially acceptable energy revolution, whilst at the same time achieving a big advantage for Austria as a business location,” says Jürgen Roth, chairman of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) and member of the board of the eFuel Alliance Austria.
eFuels affordable for all
The PtL facility, 100 % made in Austria, into which a group of investors led by Jürgen Roth have invested an eight-figure sum, will commence operation in 2022. “There is great potential for producing synthetic fuels. By 2030, 240 million litres could be manufactured in Austria through the use of surplus electricity from regenerative sources alone. Because the efficiency of our plant means we are able to achieve lower production costs, eFuels will be affordable for all in the future,” says Jürgen Rechberger, Technical Director of the “Innovation Liquid Energy” project. Furthermore, the plant is not only key to a successful energy revolution in Austria, but also reduces the probability of a blackout. The energy used to operate the plant relieves electricity grids, thus preventing an expensive outage.
Support from the Styria region
Barbara Eibinger-Miedl, Styrian Minister of Economic Affairs, also stresses the importance of the “Innovation Liquid Energy” project: “The green transformation is one of the biggest challenges of our time. Research is central to overcoming this challenge and making an effective contribution to climate protection. AVL is a pioneer in this regard, and is once again emphatically underlining this role with its new plant. This also strengthens the position of Styria as a location for industry and research.”