FTM: why ‘transition fuels’ are a dead end

Gastank by Chuttersnap, Unsplash

The fossil fuel industry would rather invest in so-called ‘transition fuels’ than embrace electrification, even though these fuels seem a dead-end street, a new research by Follow The Money shows. 

The Dutch investigative journalism website found out that a plan to produce synthetic methane gas in Italy by Italgas has crashed, after months of promises and experimentation. The project has now been reduced to a ‘simple’ hydrogen factory. It seems that the ‘transition fuels’ wanted by the fossil fuel industry are even still out of reach.

55 percent

Going electric would mean many traditional oil & gas companies will soon be out of business. In less than 10 years time, Europe will have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent, compared to 1990. That is at least what the countries have agreed upon. Even though many car manufacturers like Stellantis, Renault, Volkswagen Group, Ford, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover have committed to this cause and agreed to focus on electric, there are those, chief among them Toyota and Hyundai Motor Group, that still bank on all decarbonisation technologies currently available.


At the moment it seems unlikely that synthetic fuel can compete with electricity. The final efficiency of most synthetic fuel is just 13 percent, compared to 69 percent for batteries. Even so, the European Commission seems to go along with the fuel lobby. Renewable gasses like hydrogen, biomethane, and synthetic methane can also benefit from tax breaks, provided they generate 70 percent fewer emissions than natural gas.

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Author: Rene Passet

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