1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. UPSC

The Role of E-fuels in Decarbonising Transport

Why is it in the news?

  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released a comprehensive report titled “The Role of E-fuels in Decarbonising Transport,” exploring the potential and challenges associated with using e-fuels to reduce carbon emissions in the transport sector.

Key Findings of the Report

  • Emphasizes the potential for significant reductions in fossil fuel demand through fuel efficiency improvements and the growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).
  • Highlights the pivotal role of e-fuels, derived from electrolytic hydrogen, in achieving deep decarbonization by 2030.
  • Recognizes the limitations of electrification in sectors like aviation and shipping, where e-fuels with a near-zero carbon footprint become essential.
  • Acknowledges the current high cost of e-fuels but foresees substantial cost reductions with advancements in technology and economies of scale.
  • Points out that e-fuels can be readily used in existing infrastructure and engines, eliminating the need for extensive upgrades required by electrification in certain sectors.
  • Stresses the importance of sustainable management of resources such as renewable energy, water, and captured CO2, which are crucial for large-scale production of e-fuels.
  • Urges governments to implement supportive policies, including carbon pricing and research and development funding, to create a conducive environment for the production and adoption of e-fuels.

About E-fuels

  • E-fuels, also known as electrofuels or synthetic fuels, are low-emission liquid or gaseous fuels produced from renewable energy sources like solar or wind power, water, and captured carbon dioxide.
  • Examples includes eGasoline, eDiesel, eHeating oil, eKerosene, e-methane, e-kerosene, and e-methanol.
  • Offer near-zero greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels.
  • Versatile and can replace conventional fuels in existing engines and infrastructure.
  • Particularly beneficial for sectors like aviation and shipping where battery technology has limitations.

 E-fuel Production

  • Hydrogen Extraction: Involves an electrolysis process breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is then combined with CO2 through processes like Fischer-Tropsch synthesis to produce e-fuels.


  • eFuels can replace conventional fuels after processing in refineries;
  • Drop-in capability allows blending with conventional fuels in any ratio.


  • E-fuels are currently more expensive to produce than fossil fuels.
  • Expectations of significant cost reduction by 2030 as production scales up and technology advances.
  • Limited by the availability of renewable energy and infrastructure for water and CO2 capture.
  • Increased reliance on e-fuels may shift dependence from oil-producing countries to those with abundant renewable resources.

 Measures to Unleash Potential

  • Policy support through carbon pricing mechanisms, tax breaks, and subsidies.
  • Emphasis on technological advancements and economies of scale.
  • Expansion of renewable energy capacity for clean electricity needed in e-fuel production.
  • Sustainable water management and infrastructure for capturing and utilizing CO2.
  • Public procurement mandates, corporate commitments, and ambitious targets can drive market demand.
  • E-fuels need to meet internationally agreed standards for measuring life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions.

Get free UPSC Updates straight to your inbox!

Get Updates on New Notification about APPSC, TSPSC and UPSC

Get Current Affairs Updates Directly into your Inbox

Discover more from AMIGOS IAS

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading