The potential for liquid fuels to contribute to the EU´s energy and climate policy objectives in 2030, 2050 and beyond


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Johan Mattart

Call for technological neutrality 

Today a life without heating oil is unthinkable for 17% of Europeans who have no ecological and/or affordable alternative to heat their homes. How can we guarantee in times of energy transition that 20 million households – mainly in rural areas – will not lose access to affordable and secure heating?

Liquid fuels have many benefits in terms of cost efficiency, high energy density and security of supply, but they can also contribute to achieving zero carbon emissions. Low-carbon liquid fuels are being developed in order to replace fossil fuels in oil heating systems. Processes such as biomass-to-liquid, hydro-treating of vegetable oils and power-to-liquid can create low-or zero-carbon fuels to be used as drop-in replacements for oil. In combination with modern oil-fired condensing boilers and hybrid solutions combining renewables with heating oil for security of supply, heating with liquid fuels can and will contribute to the success of the energy transition – provided a favourable policy framework.

The European Green Deal sets ambitious climate and growth objectives, requiring a major transition of our economy. In that process, the implications for industry and consumers should not be ignored. In order to keep the transition affordable and avoid energy poverty, it is important that climate policy remains technology neutral, allowing for upgrades to more efficient and hybrid heating oil systems, while pushing innovation by industry into the development of sustainable alternatives.  

The 4 European associations active in the sector of heating oil and liquid fuels for heating, namely ECFD (European Confederation of Fuel Distributors), Eurofuel (European Heating Oil Association), FuelsEurope (European Petroleum Refiners Association), UPEI (Europe’s independent fuel suppliers), present their strategy for liquid fuels to contribute successfully to the energy transition. Their latest publication explains it all: Heating with liquid fuels