Carbon neutral synthetic fuel whose production is powered by renewable energy is a practical way of long-term storage of renewable energy. But it is no surprise that the big energy corporations with their fossil fuel and nuclear power interests don’t advise Governments to support this – but when it can help the US military, well, it’s just chocks away chaps! The irony is that this system was researched in the UK only a few years ago at a pilot stage, and then……you’ve guessed it…….completely ignored by the UK Government in favour of kooky ideas like small nuclear reactors and blue hydrogen – not to mention large nuclear power plant that take forever to be built incredible cost!
Anyhow, as you see from this announcement the US military are saying:
”Now, the (air) service says that it has made significant progress in the development of a chemical process that could allow it to create the fuel it needs right out of the air, reducing its logistical burdens and environmental impacts………The Air Force Operational Energy office announced today that energy company Twelve, which has been working with the service on this technology, was able to produce viable jet fuel, known as E-Jet, from carbon dioxide in an experiment in August. The Air Force believes that Twelve’s current process, which also involves water and power from renewable energy sources, has the potential to be “highly deployable and scalable, enabling the warfighter to access synthetic fuel from anywhere in the world.”
In fact the process was piloted a few years ago in the Midlands UK, the lead person behind the project being Professor Tony Marmont, as you can see from this plaintiff appeal to OFGEM for support and this announcement of success for the project. But, US Air Force, don’t let that get in the way of claiming it was you Airmen who came with the idea.
But whoever came up with the process is incidental to the fact that here we have, alongside a lot of other options for long-term storage of renewable energy (see here), a very practical way of storing renewable energy. All you need, in terms of resource inputs, is the atmosphere plus renewable electricity! You can then use the synthetic fuel as is needed – to generate electricity or whatever, using otherwise conventional fossil fuel burning equipment.
Do we have a big UK Government-backed programme to deliver this idea in commercial terms to support an energy outcome that is heading towards very high penetrations of renewable energy? (to achieve net zero). Not on your nelly! That’s because the Government feels it has to keep the existing big energy interest groups happy to support their useless ideas instead!