Some processes which use fossil fuels are hard to decarbonize:
- Long-distance air travel
- Virgin plastic production
- Construction equipment where weight is a factor (?)
Ideally, we use batteries as much as possible. I expect solar & battery prices to continue decreasing. Some of the cases above can be solved using H2 or methane, but probably not early enough at scale to keep us under a 1.5°C temperature increase. In order to lower the cost of & increase the speed of switching, we have to use synthetic fuels. Electrolysis (H2O → H2 + O2) works at scale even though it’s quite expensive. It seems likely that the cost of direct air capture will drop rapidly over the next years, and we have other CO2 sources like XXX we can use in the meantime.
Power-to-Liquid (PtL) machines that convert H2 + CO2 to crude oil, gasoline, diesel & kerosene. These machines are currently rare, expensive, and often have lead times of ~1 year. We need cheap PtL machines to you can order off the shelf.
Figure out how to build Power-to-Liquid (PtL) machines cheaper & faster.
Then figure out how to make H2 production cheaper.
Someone must be working on this? Yes: https://terraformindustries.com/. We need more of these companies to stay below 1.5°C.