Dr. Evan Sherwin, Stanford Postdoctoral Research Fellow, discusses his research (and Analytica model) to answer the question: when will it be cost effective to make jet fuel from sun and wind?
As the energy system moves toward variable renewable electricity, sectors such as aviation may require energy-dense low-carbon liquid fuels to dramatically reduce emissions. Electrofuels, synthesized from CO2 from direct air capture and hydrogen from electrolysis of water, powered primarily by solar or wind electricity, may present a cost-effective path forward. However, this approach will require operating capital-intensive equipment using variable renewable electricity. Dr. Sherwin employed an optimization-based techno-economic analysis, implemented in Analytica, to assess the prospects for large cost reductions, accounting for changes in optimal system operation as component technologies advance.