What conditions are needed to produce green methanol?
The production of green methanol requires water, CO2 and electricity. For sustainability reasons, methanol must be produced in countries where there is sufficient water or where seawater can be desalinated.
The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is very low. In order to efficiently recycle the gigantic quantities of carbon dioxide required, the CO2 must be extracted from industrial waste gases or from the sea.
The use of the land on which solar or wind energy plants are built must also be included in the overall balance from an environmental and social point of view. Many developing and emerging countries have enormous potential for electricity generation: Desert states could install solar cells, countries near the coast could install wind turbines, and other regions could use geothermal heat.
Methanol can be transported to the industrialised countries by tankers, trucks or via existing pipelines. Methanol can make countries independent of oil and gas imports and even turn them into energy exporters. If methanol production plants are located in suitable locations and operated with cheap electricity, local value creation results. Producers can thus benefit in the long term.