Some governments force producers to generate energy through proven methods
Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) work. They reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%, are ready-to-use technology and are certified for 50% of blends in engines. However, it is more expensive than the Jet A1 and supplies are limited.
“The complexity of the issue means there are no easy solutions. There are some financial truths that need to be understood to at least put SAFs on par with conventional jet fuel,” said Mary Owens Thomson, Senior Vice President of Sustainability and IATA Head Economist.
He explained that governments should implement adequate policies to integrate the financial part later. “The first thing governments need to do is create supportive policies to increase SAF production.”
It should be noted that countries signed the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5ºC, but continue to subsidize a vast number of products and services based on fossil fuels. In the European Union alone, about 50,000 million euros are spent annually in this area.
While the EU as a whole spends more money on green energy, this is not necessarily true in all countries.
“To date, most countries do not encourage the production of SAFs. This means that refineries that produce SAFs are not doing so. Increasing the production capacity of renewable fuels does not necessarily mean that SAFs will be produced, because Biodiesel is still the cheapest production option,” Thomson said.
In contrast, some governments are mandating the production of SAFs rather than encouraging production. In other words, they are forcing producers to focus on using proven SAF routes, such as cooking oil esters and hydroprocessed fatty acids (HEFAs), at the expense of other raw materials that need further investigation or e.g. Fuel is required. ,
It will also create a barrier to entry for other potential producers.
“A government or mandate is not a solution that makes sense. We have a supply problem, not demand. Over 450,000 commercial flights have been flown with SAF and every drop produced has been bought and used. That’s The reason is that incentives make more sense Thomson suggested.
For example, solar and wind power are now cheap. And the SAF doesn’t need to be cheaper in absolute terms: a relative price advantage over the Jet A1 is sufficient. This will make SAFs the most cost-effective option, as long as production continues with it.
“There are many other factors that will affect the price of SAFs. Raw material availability and price, for example, but also the availability of green energy to develop e-fuels which is still in the research stage,” warned Thomson.
So, with 100% carbon reduction and 100% certification on the way, the future looks bright from a technology perspective.