The Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) space is evolving rapidly with many technologies and players, but there are still barriers to overcome. A SAF funding competition comprising mechanisms tailored to the needs of the industry could help attract early stage SAF plants to the UK benefiting both a sustainable aviation industry and the UK economy. Renewable fuels of biological (i.e. biofuels) and non-biological origin (i.e. e-fuels), as well as recycled carbon fuels, will be an important part of the overall decarbonisation of transport.
Momentum behind a wide range of alternative fuels in different transport modes is growing, and E4tech has been working with the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) on a major 13 month study to assess opportunities in low carbon fuel value chains and their potential development and deployment across road, marine and aviation transport. The study evaluated a range of reformulated fuels, biofuels, e-fuels and hydrogen with CCS for use in existing, modified or new engines and infrastructure. The later stages of the study focused increasingly on marine and aviation, as transport sectors more difficult to decarbonise through electrification.
Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) can play a significant role in the UK’s net zero aspirations, with UK domestic production potentially achieving 3.6m tonnes CO2 savings annually by 2038. The growth of a UK SAF industry could generate up to £3 billion in GVA per annum and 20,200 jobs by 2038, with these benefits spread across the UK.
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Observatory (FCHO) which aims to be the go-to source of information for the sector, was launched in a webinar on 15 September 2020 attended by over 1400 interested participants
The EU’s recent Green Deal is another step in the direction of decarbonised energy and transport systems in Europe. It is therefore critical to accurately measure and understand life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts of energy sources, fuels and vehicles to ensure policy decisions favour technologies with significant environmental benefits.