Sustainable Aviation Fuels

  • The use of sustainable aviation fuel is currently minimal and is likely to remain limited in the short term.
  • Sustainable aviation fuels have the potential to make an important contribution to mitigating the current and expected future environmental impacts of aviation.
  • There is interest in ‘electrofuels’, which potentially constitute zero-emission alternative fuels. However, few demonstrator projects have been brought forward due to high production costs.
  • Fuels must be certified in order to be used in commercial flights. Six bio-based aviation fuels production pathways have been certified, and several others are in the approval process.
  • The EU has the potential to increase its bio-based aviation fuel production capacity, but the uptake by airlines remains limited due to various factors, including the cost relative to conventional aviation fuel and low priority in most national bioenergy policies.
  • Regular flights using blends of bio-based aviation fuel are already being performed from several airports in the EU, albeit at very low percentages of the total fuel uplift.
  • Recent policy developments and industry initiatives aim to have a positive impact on the uptake of sustainable aviation fuels in Europe.