currently accounts for 29% of worldwide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and for
as much as 20% of all global CO2 emissions. More
specifically, aviation accounts for 11.6% of all transport CO2 emissions, amounting to 2.5% of worldwide CO2 emissions overall. Commercial
air traffic has experienced a constant increase since the start of the 21st century – with the exception of 2020 and 2021 where traffic significantly
dropped as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic – and
is now on track to account for as much as 27% of global carbon emissions by
2050, if nothing is done. As a
result of these trends, aviation is now a prime target for sustainable
innovation. Multiple low- or zero-carbon technologies are being researched, but
in the short term, only sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) can alleviate some of
the pressure and significantly reduce the sector’s GHG emissions.
aviation fuels are low-carbon fuels manufactured from renewable or low-carbon
Such feedstocks can include waste vegetable oils, animal fat, agricultural
residues or even CO2 produced from non-fossil sources. In addition
to providing a valorisation route for enormous quantities of waste, SAF are
so-called “drop-in” fuels, meaning that they can be easily blended with
conventional fossil-derived fuels and be used in pre-existing engines. There
is no need to develop new engines and aircrafts. Thanks to these properties,
sustainable aviation fuels are a rapidly growing industry. Market forecasts
expect the sector to grow from $67 million in 2020 to $13.8 billion by 2026,
registering an increase of 67% annually during the forecast period. Therefore,
the sector offers an incredible number of opportunities for industrial
stakeholders looking to expand their business portfolio.
regulatory landscape surrounding SAF is rapidly evolving and provides the
bedrock for the exponential expansion of the SAF market. Over the past 6 years,
the number of legally binding policies supporting the development of SAF has
gone from 1 between 2013 and 2017, to 22 in 2022. With an increasing number of
countries pledging net-zero by 2050, low-carbon aviation is becoming a priority
area for new policies and environmental strategies.
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