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Plane in flight Photo: Shutterstock
Green e-kerosene is the clean jet fuel of the future and must be the go-to option for airlines and policy makers alike, according to T&E

Photo: Shutterstock

Sustainable fuel manufacturers in Europe could produce 1.83mn tonnes of e-kerosene in 2030, saving about 5mn tonnes of CO2, according to a new study.

E-kerosene generated by combining green hydrogen and CO2 has the potential to substantially reduce the climate impact of aviation, according to a new study from Transport and Environment (T&E). The report analyses the planned production capacity of 18 European e-kerosene manufacturers and finds that, by 2025, over 0.16mn tonnes of e-kerosene would be available for airlines every year. By 2030, this figure will reach over 1.83mn tonnes. This represents 3.65% of fuel demand in Europe and would save the equivalent of up to 5mn tonnes of CO2 – or the emissions equivalent to 30,000 transatlantic flights, claims the study.

 

T&E says that its new analysis shows that the European e-kerosene market is ‘ready for higher rates and faster scaling of this fuel’, but that policy makers ‘are not providing sufficient incentives to develop the production further’. In order to decarbonise aviation fast and efficiently, e-kerosene needs to be made readily available for airlines to blend into their existing jet fuels, it says.

 

Two conditions are essential for e-kerosene to have near zero greenhouse gas emissions and to be produced at scale, according to the report. First, hydrogen needs to be produced using additional renewable electricity (so-called green hydrogen). Second, CO2 needs to be captured from the atmosphere, a process known as direct air capture (DAC). The analysis suggests that seven out of 22 manufacturers plan to include DAC as a source of CO2.

 

In July 2021, the European Commission (EC) proposed new legislation called ReFuelEU, to increase the share of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) in Europe. The EC has proposed SAF-blending mandates combined with an e-kerosene fuel subtarget. Since the original proposal landed, ReFuelEU has faced heavy scrutiny, with a number of EU Member States reluctant to keep the climate ambition of the text, going as far as including unsustainable biofuel feedstocks, reports T&E.

 

‘The targets for e-kerosene proposed by the EC in its ReFuelEU proposal are too low and start too late (no mandate in 2025 and only 0.7% in 2030),’ says T&E. It continues: ‘[Our] new analysis shows that an earlier and more ambitious e-kerosene mandate of at least 0.1% in 2025 and 2.0% in 2030 is possible. This should come in lieu of biofuels derived from unsustainable feedstocks.’ 

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