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White House aims to enforce new sustainability standards in American aviation09/15/2021
President Biden’s administration pledges to reduce aviation emissions by 20% by 2030, focusing at the same time on creating new jobs in the industry. The key to success in this venture is sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
This move comes to light as a means to achieve promised climate goals and bring forward carbon-free aviation before 2050 as part of President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda. Since modern American aviation stands for 11% of all transportation-related emissions in the region, this share of emissions will only continue to grow without appropriate actions as the volume of commercial or not flights steadily increases. And prioritizing fuel produced from waste cooking oil, plants, and animal fats may be just the right answer, considering SAF could cut up to 80% of aviation emissions.
Such problems demand comprehensive measures, and for sustainable aviation to be achievable, the industry requires efficient innovations not only in aircraft technology but also in fuel extraction. And while hydrogen and electric-powered aviation may come to fruition in the future, bold decisions especially for long-distance travel need to be taken now.
The new SAF tax credit supports a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions up to 50% by cutting costs while rapidly scaling domestic production of sustainable fuels for aviation. This credit will work in concert with measures taken by the aviation-related industries to reduce their carbon footprints.
The White House's commitment to the transformation of aviation stems not only from the desire to address ecological challenges, but also to create union jobs, aid airport workers in improving environmental quality, and open rural economic opportunities to use sustainable fuels derived from a wide range of feedstocks and pathways. Aviation is changing toward a zero-carbon sector. To make this transformation, however, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, fuel producers, airports, and the Federal government will have to work together. And with the upcoming executive actions, new federal programs, and private sector commitments, the industry may very well soon be on its way to that cherished goal.
It is predicted that the domestic SAF market will increase rapidly in the coming years, with production reaching well over the current 4.5 million gallons per year. But SAFs production won't scale up domestically without the support of policy and producer commitments. Growing domestic production will require a wide range of feedstocks and paths, and the industry will explore a variety of possibilities. Ethanol conversion into jet fuel is one of these alternatives.
As evident, several airports already are in hot pursuit of the infrastructure needed to enable SAF deliveries in the future. While in Los Angeles, CA (LAX) and San Francisco, CA (SFO) it is readily in use on short domestic passenger flights. Additionally, many U.S. airports have individual road maps to achieve net-zero emissions and are actively participating in the Airport Carbon Accreditation certification program.
For our part, keeping ahead of sustainable fuel initiatives, Rextag will continue to add asset and infrastructure data to enhance business development, market surveillance, and competitive awareness in the industry.
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