DOE releases roadmap to achieve carbon-neutral aviation emissions

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WASHINGTON DC- U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm today announced the release of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge Roadmap, a comprehensive plan that outlines a government-wide strategy to develop new technologies to produce sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in the US airline industry. The result of a collaboration between the U.S. Departments of Energy, Agriculture, Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Aviation Administration, the roadmap will spur technological innovation to produce SAF, position the country as a global leader in the emerging SAF market and will enable America to achieve President Biden’s clean energy goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

“From the field to the flight, this data-driven technology strategy will help guide American scientists and industry to chart our course to clean skies,” said Secretary Granholm. “Not only is sustainable aviation fuel essential to decarbonizing the airline industry and meeting our climate goals, but this plan will help American companies corner a valuable emerging industry.”

US commercial aviation currently consumes about 10% of all transportation energy and contributes 2% of the country’s C02 emissions. SAF has the potential to deliver the performance of petroleum-based jet fuel, but with a fraction of its carbon footprint – emerging SAF pathways even have a net negative GHG footprint. SAF can be made from renewable biomass and other resources, including corn kernels, algae, agricultural and forestry residues, and municipal solid waste streams, and enough biomass can be collected sustainably each year in the United States to produce 50 to 60 billion gallons of low-carbon fuels. Cultivating, sourcing and producing SAF from renewable resources and waste can also create new economic opportunities in agricultural and rural communities, improve the environment and even improve aircraft performance.

“Today’s announcement outlines actions to ensure that crops used for fuel – which are grown here at home by hardworking Americans – can create opportunities for American farmers, business owners and rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“Developing SAF will be critical for airlines to further reduce emissions, and A4A applauds today’s launch of the Biden Administration’s SAF Roadmap to support our shared goal of achieving net zero emissions. 2050. US airlines are committed to working with government and other stakeholders. make 3 billion gallons of competitively priced SAF available to aircraft operators by 2030, and this roadmap outlines a variety of initiatives to help make that goal a reality,” said Nicholas Calio, President and CEO of Airlines for America.

“Producing SAF is an investment in America that not only reduces environmental impacts, but supports energy independence while creating jobs in the United States,” said Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines. “Our ambitious path includes a short-term goal to replace 10% of our jet fuel with SAF by the end of 2030, which will require continued work alongside our suppliers and policy makers so that SAF can become as economical and widely available than the traditional jet. fuel, and we welcome the finalization of the SAF Grand Challenge roadmap.

“SAF is critical to decarbonizing the aviation sector, and we are extremely grateful that the administration recognizes the need to reinvigorate the use of SAF in the United States,” said Bob Jordan, CEO of Southwest Airlines. “The SAF Grand Challenge roadmap is important to enable our goal of replacing 10% of our total jet fuel consumption with SAF by 2030 and supports our efforts to partner with organizations and government entities to help our industry achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The SAF Grand Challenge Roadmap ensures alignment of government and industry actions and coordinates national policies to achieve the objectives of the SAF Grand Challenge, which was signed in 2021 by partner agencies and consists of two major objectives:

  • Achieve a minimum reduction of 50% in lifetime GHG emissions compared to conventional fuel; and
  • Provide enough SAF to meet 100% of aviation fuel demand by 2050.

The goals of the SAF Grand Challenge include expanding the supply and end use of SAF, reducing its cost, and improving its sustainability. The roadmap also helps position the United States as an exporter of SAF technology and fuels to support other countries in their efforts to decarbonize aviation. The full roadmap report and more information about the SAF Grand Challenge can be found on the Department of Energy website.

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