The Future of Sustainable Aviation Fuels

With aviation as a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, governments around the world have begun to design incentives for decarbonizing the sector – something the industry, to its credit, has been pursuing for years.

Although sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) have been used on a small scale in the US since 2011, they are now poised for a major expansion on the wings of carrier commitments and recent and upcoming changes to biofuel policy. This comes at a critical time for US biofuel production, as it reconciles a growing demand for renewables with a rapidly electrifying ground transportation sector. This report looks at SAFs within the broader US energy landscape and addresses technical considerations in SAF production and use. 

Sustainable Aviation Fuel Policy Primer

Given the higher costs of SAFs, producers and airlines alike will be reliant on “hard policies” in the form of credits to help SAFs bridge the cost gap with conventional jet fuel. This report, which serves as a policy primer and a companion piece to “The Future for Sustainable Aviation Fuels,” addresses the credit stack in detail, discussing the dynamic nature of its component parts as well as offering views on how the market could evolve going forward. The report also addresses the “soft policies,” or agreements among airlines, trade associations, and intergovernmental organizations that will help guide SAF volumes in the near to long term.