Europe, U.S. Take Differing Approaches to SAF Incentives

 - December 9, 2021, 12:39 AM

Europe is taking a “stick” approach to reducing aircraft CO2 emissions, while the U.S. is going the “carrot” route, General Aviation Manufacturers Association director of government affairs Marc Ehudin explained yesterday at AIN’s Building a Sustainable Flight Department forum in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The U.S. is aiming for net-zero emissions for aviation by 2050, while the European Union (EU) is targeting a 55 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Under the EU’s “Fit for 55” proposal, fuel suppliers would be required to meet certain targets in delivering sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and “e-fuels”—including electric and hydrogen—to “major” EU airports. SAF would need to equate to 2 percent of fuel delivered in 2025 and gradually rise to 63 percent SAF and 28 percent e-fuels in 2050. The EU is also mulling a $1.73 per gallon tax on jet-A to incentivize SAF purchases. However, Ehudin pointed out that the likely concentration of SAF at airline airports combined with the jet-A tax would penalize business aircraft operators flying into non-major airports.

Meanwhile, the U.S.’s SAF Grand Challenge would provide up to $4.3 billion in funding to support SAF projects and production. The challenge, which was announced on September 9, seeks to increase SAF production from about four million gallons in 2019 to three billion gallons annually in 2030.