Production of non-fossil aviation fuels expected to triple in 2022, Iata report says

It will reach “at least 300 million liters in 2022” against 100 million in 2021.

The production of aviation fuels of non-fossil origin should at least triple this year in the world, welcomed Wednesday the main organization of airlines, which rely on these products to achieve their environmental objectives. “Production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will reach at least 300 million liters in 2022» against 100 million in 2021, said the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

More optimistic calculations estimate that total production could reach 450 million litersfor these fuels, produced for example from biomass or waste oils, added Iata, on the occasion of “press daysat its headquarters in Geneva. Still embryonic, the production of SAF is progressing very quickly, since it was only 25 million liters in 2019, according to Iata. A tiny amount compared to the approximately 413 billion liters of aviation fuel consumed that year, according to figures from the International Energy Agency. For Iata, which brings together 300 companies claiming 83% of global air traffic, sustainable fuels are “on the threshold of an increase in capacity and exponential production“, with in sight the intermediate objective of 30 billion liters per year in 2030. Iata adopted in 2021 the ambition of “net zero emissionsof CO2 for air transport by 2050, endorsed last October by the States represented at the UN. The sector currently contributes some 3% of global emissions.

To achieve their goal, the companies are counting 65% on the use of SAF, the balance of the reductions being obtained by new technologies, including hydrogen aircraft, optimization of operations on the ground and in the air, and carbon offsets. But making such quantities of renewable fuel available will require a dizzying increase in production capacity: aviation would consume 450 billion liters of SAF per year by the middle of the century, according to Iata calculations. While SAF incorporation obligations are being adopted, particularly in Europe, companies are currently using “Up to the last dropavailable of these fuels, noted Iata Director General Willie Walsh.