Business Aviation News

World Bank Report Underlines Role of SAF in Sustainable Aviation

World Bank Report Underlines Role of SAF in Sustainable Aviation

The World Bank has published a report, entitled The Role of Sustainable Aviation Fuels in Decarbonizing Air Transport, on how the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) can help the aviation industry meet net-zero goals.

The report, which discusses approaches and challenges in advancing green energy, notes that SAF is the most effective way to cut air transport emissions in the next five to ten years in order to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The study also said that multiple approaches are needed to address climate goals, which includes the large-scale use of SAF, additional technological improvements in aircraft systems, and operational improvements in airline operations, air traffic management operations and ground operations.

A diffusion model, or a forecast of the most optimistic scenario, for the year 2050 predicts that SAF volumes are likely to reach 331 million metric tons, which could account for 72 percent of the total forecasted jet fuel in demand by then.

“Within the diffusion model, additional technological and operational improvements can reduce life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions to approximately 279 to 477 million tons which is up to 78 percent lower than total CO2 emissions for 2050 considering a business-as-usual scenario compared to a 57 percent mitigation potential with SAF deployment alone,” the report said.

Despite the sharp decline in aviation activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the aviation industry’s contribution to climate change is still high, and emissions as a result could still increase by 71 percent (over 2019 levels) by mid-century.

The report calls on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and low- and middle-income countries, which have “untapped production potential” for SAF, to work on deploying SAF, which will bring benefits for the environment and economy in developing countries, but with significant capital expenditure.

To increase supply and lower costs of SAF, a comprehensive public policy and regulatory framework are needed to incentivize the usage of sustainable fuel, according to the report, and that decarbonization policies in the aviation industry should be integrated into broader climate targets.

Governments, investors, and companies in business aviation have been supporting the research, development and expansion of SAF to offset carbon emissions. For example, Bombardier and Signature Aviation signed a SAF deal at 2022 NBAA-BACE in Orlando.

The US Senate also introduced tax credit for SAF producers, as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, to increase the availability of SAF at general aviation airports.