IATA Forecasts Tripling of SAF Production in 2024

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_IATA Forecasts Tripling of SAF Production in 2024
Image courtesy of Neste

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports that its projections for a substantial increase in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production in 2024 are on track.

Production is expected to triple, reaching 1.9 billion litres (1.5 million tonnes), accounting for 0.53% of aviation's fuel needs in 2024. This is a positive step towards achieving the industry's net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2050.

Renewable Fuel Holds Key to SAF Growth

SAF is a type of renewable fuel, and increasing its production requires a broader expansion of renewable fuel production in general. Around 140 renewable fuel projects are planned to be operational by 2030, with the potential to produce 51 million tonnes of fuel across various regions. This figure could even be higher as investor interest in SAF continues to grow.

Governments Need to Bridge the Gap to Achieve Ambitious SAF Targets

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has set a goal for aviation to achieve a 5% CO2 emissions reduction through SAF by 2030. To reach this target, approximately 27% of all expected renewable fuel production in 2030 would need to be dedicated to SAF. Currently, SAF accounts for only 3% of renewable fuel production.

Policy Measures to Accelerate SAF Production

Governments can play a crucial role in accelerating SAF production through various policy measures:

  • Diversifying Feedstocks: Expanding the range of approved feedstocks for SAF production beyond used cooking oils and animal fats will significantly increase potential production.

  • Co-processing: Using existing refineries to co-process renewable feedstocks with crude oil can quickly increase SAF production. Clear policies are needed to facilitate this process.

  • Incentivising Renewable Diesel-SAF Shift: Policies encouraging the production of SAF over renewable diesel at existing facilities can increase SAF output.

  • Boosting Investment: Strong policy support is essential to scale up renewable fuel production, including dedicated investments for SAF production.

  • Facilitating Technical Solutions: Governments can expedite approvals for diverse feedstocks and production methods, as well as co-processing, to accelerate the development of the SAF industry.

By implementing a combination of these policy measures, governments can create the necessary conditions for producing sufficient quantities of SAF and help the aviation industry achieve its ambitious decarbonisation goals.

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Source: IATA


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