National Workshop on Sustainable Aviation Fuels
One of the major challenges facing global aviation is sustainability. The question of how to reduce environmentally harmful emissions and achieve climate-neutral aviation will remain at the top of the aviation industry's agendas for the next few years.
In order to reduce CO2 emissions in the short and medium term, SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuels) will play a central role. In 2022, Austrian Airlines is already voluntarily refueling 1,500 tons of SAF from OMV. From 2025, there will be a mandatory SAF share in all EU flights. This also poses challenges for Austria. Therefore, the third SAF Stakeholder Workshop took place on September 7.
This workshop was organized within the framework of the Technology Cooperation Program Advanced Motor Fuels (TCP AMF) Task 63: SAF on sustainable aviation fuels in coordination with the BMK, by BEST - Bioenergy and Sustainable Technologies. As mentioned by Dina Bacovsky from BEST, this is the first TCP on aviation fuels. The goal was to present activities and projects, such as SAF production facilities already built and in planning, and to identify research needs and current barriers. Currently, for example, there are more than 50 sustainable fuel production plants of different production pathways in operation worldwide and many more in planning, listed in the BEST database.
Another key topic was the presentation by the Federal Environment Agency of the status of the SAF Roadmap for Austria commissioned by the BMK. This roadmap analyzes the situation in Austria under consideration of the European and international policy and derives concrete recommendations for action. At present, the definition of what is counted under SAF (e.g. biomass, recycled carbon fuels) is still open at the EU level. The EU Parliament is still discussing the inclusion of electricity and hydrogen in the definition of Sustainable Aviation Fuels. The eligibility of an SAF must be defined according to RED III. In addition, it must be ensured that European airlines are not placed at a competitive disadvantage in the global market.
Walter Reimann of Austrian Airlines explains that the Lufthansa Group expects additional costs of €3.5 billion/year in 2035 due to the effects of the Fit for 55 package for European aviation. Financing mechanisms are needed here to avoid distortions in competition and carbon leakage.
Innovations and future production technologies, such as the multiple use of oil-bearing crops for further processing into SAF or a 30 percent increase in the efficiency of a high-temperature fuel cell application for a power-to-liquid demonstration plant were presented by AGRANA and AVL List.
The other participants and presenters are relevant stakeholders from research, industry and operational aviation. The presentations are located at the following link.