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EU SAF Blending Mandate Proposals Ambitious but Feasible, Says SkyNRG Analysis Report

Agriculture/Food Processing Residues nonfield crop, Alcohol/Ethanol/Isobutanol, Aviation Fuel (Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)), BioRefineries/Renewable Fuel Production, Biorefinery/Fuel Production Infrastructure, Business News/Analysis, European Union (EU), Feedstocks, Field/Orchard/Plantation Crops/Residues, Funding/Financing/Investing, Infrastructure, Not Agriculture, Opinions, Policy, Sustainability
July 26, 2021

by Christopher Surgenor  (GreenAir Online)  An analysis by major sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) supplier SkyNRG of the European Commission’s ReFuelEU Aviation initiative, part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package of legislative proposals unveiled last week, shows around 300 SAF plants with an average production capacity of around 100,000 tonnes per year will be needed by 2050 to meet EU demand under the SAF blending mandate that underpins the initiative. With only 15 plants expected to be operational by 2027, over 10 plants will therefore be needed to be built in the EU each year thereafter to reach the 2050 requirement unless SAF is imported from outside the EU. However, in its assessment of targeted SAF volumes towards 2030, the scope of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, SkyNRG believes supply can match demand provided currently announced production capacity materialises and either additional production capacity is developed or SAF is imported. After 2030, fast deployment of new SAF technologies will be required up to 2050. 

The ReFuelEU Aviation proposal includes a 2% blending obligation on fuel suppliers for SAF in 2025, increasing to 5% in 2030 and then rising steeply to 32% by 2040 and 63% in 2050 (see article). A specific sub-mandate applies for e-kerosene (aviation e-fuels described by the Commission as synthetic aviation fuels), which starts with 0.7% in 2030, 8% by 2040 and increases to 28% by 2050.

“Our in-depth analysis, ‘A Market Outlook on Sustainable Aviation Fuel’, finds that while the proposed mandates are ambitious, they can be mostly fulfilled with EU production capacity,” said Tom Berg, SkyNRG’s Policy & Sustainability Manager. “To meet the targeted volumes until 2030, however, there will be a heavy reliance on waste oils as feedstock via both the HEFA and co-processing technology pathways. After 2030, technological developments are required fulfil the mandated volumes up to 2050.”

The majority of the announced plants until 2027 make use of waste oils and fats as feedstock, for which there is a tight European market and a reliance on the HVO/HEFA route until 2030.

Due to constraints in the availability of renewable power for power-to-liquid (PtL) aviation fuels and restrictions on SAF obtainable from waste oils and fats, the major share of bio-advanced SAF will have to come from cellulosic waste and residue streams in the long run, using pathways such as gasification combined with Fischer-Tropsch (FT) and alcohol-to-jet (AtJ), says the SkyNRG report. It considers it unlikely that a large share of the EU renewable power supply would be allocated to e-kerosene production, with modelling elsewhere showing PtL SAF production consuming around 10% of the expected EU total by 2050. It acknowledges other studies foresee a more dominant role for PtL aviation fuels.

Although the ReFuelEU targets are ambitious, they are achievable “with the right set of enablers in place,” concludes the report, which include:

  • Increased support for new conversion pathways to convert sustainable feedstocks beyond just waste oils and fats, such as AtJ, FT or PtL;
  • Large-scale mobilisation of cellulosic feedstocks through new supply chains;
  • Rapid renewable electricity deployment to produce PtL aviation fuels in a sustainable way;
  • A solid, science-based sustainability framework to drive the transition; and
  • Corporate climate commitments as important streams of revenue to bring new SAF capacity online.

The European Commission has opened an eight-week public feedback consultation on the ReFuelEU Aviation legislative proposals, which runs until 14 September 2021.  READ MORE

European Commission’s ReFuelEU Aviation proposal details SAF blending obligation on fuel suppliers (GreenAir Online)

 

Excerpt from GreenAir Online: Two aspects of the mandate are notable. Firstly, the obligation is placed on the fuel suppliers rather than the airlines and, consequently, all flights departing from EU airports will be covered. Secondly, the mandate is based on volume rather than the potential carbon intensity reduction of the SAF.

In addition to the obligation on fuel suppliers, a ‘refuelling obligation’ is placed on airlines, providing that “the yearly quantity of aviation fuel uplifted by a given aircraft operator at a given Union airport shall be at least 90% of the yearly aviation fuel required.” This is designed to address fuel tankering practices, where aircraft operators uplift more aviation fuel than necessary at a given airport with the aim to avoid refuelling partially or fully at a destination airport where aviation fuel is more expensive. This practice can lead to increased emissions (carbon leakage) due to higher fuel burn and undermines fair competition in the market. As the inclusion of SAF is expected to increase aviation fuel costs, the proposal anticipates fuel tankering may increase. Therefore, the regulation requires that the amount of fuel uplifted by an aircraft should be commensurate with the amount of fuel necessary to operate the flights departing from that airport. Monitoring of this provision will be carried out through reporting obligations on airlines.

The proposed regulation does not include provision for a book-and-claim system, although it is not excluded as a future possibility, provided that it be governed by robust rules ensuring the environmental integrity of the system.

Eligible SAFs under the regulation are advanced biofuels and e-fuels, and feed and food crop-based biofuels are not included. However, SAF produced from waste lipids will be eligible in order to launch the market and allow for emission reductions in the short term. Sustainability criteria established in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) will be used to determine eligibility of SAFs.

On the eve of the release of the Commission’s proposal, the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow (CST) coalition published a report that seeks to address key consideration regarding the feasibility of a SAF blending mandate. Signatories to the report, Guidelines for a Sustainable Aviation Fuel Blending Mandate in Europe, include Airbus, Boeing, bp, Copenhagen Airport, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Groupe ADP, Heathrow Airport, International Airlines Group, KLM, Kuehne+Nagel, LanzaJet, LanzaTech, Neste, Norsk e-Fuel, Rolls-Royce, Royal Dutch Shell, Royal Schiphol Group, SkyNRG, Sunfire, Total Energies and Velocys.

While CST says the introduction of the mandate is essential to the deployment of SAF, it is considered insufficient to unlock investments in the SAF supply chain. The CST report states that reaching the desired levels of SAF production in Europe will also require significant public financial support to de-risk private investments in the SAF supply chain and to bridge the cost differential between SAF and conventional jet fuel for off-takers.

In parallel, CST also believes airlines will need financial support mechanisms to bridge the cost differential between SAF and conventional jet fuel and to mitigate the risks of competitive distortion and fuel tankering that could be caused by the mandate. CST supports a volumetric mandate as it would provide greater certainty than a GHG intensity reduction target but believes the volumetric mandate should be combined with minimum threshold requirements for GHG reductions based on life cycle assessments that should be gradually increased over time.

Although the proposed regulation provides for a sub-target for e-kerosene, CST indicates sub-targets should also be implemented for other novel technology pathways at low technology readiness levels. In addition, CST calls for aviation to be given priority access to sustainable biomass due to the lack of cost-effective alternative decarbonisation options. Appropriate policies should also be in place to drive higher production/collection of sustainable biomass, in particular wastes and residues, to meet growing demand and prevent any feedstock availability issues.  READ MORE

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palm fiber palm fronds palm kernel palm kernel oil palm kernel shell palm oil palm oil mill effluent (POME) palm oil prices palm waste Paludiculture/peatland cultivation Panama pandas panic grass papaya paper Papua Indonesia Papua New Guinea paraffins Paraguay Paris Agreement parity partial waiver particulates pasture land Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) patents pathways Paulownia paulownia tree payments peaches peak oil peak oil demand peanuts/groundnuts peas pectin peela kaner pellets Pennsylvania pennycress/stinkweed pentane pentanol pentose pequi perennial grains perennial grasses Performance permitting Peru pest-tolerance pesticide-tolerance pests petition petroleum pharmaceuticals phase separation Philippines phosphorus photobioreactor photoelectrocatalysis photoelectrochemical photolysis photosynthesis phragmites pigeon pea pilot scale pine pineapple pine beetle pine nut pinion pipelines Pistacia chinensis PLA plant cell research plant cell walls plant oil plastic plastic-to-jet Plug-in Flex Fuel Hybrid Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) plume grass Poland poli Policy politics pollinators pollution pollution control polyethylene polyfuel polymer polymerization polysaccharides pomace pomegranates pongamia pongamia pinnata poplar poppy population control Portable refinery Portugal poster sessions potamogeton potassium potato poultry litter/waste power-to-x/gas/liquid prairie grasses pre-processing precision farming/agriculture precursors/biointermediates premium gasoline Pretreatment pretreatment equipment price price of water prickly pear Prince Edward Island process flow diagram producer tax credit Production tax credit productivity project insurance propagating Propane/Biopropane/Renewable Propane propanol property insurance propylene protectionism protein protests proton exchange membrane (PEM) public comments public health policy Puerto Rico pulp Pulp/Paper Mill pump retrofit kit pumps pungam Punnai tree pyrolysis Q-RIN QAP Qatar quality assurance Quality Assurance Plans (QAPs) quality improvement quantum dots Quebec Queensland quote of the week r R33 rabbits race radiata pine Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing railroad rainforest rain tree RAND rare earth metal RD10 RD20 RD30 RD80 RD99 RD100 reclaimed mine lands recycled oil recycled plastics recycling red algae redcedar Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Refined Bleached Deodorized Palm Oil (RBDPO) refineries reforestation Reformate regenerative braking regenerative farming regulations Regulations-Federal Regulations-State Regulatory Enhancement Growth Support (REGS) Reid vapor pressure (RVP) remediation remediation rice straw Renewable Chemical renewable chemical producer tax incentive renewable chemical production tax credit Renewable Diesel/Green Diesel/HVO/Paraffinic Diesel Renewable Diesel/Green Diesel price Renewable Diesel Production renewable diesel pumps renewable diesel tax credit renewable diesel terminal Renewable Energy Renewable Energy Directive (RED and RED II) Renewable Energy Standard Renewable Energy to Fuels through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) renewable fuel renewable fuel oil (RFO) Renewable Fuels Directive (EU) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) revisions/repeal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS and RFS2) renewable gasoline blendstock renewable marine diesel Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) price Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) pumps Renewable Portfolio Standards Renewable Power Standard Renewable Synthesized Iso-Paraffinic Fuels (SIP) Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) renewable volume obligation (RVO) RenovaBio replacement molecules Repowering Assistance Program repurpose research and development research facility resiliency resource depletion resurrection grass retail retrofit return on investment R Factor RFI (Request for Information) RFS "reset" RHD100 Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS) Rhode Island Ricardo rice rice bran oil rice hulls rice husks rice price rice straw RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) RIMPAC RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers) RINs markets RINs price risk management RJ-4 RJ-6 RME (rape methyl ester) RME180 RNA (Ribonucleic acid) roadmap rocket fuel Romania RON (Research Octane Number) rotation crops royalties RTP (rapid thermal processing) rubber rumen ruminants rural development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program Russia Russian olive rutabaga Rwanda ry rye Rye grass s saccharification Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles (SAFE) safety safflower sago pond weed SAIC SAK Salicornia salt-tolerant saltbush saltcedar sal tree salt water Sanctions Santa Monica sardine oil Saskatchewan Saudi Arabia sawdust scale up Scandinavia scholarships/fellowships Science Advisory Board (SAB) Science Policy Scotland scum sea level rise seaports seashore mallow seawater Seaweed/Macroalgae seaweed cultivation Section 526 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seed-to-wheel seed husks Senegal Serbia sesame sewage Seychelles shale shale gas shale oil shark oil sheep shipping shipping containers shipworm Sierra Leone silica Silphie/cup plant/Indian cup silver silver maple simarouba Singapore sisal SK slash Slovakia Slovakia/Slovak Republic Slovenia sludge Small Business Administration small engines small refinery exemption (SRE) smog smokestack soap Social social benefit investing social cost social value social venture Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) soi soil soil amendments soil carbon soil health soil microbial biomass solar energy solar energy-to-chemical conversion solaris solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) Solomon Islands Solutions solvent liquefaction Somalia soot sorghum sorghum oil sorghum stover South Africa South America South Australia South Carolina South Dakota Southeast Asia Southern Africa South Korea South Pacific South Sudan Soviet Union SOx (Sulfur oxides) soybean prices soybeans soy meal Spain spartina specifications Spent Bleaching Earth Oil (SBEO) sprawl spruce Sri Lanka Stakeholders standards start-up State Department Statistics steam explosion steam methane reformation steam reformation steel stevia stillage storage tanks Straight (pure) Vegetable Oil (SVO or PVO) stranded assets Strategic Bioenergy Reserve STrategiv Petroleum Reserve straw students su sub-Saharan Africa sub-sim (substantially similar) subsid succinic acid sucrose Sudan sugar sugar-to-biodiesel sugar-to-farnesane sugar-to-jetfuel Sugar Beets/Energy Beets sugarcane sugarcane prices sugarcane straw Sugar kelp sugar palm sugar platform sugar prices sugars sugars-to-fats sugar standards sulfur Sumatra sunflower sunflower stalks supercritical fluid supercritical hydrolysis supply agreements supply chain Supreme Court surahart Suriname Sustainability Swaziland Sweden sweetgum sweet potatoes Sweet sorghum swine waste Switchgrass Switzerland sycamore syngas syngas fermentation synthetic biology synthetic diesel synthetic gasoline synthetic kerosene synthetic liquified gas (SLG) synthetic methane synthetic natural gas Syria Tailoring Rule Taiwan Tajikistan tall fescue tall oil tallow tallow tree Tamarix tank-to-wheel tank cars tankers tanker trucks Tanzania tariffs taro tar sands Tasmania tax benefit tax credit taxes tax incentives tax parity tax policy tea teach-the-teacher teacher teacher resources teacher training technical course Technical Readiness Levels techno-economic analysis technology transfer tech transfer telephone utility poles Tennessee termites terpenes terrestrial carbon testing Texas textbook Thailand theft therapeutics Thermal catalytic depolymerization (TCD) thermal deoxygenation thermocatalytic conversion thermochemical conversion thermochemical liquefaction Tibet Tier 3 Tier 4 tilapia tillage Timor-Leste tires tobacco tobacco tree Togo Tokyo toluene Tonga tool Toronto torrefaction Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) trade trade dispute/discrimination trade group trade organization Trade Policy trade secrets training trains transesterification transgenics transition Transportation Fuels Policy Transportation Fuels Policy--Municipal Transportation Fuels Policy--State Transportation Fuels Policy; carbon removal Transportation Policy travel policy Treasury Department trees Trinidad and Tobago triticale truck trucks tubers tung tunicate Tunisia Turkey UCOME (Used Cooking Oil Methyl Ester) Uganda UK (United Kingdom) Ukraine UL (Underwriters Laboratory) ULSD (ultra low sulfur diesel) Ultra Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (ULSFO) underground storage tanks (UST) UNESCO United Arab Emirates (UAE) United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) United Nations (UN) United States Auto Club Unleaded 88/E15 uranium urbanization urban sprawl Uruguay USAC US Agency for International Development (USAID) USAID US Army USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) used cooking oil (UCO) used railroad ties US ethanol exports US Geological Survey US Product Safety Commission Utah utility model Uzbekistan value chain vanadium Vancouver Vanuatu Vatican VEETC vegetable oils vehicles miles traveled (VMT) Velocys Venezuela Vermont Victoria video Vietnam vinasse vinegar vineyard waste Virginia Virgin Islands. virgin oils viruses VLSFO (very low sulfur fuel oil) volunteers Vulcanol w waiver Wales warranty Washington Washington DC waste waste-to-chemicals Waste-to-Energy waste-to-fuel waste alcohol Waste CO2 waste heat waste management waste oil waste paper waste vegetable oil wastewater water water consumption water footprint water hyacinth watermeal watermelon water pollution water quality water treatment wax weather well-to-wheel West Africa Western Australia West Java West Virginia wet distillers grain wet extraction What You Can Do wheat wheat bran wheat fiber wheatgrass wheat prices wheat straw whey whisky white grease White House wildlife habitat willow wind energy wine wastage/grape marc winter crops Wisconsi Wisconsin Wood woody biomass World Bank World Trade Organization (WTO) Wyoming XTL xylan xylene xylose yard waste yeast yellow grease yellowhorn tree Yemen yields Yukon Zambia Zanzibar zein zeolites Zimbabwe zinc

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