EU agrees sustainable aviation fuel mandates

  • Market: Biofuels, Hydrogen
  • 26/04/23

The European Parliament and EU member states have reached a provisional agreement on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) mandates from 2025.

The deal, which will oblige fuel suppliers to blend certain percentages of SAF and synthetic aviation fuels, notably e-fuels and hydrogen, with jet fuel from 2025, must be formally approved by parliament's plenary, likely to be later this year, and then by EU ministers.

The 'RefuelEU' regulation will be directly applicable in all 27 EU member states and does not allow countries to set national mandates. From 2025, at least 2pc of aviation fuels must be SAFs, and this increases to 6pc in 2030, 20pc in 2035, 34pc in 2040, 42pc in 2045 and 70pc in 2050.

In addition the regulation requires a specific proportion of synthetic aviation fuels, such as e-kerosene and hydrogen, that are defined as renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO). Synthetics must reach a total share of aviation fuels of 1.2pc in 2030, 2pc in 2032, 5pc in 2035 and 35pc in 2050.

SAFs includes such synthetic fuels and also non-food and non-feed biofuels, notably from agricultural or forestry residues, algae, bio-waste, used cooking oil (UCO) or certain animal fats. Recycled jet fuels produced from waste gases and waste plastic are also included.

Parliament said provisions in the regulation will prevent tankering, or deliberately carrying excess fuel to avoid refuelling with SAFs. Airports will need to ensure fuelling infrastructure is ready for SAFs.

No cap is set on fuel suppliers meeting targets with animal fats and UCO.

The European Commission estimates the measures will cut aviation's CO2 emissions by two-thirds by 2050 compared with a business-as-usual strategy.


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