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A shortage of feedstocks for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) will limit the ability of European aviation to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from 2035 onwards. That is one of the main conclusions of the new study 'TRANSCEND' by the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and Delft University of Technology.
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“Although the results show that resource availability is sufficient to meet the targets through 2030, from 2035 onwards we see a substantial and growing gap between supply and expected demand,” says Johan Kos, project leader and lead author of the study.

This gap means that greenhouse gas emissions will only decrease 40 per cent by 2050 compared to a situation where only fossil paraffin is used. The researchers conclude that policymakers and industrial parties must ensure sufficient availability of sustainable biomass, residual streams and renewable electricity, which can be used to produce green hydrogen and SAF. In doing so, renewable fuels could provide twice the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The study also shows that by 2050, hydrogen-powered aircraft could ensure that global aviation CO2 emissions during flights are 16-20% lower than if only SAF-powered aircraft were used for this purpose. Energy consumption and fuel costs will also be lower.

TRANSCEND’s final report can be downloaded from the NLR website.

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