Sustainable aviation fuel policy in the United States: A pragmatic way forward

The aviation sector has been working to decarbonize, but it faces unique challenges since decarbonization options that may work for ground or maritime transport are generally not feasible for air travel. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) present an opportunity to decarbonize the aviation sector, but federal policies that address SAF have largely included SAF as an add-on to existing policies that are meant primarily to address ground transportation. However, due to the unique challenges presented to decarbonization by the aviation sector, the use of SAF should be incentivized through pragmatic, sector-specific federal policies.

The new Atlantic Council report by Fred Ghatala, Sustainable Aviation Fuel Policy in the United States: A Pragmatic Way Forward, provides a set of near and long-term federal policy options that could be implemented in order to encourage the use of SAF. The report contextualizes each policy choice and explains the implications of each option, differentiating between policies that can be implemented in the near-term and policies that require long-term implementation.

Global Energy Forum

Jan 8, 2019

Ready for takeoff? Aviation biofuels past, present, and future

By David Hitchcock

The importance of powering the aviation sector (both military and commercial) through sustainable fuels cannot be overstated. This report provides a keen look at the history of biofuels, current uses of biofuel, and investments in research and development that will yield future dividends.

Energy & Environment Renewables & Advanced Energy

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The Global Energy Center develops and promotes pragmatic and nonpartisan policy solutions designed to advance global energy security, enhance economic opportunity, and accelerate pathways to net-zero emissions.

Image: Lake Michigan’s shoreline seen from an airplane (Unsplash/Simon Maage)