Jet Zero Council had its first meeting on 22nd July – to bring aviation emissions in line with UK 2050 net-zero target

The Jet Zero Council held its first meeting, online, on 22nd July. Tim Johnson, Director of the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) is the only representative on the council, representing environmental issues. Government press release on the first meeting said: “Chaired by the Transport and Business Secretaries, today’s first ever Jet Zero council meeting will discuss how to decarbonise the aviation sector while supporting its growth and strengthening the UK’s position as a world leader in the sector.”  And Grant Shapps said: “The Jet Zero Council is a huge step forward in making change – as we push forward with innovative technologies such as sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and eventually fully electric planes, we will achieve guilt-free flying and boost sustainability for years to come.” … Producers of novel fuels are excited. … They all want lots of government money.  Tim Johnson said: “It was a positive start, with an appropriate degree of ambition and urgency, a technology-neutral stance that will treat all options equally, and recognition that getting new technology and SAF into the fleet requires a regulatory framework that includes carbon pricing. That’s a good platform to work from.”
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Jet Zero Council

The Jet Zero Council (JZC) is a partnership between industry and government to bring together ministers and chief executive officer-level stakeholders to drive the ambitious delivery of new technologies and innovative ways to cut aviation emissions.

The JZC will focus on developing UK capabilities to deliver net zero-emission commercial flight by:

  • developing and industrialising zero-emission aviation and aerospace technologies
  • establishing UK production facilities for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and commercialising the industry by driving down production costs
  • developing a coordinated approach to the policy and regulatory framework needed to deliver net zero aviation by 2050

The objectives of the JZC are to:

  • provide ministerial and senior industry leadership on efforts to deliver UK capabilities for net zero aviation
  • identify and optimise the strategic, economic and international benefits of developing these industries in the UK, and overcome the barriers industry face in achieving these goals
  • accelerate the design, manufacture, testing, certification, infrastructure and commercial operation of zero emission aircraft and aviation systems in the UK through sustained investment in applied research and development (R&D) and fostering greater collaboration across sectors
  • accelerate the delivery of SAF by supporting the investment in first-of-a-kind SAF plants, supporting research and development of new pathways and driving down production costs through upscaling and innovation
  • support grassroots innovation in these areas and make the UK the best place in the world to develop new aviation technology
  • challenge existing approaches by involving disruptors and innovators in the dialogue

Chairs

Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Transport Secretary
Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Business Secretary

Members

Robert Courts MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
Rachel Maclean MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport
Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Paul Stein, Chief Technology Officer, Rolls-Royce
Julie Kitcher, Executive Vice President, Airbus
Tony Wood, Chief Executive Officer, Meggitt and ADS President
Russ Dunn, Chief Technology Officer, GKN
Val Miftakhov, Chief Executive Officer, ZeroAvia
Peter Mather, Senior Vice President, Europe and Head of Country, UK, bp plc
Anna Mascolo, Chief Executive Officer, Shell Global Aviation
Neville Hargreaves, Vice President, Waste to Fuels, Velocys
Nina Skorupska CBE REA, The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology
Dr Jennifer Holmgren, Chief Executive Officer, Lanzatech
Alex Cruz, Chief Executive Officer, British Airways [now left. Perhaps Sean Doyle?]
Shai Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Atlantic
Johan Lundgren, Chief Executive Officer, easyjet
Jonathan Hinkles, Chief Executive Officer, LoganAir
Dawn Wilson, Managing Director, TUI Airways
John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer, Heathrow
Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive Officer, MAG
Dom Hallas, Executive Director, Coadec
Jacqueline de Rojas, President, Tech UK
Simon Crabtree, Investment Manager, Mercia Asset Management
Tim Johnson, Director, AEF
Gary Elliot, Aerospace Technology Institute
Dr Alicia Greated, Chief Executive Officer, Knowledge Transfer Network
Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace, Cranfield University
Professor Peter Littlewood, Executive Chairman, Faraday Institution
Kyle Martin, Vice President, European Affairs, GAMA
Trevor Woods, independent consultant

Terms of reference

JZC terms of reference (PDF, 301KB, 2 pages)
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/921493/jet-zero-council-terms-of-reference.pdf

Press releases

Prepare for lift-off: Jet Zero Council to deliver carbon-free flight
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prepare-for-lift-off-jet-zero-council-to-deliver-carbon-free-flight

Contact details
JetZeroCouncilSecretariat@dft.gov.uk

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/jet-zero-council#members

 


Government press release on 22nd July:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-commits-350-million-to-fuel-green-recovery


 

A letter from the 35 cross-party MPs to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urges the government to “supercharge a green aviation recovery” by taking three actions:

  • Commit £500 million ($620m) in funding, matched by industry, to support the delivery of SAF production facilities in the UK;
  • Increase funding for the Aerospace Technology Institute to enable the UK to become a world-leader in developing more efficient engines as well as hybrid and electric aircraft; and
  • Provide short-term funding towards enabling UK airspace changes that would cut emissions immediately.

More on this by GreenAir online:  https://www.greenaironline.com/news.php?viewStory=2721

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See earlier:

Government announce a new “Jet Zero” council … but no details or notice to environmental organisations

In a surprise announcement at Friday’s government Covid-19 daily briefing, Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, revealed plans for a ‘jet zero’ council, that will include representatives from the aviation industry, Government and environmental groups. Its alleged goal is “to make zero emissions transatlantic flight possible within a generation.” No further details were made available. No environmental group was given any notice about this new initiative. As the principal environmental body working on aviation issues, the AEF (Aviation Environment Federation) should have been included, if the government initiative was serious – not just a bit of nice publicity for the aviation sector. AEF has written to Shapps, to say that if the ‘jet zero’ council is to be a worthwhile initiative, the Government must ensure that it does not simply provide good PR for airlines and airports about a future aspiration – while allowing current emissions to grow unhindered. The initiative must be part of a wider programme of government action to deliver the UK’s climate commitments. The council must operate in a transparent manner including engaging with environmental organisations and all relevant stakeholders. To read the letter in full, click here.   

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2020/06/government-announce-a-new-jet-zero-council-but-no-details-or-notice-to-environmental-organisations/

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Airbus – in dire financial problems – talks of plans for hydrogen fuelled future planes

Airbus has been publicising its hopes to have hydrogen-fuelled passenger planes in service within 20 years.  Apart from the technical problems of how to store liquid or compressed hydrogen on a plane, and how to transport it etc, there is the massive problem of the energy it would take to generate the vast amount of hydrogen that would be needed. Currently there is “blue” hydrogen, which is generated from fossil fuels, and the production of which emits carbon (unless and until there is CCS to store that CO2 underground) or “green” hydrogen, which would be produced using low carbon electricity, from wind farms etc. Currently there is almost no “green” hydrogen. There are claims that burning hydrogen at high altitude would not cause the emission of soot particles, so contrails might form less than conventional jet kerosene. It would certainly produce water vapour. The necessary atmospheric research studies probably have not been done, at scale. Hydrogen, like electric planes and wonderful zero carbon fuels, are the hopes of the sector – that their climate problem can be (improbably) solved. Meanwhile Airbus’ CEO announced it is in danger of collapse, due to Covid, and it needs to cut 15,000 jobs, or more than 11% of the group’s workforce.
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Airbus looks to the future with hydrogen planes

21 September 2020  (BBC)

Aerospace giant Airbus has unveiled plans for what it hailed as the first commercial zero-emission aircraft.

The company said its hydrogen-fuelled passenger planes could be in service by 2035.

Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said the three ZEROe concept designs marked “a historic moment for the commercial aviation sector”.

The use of hydrogen had “the potential to significantly reduce aviation’s climate impact”, he added.

The concept of emissions-free aviation relies heavily on finding ways to produce large quantities of hydrogen from renewable or low-carbon sources.

Most large-scale production at the moment relies on fossil fuels, particularly methane, and is not considered to be low-carbon.

Analysts point out that it is not the first time that hydrogen has been touted as the saviour of modern air travel..

Its use in aviation goes back to the days of airships in the early 20th Century, but the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 brought that era to an end.

More recently, from 2000 to 2002, Airbus was involved in the EU-funded Cryoplane project, which studied the feasibility of a liquid hydrogen-fuelled aircraft.

After that, the idea fell out of favour again – until now.

‘Decisive action’
Unveiling its latest blueprints, Airbus said its turbofan design could carry up to 200 passengers more than 2,000 miles, while a turboprop concept would have a 50% lower capacity and range.

A third, “blended-wing body” aircraft was the most eye-catching of the three designs.

All three planes would be powered by gas-turbine engines modified to burn liquid hydrogen, and through hydrogen fuel cells to create electrical power.

However, Airbus admitted that for the idea to work, airports would have to invest large sums of money in refuelling infrastructure.

“The transition to hydrogen, as the primary power source for these concept planes, will require decisive action from the entire aviation ecosystem,” said Mr Faury.

“Together with the support from government and industrial partners, we can rise up to this challenge to scale up renewable energy and hydrogen for the sustainable future of the aviation industry.”

The new Airbus designs are the fruit of a joint research project that Airbus launched with EasyJet last year to consider hybrid and electric aircraft.

The airline’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said: “EasyJet remains absolutely committed to more sustainable flying and we know that technology is where the answer lies for the industry.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54242176

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Airbus Continues Planning for Furloughs

15.9.2020

Like nearly every other company in the industry, Airbus faces the prospect of major staffing cuts within its organization. While the group hopes to minimize involuntary cuts, a letter from CEO Guillaume Faury to Airbus’ 130,000 employees suggests that as many as 15,000 roles will be removed. An Airbus spokesperson confirmed that a letter was sent “to ensure transparency and share information with our global workforce,” but declined to comment on the contents of the message. French union officials accused Airbus of stirring up troubles in advance of additional negotiations scheduled in the coming weeks.

https://apex.aero/coronavirus

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Airbus in danger of going under, says chief executive

By Robert Lea, Industrial Editor
Wednesday September 23 2020,  The Times

Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer that employs and indirectly supports tens of thousands of jobs in British aerospace factories, is in danger of collapse, its chief executive said.

Speaking yesterday to the French media, Guillaume Faury said: “The crisis is existential. Our life as a business is potentially at risk if we don’t take the right measures.”

He added: “The situation is so serious, and we are faced with so much uncertainty, that I think no one can guarantee there won’t be compulsory redundancies if we’re to adapt to the situation, especially if it evolves further.”

Mr Faury said the shutdown of aviation markets meant that Airbus needed to cut a total of 15,000 jobs, or more than 11 per cent of the group’s workforce. In the UK Airbus said it needed to cut 1,700 jobs, 12 per cent of its 13,500-strong workforce, much of that in the group’s wing factory at Broughton in north Wales.

Many of those workers have spent the summer on the government’s furlough scheme. The knock-on effect has been felt at Rolls-Royce, an Airbus engine supplier, which is cutting thousands of jobs.

Compulsory redundancies would play very badly in France and Germany, where about 10,000 jobs will go, plus 900 in Spain and a further 1,300 around the world where Airbus has operations in the US and China.

The crisis has led to it halving production of the world’s bestselling short-haul aircraft, the A320, and the popular long-haul A350.

Mr Faury, 52, said that the issue was not that airlines were cancelling orders, but “airlines aren’t taking deliveries”.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/airbus-in-danger-of-going-under-says-chief-executive-shbrphjgv

 


See also:

Fossil fuel companies ‘misleading’ prime minister on green hydrogen

By Oliver Wright, Policy Editor (The Times)
September 24 2020

Boris Johnson is being misled by Britain’s multibillion-pound fossil fuel lobby into backing climate change policies that risk unnecessarily pushing up energy bills and undermining carbon targets, leading scientists warn today.

Over the last year dozens of energy supply firms, including Shell and BP, have joined forces to push the government to commit to hydrogen as the key element of its target for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2050.

More than 60 MPs and peers have endorsed the industry’s case while the government has appointed the head of Shell in the UK as co-chairman of its hydrogen advisory council. Mr Johnson is reported to believe that hydrogen can be at the forefront of the government’s “green revolution”, heating homes and powering transport.

The campaign has led to warnings from independent energy experts that Downing Street is falling for “hype” and risks jeopardising the 2050 target while leaving consumers with a multibillion-pound bill to subsidise the changes.

In a letter to The Times today David Cebon, professor of engineering at Cambridge University, said that hydrogen was far from a silver bullet.

“Much scientific evidence shows that widespread adoption of hydrogen (instead of electricity) for heating and heavy vehicles would be detrimental to the UK’s economy, its energy security and its decarbonisation commitments,” he wrote. “Given that the fossil fuel industry’s preferred . . . solution would involve significantly increased natural gas consumption, it is not surprising that it is busy lobbying governments around the world for hydrogen.”

The industry is urging the government to utilise the natural gas distribution network to supply “green” hydrogen fuel to homes and businesses. At the same time, they are lobbying for hydrogen to be a key component of the transport network, particularly for buses and long distance freight lorries where electric battery technology is not practical at present.

Experts say, however, that creating truly green hydrogen fuel from water is an incredibly energy intensive and expensive process. They calculate that, using present technology, it would take an onshore wind farm covering 18,000 sq km to produce enough electricity to create green hydrogen to power all the UK’s long distance lorries.

In the interim, industry lobbyists argue that the UK could use “blue hydrogen” created from natural gas. This produces carbon dioxide, which supporters of hydrogen suggest could be captured and stored. Critics point out that carbon capture and storage has never been successfully deployed.

Hydrogen gas would also, at present rates, be about twice as expensive as natural gas, leading to higher bills for consumers or taxpayer subsidies.

Richard Lowes, a research fellow at Exeter University’s energy policy group, said he was “deeply concerned” that the government might commit to an unproven technology. He said he feared the push for hydrogen was “just a delaying tactic by the gas industry”.

A Shell spokesman said: “The UK will need to apply a wide range of technologies to deliver on its net-zero target of 2050, hydrogen included.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/fossil-fuel-companies-misleading-prime-minister-on-green-hydrogen-j7v6wnn6q

 

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Danish companies hope to make “sustainable” fuel, if they can get enough off-shore wind electricity

Copenhagen Airports, and several big companies in fuels for road, marine and air transport, have formed a partnership, to attempt to develop an industrial-scale production facility to produce allegedly “sustainable” fuels. They plan to produce fuels, including hydrogen, by using electricity, starting by 2023, for buses, trucks, maritime vessels, and planes.  The total electrolyser capacity would be 1.3 gigawatts, which would likely make it one of the world’s largest facilities of its kind. There are the usual claims of lower carbon emissions, and more jobs. To lower carbon emissions, it has to use renewably generated electricity, which would come from offshore wind power from off the island of Bornholm. There has to be enough of this electricity.  All low carbon fuels have cost much more than fossil fuel equivalents, and this would be the case for these fuels, unless there was very cheap surplus electricity reliably available. The project is promoting itself as a low-carbon way out of the Covid pandemic, creating new low-carbon jobs, and making Denmark a leader. The country has the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 70% by 2030 compared to 1990.

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Leading Danish companies join forces on an ambitious sustainable fuel project

From “Aviation Benefits” and Copenhagen airport

Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Moller – Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS and Ørsted have formed the first partnership of its kind to develop an industrial-scale production facility to produce sustainable fuels for road, maritime and air transport in the Copenhagen area.

The partnership brings together the demand and supply side of sustainable fuels with a vision to realise what could become one of the world’s largest electrolyser and sustainable fuel production facilities. The project can spearhead the maturation of sustainable fuels while creating jobs and new value chains to reinforce Denmark’s role as a green energy leader.

Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS and Ørsted have brought together the demand and supply side of sustainable fuels in a unique partnership with the concrete vision to develop a new ground-breaking hydrogen and e-fuel production facility as soon as 2023. When fully scaled-up by 2030, the project could deliver more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuel for busses, trucks, maritime vessels, and airplanes every year. Production would potentially be based on a total electrolyser capacity of 1.3 gigawatts, which would likely make it one of the world’s largest facilities of its kind. The production from the fully scaled facility can reduce annual carbon emissions by 850,000 tonnes.

COWI and BCG act as knowledge partners for the project, and the project is supported by the Municipality of Copenhagen in line with Copenhagen’s ambitious policies for decarbonisation. However, the partnership hopes that the project can, over time, act as a catalyst for similar projects in other parts of Denmark and internationally.

If realised as envisaged, the project will be located in the Greater Copenhagen Area and could supply renewable hydrogen for zero-emission busses tendered by Movia and heavy-duty trucks managed by DSV Panalpina, renewable methanol for A.P. Moller – Maersk vessels and renewable jet fuel (e-kerosene) for SAS airplanes and air transport out of Copenhagen Airports. The project will require a large-scale supply of renewable electricity, which could potentially come from offshore wind power produced at Rønne Banke off the island of Bornholm.

Today, such sustainable fuels come at a higher cost than fossil-based fuels. To become competitive with fossil fuels, the production of sustainable fuels will need to be matured, built at industrial scale, and go through a cost-out journey similar to what has been seen over the past decade in other renewable energy technologies, such as offshore wind, onshore wind and solar PV. As an example, the cost of offshore wind has declined by approx 70% in Northwest Europe since 2012. For this to happen, governments and industry must come together to create a framework that incentivises private investments in large-scale sustainable fuel production.

Although several partners are challenged by the deep impact of COVID-19, the partnership’s long-term commitments to fighting climate change remain intact. The industrial partners see this project as a way to combine the dual objectives of accelerating the green transformation and providing economic stimulus to the Danish economy post the COVID-19 crisis. Denmark is in a unique position to become a hub for the production of sustainable fuels, creating jobs and securing a leading position in establishing an entirely new industry, which will be key in driving decarbonisation towards net zero in 2050, not just in Denmark, but also globally.

The electrolyser facility will not only be a potential cornerstone in decarbonising the partners’ businesses but will also deliver a critical contribution to reaching Denmark’s ambitious goal of reducing carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 compared to 1990 by replacing fossil fuels in heavy transport with sustainable fuels. The vision of the partnership is to develop the project in three stages:

The first stage, which could be operational by 2023, comprises a 10MW electrolyser which can produce renewable hydrogen used directly to fuel busses and trucks.

Stage two comprises a 250MW electrolyser facility which could be operational by 2027 when the first offshore wind power from Bornholm could be delivered. This facility would combine the production of renewable hydrogen with sustainable carbon capture from point-sources in the Greater Copenhagen area to produce renewable methanol for maritime transport and renewable jet-fuel (e-kerosene) for the aviation sector.

Stage three, which could be operational by 2030 when the offshore wind potential at Bornholm has been fully developed, would upgrade the project’s electrolyser capacity to 1.3GW and capture more sustainable CO2, enough to supply more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuels to be used in busses, trucks, maritime vessels and airplanes. The project has the potential to displace 5% of fossil fuels at Copenhagen Airport by 2027 and 30% by 2030.

The partnership will now move forward and engage in dialogue with the regulatory authorities on the framework and policies needed to support the development of using sustainable fuels at scale in the transport sector in Denmark, and to seek public co-funding to conduct a full feasibility study of the project. If the feasibility study confirms the viability of the project vision, a final investment decision for the first stage of the project could likely be taken as soon as 2021.

Thomas Woldbye, CEO, CPH Airport, says:
“Whether we operate in road transport, shipping or aviation, we all have a major task to contribute to the sustainable transition in Denmark. The challenge of creating a future-proof and sustainable fuel is common to everyone in the transport sector, and the fact that we are now working together in a partnership is crucial for us to be able to produce sustainable fuel in the necessary quantities. It also supports the ambition to transition Danish aviation to become completely free of carbon emissions in 2050 and make Denmark a pioneer in the development of future climate-friendly fuels.”

Jens Bjørn Andersen, CEO, DSV Panalpina, says:
“This ambitious partnership fits well with our long-term targets to reduce emissions and find sustainable solutions for our industry. We are proud to play a part. The transport sector is very important for Denmark but leaves a significant CO2 footprint and we are committed to finding ways to pave the road for a greener future. While this initiative is local, our long-term ambitions remain global.”

Søren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk, says:
“Decarbonising the transport sector is a significant and complex task that requires collaborative contributions from every company, organisation, and country. This project provides a first step in the massive transformation to produce and distribute sustainable energy. In Denmark, we have an opportunity now to accelerate the green transformation and take lead in powering the future with sustainable energy and I am pleased that we can contribute with concrete actions. We need many such projects both in Denmark and around the globe to achieve our ambition in Maersk of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.”

Torben Carlsen, CEO, DFDS, says:
“The ability to establish a vision of an industrial-scale sustainable fuel production facility is due to the power of partnerships. The cooperation of fuel users and producers along with scientists and society is the fastest way to make sustainable fuels available as realistic alternatives to the fossil fuels we combust in our vehicles and vessels today. I hope that this partnership and our project will help us reach our goal of operating zero-emission ferries and trucks much faster than we had originally anticipated.”

Simon Pauck Hansen, Executive Vice President and COO of Airline Operations, SAS, says:
“The infrastructure aviation enables has a significant contribution to the global society. SAS has very ambitious targets to reduce its climate affecting emissions and one of the key drivers is to use Sustainable Aviation Fuels. We support multiple initiatives and projects in our home market and hope that this project can commercialize and become an accelerator for the transition to decarbonized aviation.”

Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Ørsted, says:
“Decarbonising the road, maritime, and aviation sectors is key to bringing our economies around the world to net-zero emissions by 2050. Our vision to produce sustainable fuels in the Greater Copenhagen area will deliver the necessary industrial scaling to drive the needed cost-out towards making renewable fuels competitive with fossil fuels. With the right policy framework in place, this project could be a defining leap forward for the production of sustainable fuels in Denmark, which will further reinforce Denmark’s role as a global leader in technologies and business models for a sustainable future.”

Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, says:
“In Copenhagen, we’ve set the ambitious goal to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025. We’re already well underway – with district heating, wind turbines, great biking infrastructure, zero emission busses, a green metro, etc. But we need new, sustainable technologies to go all the way. Sustainable fuels are an important means in the fight against climate change and air pollution. It brings us one step closer a greener future.

Lars-Peter Søbye, CEO, COWI, says:
“This project gives Denmark a unique opportunity to spearhead the green transition in the transportation sector: We get to utilise Danish strongholds in, e.g., wind energy, and join forces in the electricity, district heating and transportation sectors. Cooperating across sectors and fostering partnerships among cities, companies and universities is exactly how we create real value and new sustainable solutions. At COWI, we are excited to take part in the project, contributing our knowledge about high-complexity, large-scale projects and green technologies.” 

https://aviationbenefits.org/newswire/2020/05/leading-danish-companies-join-forces-on-an-ambitious-sustainable-fuel-project/

https://www.internationalairportreview.com/news/117928/copenhagen-airport-sustainable-fuel-project/

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Natural England objects to proposed jet fuel from waste plant, backed by BA, Shell and Velocys

BA has been trying to get some jet fuel made from domestic waste that would otherwise go to landfill, so it can claim it is using “low carbon” fuels. There were plans for a plant in east London, by Solena, back in 2014 but that never got off the ground; Solena went bust in October 2015. Now BA and Shell and Velocys are hoping for a plant on an 80-acre site on Humberside, to convert waste that would go to landfill, into jet fuel. However, Natural England are worried it could harm local wildlife and have filed an objection. Velocys says the plant would turn household waste into 60 million litres of “low-carbon” jet fuel every year. The project is backed by £4.5m of investment from Shell and British Airways, alongside a £434,000 grant from the Department of Transport. In a letter dated 20 February 2020 Natural England said it objects to the development because trucks ferrying waste to the site could increase nitrogen oxide levels – which can cause serious health impacts for humans and wildlife. It is also concerned construction and waste from the site could disturb nearby habitats for rare birds.  It is now for North East Lincolnshire Council to decide whether to approve the scheme.
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Natural England objects to proposed green jet fuel plant backed by BA and Shell

First of its kind plant could slash carbon emissions from flights, but Natural England are worried it could harm local wildlife

By Madeleine Cuff  (The i)
Thursday, 2nd April 2020

Plans to build a low-carbon jet fuel plant on the Humber Estuary are in jeopardy after Natural England filed an objection to the development.

Developer Velocys wants to develop Europe’s first full scale green jet fuel plant in Lincolnshire, turning household waste into 60 million litres of “low-carbon” jet fuel every year.

The project is backed by £4.5m of investment from Shell and British Airways, alongside a £434,000 grant from the Department of Transport.

But Velocys’ attempts to gain planning permission for the 80-acre site have stalled after Natural England filed an objection to the plans in February.

Wildlife concerns

In a letter dated 20 February 2020 Natural England said it objects to the development because trucks ferrying waste to the site could push up nitrogen oxide levels – polluting gases that can cause serious health impacts for humans and wildlife. It is also concerned construction and waste from the site could disturb nearby habitats for rare birds.

The proposed development lies next to protected wet grassland and open water habitats, where birds such as lapwings, curlews, teals, egrets and avocets roost and feed.

Natural England has demanded a more detailed assessment of the development’s potential impact on air quality and wildlife before it considers changing its mind.

“Natural England notes that the application site is located in close proximity to the Humber Estuary [Site of Special Scientific Interest],” it warned. “Based on the plans submitted, Natural England considers that the proposed development could have potential significant effects on the interest features for which the site has been notified.”

The objection does not prevent North East Lincolnshire Council approving the scheme, but it does make winning the green light much trickier for Velocys. It has already led to significant delays to the scheme, which had expected to receive planning approval by Autumn 2019.

Brokering agreement

Velocys insists the scheme could be built and operated without significant impacts on human health or local wildlife, and argues the jet fuel would save 80,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year from flights.

It told i it has met with Natural England to discuss its concerns, and said it was “confident” the project would progress. “This is a complex and unique development, the first of its kind on this scale in Europe, so it is essential that appropriate consultees thoroughly review all information,” a spokesperson said.

Paul Duncan, North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Area Manager for Natural England, told i: “We recognise the site’s potential benefits and we have not objected outright to it. What we have done is request more information about work to mitigate potential damage to the local area and wildlife, which is internationally recognised for its precious natural heritage and rare bird species.”

https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/green-jet-fuel-plant-household-waste-british-airways-shell-blocked-natural-england-2527231

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See earlier:

Yet another “first” household & commercial waste to aviation fuel plant planning application – Velocys, Shell, BA

Altalto, a collaboration between Velocys, British Airways and Shell, has submitted a planning application for a plant that turns waste into so-called “sustainable” aviation fuel. The proposed plant near Grimsby would take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household and commercial solid waste destined for landfill or incineration. That would be converted into fuel, to be used by the aviation industry (some could be used for road vehicle fuels…). The scheme is claiming it would “reduce reduce net greenhouse gases by 70% compared to the fossil fuel equivalent.”  The company says the fuel also improves air quality, with up to 90% reduction in particulate matter from aircraft engine exhausts and almost 100% reduction in sulphur oxides – but gives no explanation how. It also claims the process produces less air pollution that if the waste was incinerated or landfilled (but gives no details).  Usual blurb from British Airways (desperate to try to make out that aviation will emit less CO2 in future, while continuing to grow) about “Sustainable fuels can be a game-changer for aviation…”  blah blah… BA had proposed a similar plant in Essex which was cancelled due to lack of funding in 2016.

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2019/08/yet-another-first-household-commercial-waste-to-aviation-fuel-plant-planning-application-velocys-shell-ba/

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DfT, always trying to make aviation growth look “green”, to pay £434,000 to fund waste-to-jetfuel project

A project to turn landfill waste into (quotes) “sustainable” jet fuel has received a major boost by securing almost £5m of funding from the government and industry backers. The DfT has committed £434,000 to fund the next stage of the project, which will involve engineering and site studies to scope potential for a waste-based jet fuel plant in the UK.  This will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste – otherwise destined for landfill – and convert it into jet fuel. The project is being led by biofuels firm Velocys, which has committed £1.5m to the next phase of development. The scheme has also secured a further £3m from industry partners, including Shell and British Airways. BA hopes to use the fuel, to claim it is cutting its carbon emissions (while continuing to grow, burning ever more fuel). The DfT is keen to give the impression that UK aviation expansion is fine, if some biofuels, or alternative fuels, are used. The funding for the Velocys project is part of £22m alternative fuels fund from the government, to advance development of “sustainable” fuels for aviation and freight transport. As of April 2018 renewable jet fuel also qualifies for credits under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO).   

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/06/dft-always-trying-to-make-aviation-growth-look-green-to-pay-434000-to-fund-waste-to-jetfuel-project/

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See earlier:

Solena, the company meant to be producing jet fuel from London waste for BA, goes bankrupt

In February 2010 it was announced that British Airways had teamed up with American bioenergy company Solena Group to establish “Europe’s first” sustainable jet fuel plant, which was set to turn London’d  domestic waste into aviation fuel.  The plan was for BA to provide construction capital for a massive plant somewhere in East London. BA committed to purchasing all the jet fuel produced by the plant, around 16 million gallons a year, for the next 11 years at market competitive prices.  BA had hoped that this 2% contribution to its fuel consumption – the equivalent to all its fuel use at London City airport  – would give it green credibility, and it would claim it cut its carbon emissions.  The timescale for the plant to be built kept slipping.  Nothing has been heard of it for a long time. Now it has been announced that Solena has gone into bankruptcy in the USA. It was never clear why, if genuinely low carbon fuels could be produced from London’s waste, why these should not be used for essential vehicles in London – and why they would instead become a PR exercise for an airline. British Airways and the company Velocys are listed as creditors of Solena.    

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/solena-the-company-meant-to-be-producing-jet-fuel-from-london-waste-for-ba-goes-bankrupt/

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Biofuels (including for aviation) to drive massive increase in palm and soy demand by 2030

A new report by Rainforest Foundation Norway looks at the impact of global biofuel policies on tropical deforestation. Palm oil and soy, in particular, are biofuel feedstocks that are associated with high deforestation risk. The report analyses biofuel policies in all key markets and assesses. It found the impact on demand for palm oil and soy-based biofuels in the coming decade will be huge, and may rise by over 60 million more tonnes of palm oil by 2030. That is about 90% of current global palm oil production. The demand for soy oil might rise by over 40 million tonnes, about 75% of current production. This would cause an estimated 7 million hectares of deforestation, including up to 3.6 million hectares of peat drainage. There would be tragic loss of biodiversity, including charismatic species like orang utans. The deforestation would cause over 11 billion tonnes of extra CO2 entering the atmosphere, by 2030 (more than China’s annual CO2 emissions). The aviation industry is potentially the largest consumer of high deforestation risk biofuels, followed by Indonesia and Brazil. The world is in a dual ecological crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss.  This use of biofuels is NOT the answer, to either crisis.
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Biofuels to drive massive increase in palm and soy demand by 2030

On behalf of Rainforest Foundation Norway
Oslo, 10 March 2020

new report looks at the impact of global biofuel policies on tropical deforestation. Palm oil and soy, in particular, are biofuel feedstocks that are associated with high deforestation risk. The report analyses biofuel policies in all key markets and assesses the impact on demand for palm oil and soy-based biofuels in the coming decade. The conclusions of the report are alarming.

Key findings:

  • Current ambitions for the use of biofuels is likely to lead to a massive increase in demand for palm oil and soy by 2030. Total demand for palm oil may increase by 61 mill tons, equal to 90% of current palm oil production, and demand for soy oil may increase by 41 million tons, almost 75% of current production. (high demand scenario)
  • This increase would cause an estimated 7 million hectares of deforestation, including up to 3.6 mill ha of peat drainage.
  • Global CO2 emissions from this additional deforestation are estimated to be 11.5 billion tons – more than China’s current annual emissions from burning fossil fuels.
  • The aviation industry is potentially the largest consumer of high deforestation risk biofuels, followed by Indonesia and Brazil.

The world is in a dual ecological crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss. Tropical deforestation and peat destruction are major contributors to these crises, resulting in carbon dioxide emissions from lost vegetation and disturbed soils and driving the massive extinction of species. The global biofuel industry stands at the nexus between these climate change and biodiversity crises and are therefore in a prime position to affect meaningful change.

“Current biofuel policies around the world may lead to massive deforestation and increased greenhouse gas emissions. Policy makers and industries around the world must halt the use of high-deforestation risk feedstock for biofuels, like palm oil and soy, to ensure that biofuel policies don’t have adverse impact on the climate and increase rainforest destruction,” says Nils Hermann Ranum, head of Rainforest Foundation Norway’s Drivers of Deforestation Program.

Biofuels were supposed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but this is not what’s happening in reality. If decision makers don’t avoid crop biofuels and especially high-risk feedstock like palm oil and soy, biofuel policies risk adding fuel to the current forest fires around the world,” says Laura Buffet, energy director of Transport & Environment, Europe’s leading NGO campaigning for cleaner transport.

Increased production of palm oil and soy has led to massive deforestation in Southeast Asia and South America, and the report reveals that biofuels are currently by far the major driver of demand for vegetable oils.

  • Biofuels accounted for 90% of vegetable oil demand increase since 2015.
  • Palm oil (incl. PFAD) and soy are the two vegetable oils with the highest deforestation risk and are unsuitable as biofuel feedstocks.

“Biofuels based on palm oil and soy are expected to cause higher GHG emissions than fossil diesel. Increased production of palm oil and soy oil has resulted in massive tropical deforestation over the last two decades. The EU and the US have introduced measures to avoid palm oil-based biofuels due to high deforestation risk, but globally demand for high deforestation risk biofuels is still increasing. That has to change, and fast”, says the author of the report, renowned biofuels expert Dr. Chris Malins.

ENDS

The new report can be downloaded in English, here. (See also FrenchSpanish & German)

For further comments, contact:

  • Head of RFN’s Drivers of Deforestation Program, Nils Hermann Ranum, by email (nils.hermann@rainforest.no) or phone (+47 99 00 10 32); or
  • The author of the report, Dr. Chris Malins, via chris@cerulogy.com or phone, +44 (0)7905 051 671

 

The report says: 

Deforestation and peat loss on this scale have a CO2 cost. As shown in Figure 2, the high palm oil demand scenario could lead to 9.1 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions from land use change, with the high soy oil scenario leading to 2.6 billion tonnes. Combined, this is equivalent to about a year of China’s total emissions from burning fossil fuels.2 This value represents land use change emissions only, and would be partly offset by displacement of fossil fuel use by biofuels.

1) Emissions from removal of tree cover plus twenty years of degradation of peat soils. Peat degradation can continue for decades, resulting in further
ongoing emissions not counted here.
2) https://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=booklet2019

….

Aside from the carbon cost of ill-conceived biofuel policies, ongoing agricultural expansion
is the main cause of human-led biodiversity destruction and fuels land conflicts with local communities, often indigenous peoples.

 

….

We recommend that:

Palm oil, soy oil and PFAD are unsuitable as biofuel feedstocks due to their link to deforestation and biodiversity loss. Consumption should be phased out as soon as possible.

EU Member States should adopt policies to rapidly phase out support for high ILUC-risk biofuels.

The European Commission should lower the level at which the threshold for “significant expansion into land with high carbon stock” is set.

In Europe, the use of biodiesel other than that produced from approved waste or by-product feedstocks should be reduced.

Member States should take measures to favour lower-ILUC biofuels and reduce incentives for the use of soy oil biofuels.

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See also earlier:

 

Major Italian oil company fined €5 million for adverts greenwashing diesel made from palm oil

Italian oil giant Eni has been fined €5 million over its greenwashing of palm-oil based diesel as ‘green’.  It ran a major marketing campaign to con consumers into mistakenly believing its ‘Eni Diesel+’ had a positive impact on the environment. T&E and an Italian environmental organisation had complained about the adverts.  The ruling and fine deliver a blow to attempts by fossil fuel companies to portray biofuels to politicians as a way to decarbonise transport. In practice, diesel made from any sort of food crop causes deforestation due to indirect land use change (ILUC) impacts. Use of palm oil drives destruction of rainforests and wildlife, and EC data shows biodiesel from palm oil is 3 times worse for the climate than regular diesel when ILUC is accounted for. In March 2019 the EU ruled that the use of palm oil in diesel will be gradually reduced from 2023 and should reach zero in 2030, with some exemptions. But palm oil producing countries like Malaysia and Indonesia are pushing hard for palm oil to be used to produce jet fuel, with the pretence that it is lower carbon than conventional fuel.

Click here to view full story…

Badly thought-through aviation carbon targets, involving biofuels, risk massive deforestation to grow palmoil and soya

A new report shows that the aviation industry’s attempts to cut its carbon emissions (caused by encouraging more and more people to take more flights….) are likely to lead to a dramatic increase in demand for palm oil and soy for aviation biofuels. They suggest the amount of tropical forest that would be taken for this could be 3.2 million hectares – an area larger than Belgium. The aviation industry hopes to be able to use as much alternative fuel as possible, and hopes this will be classed as lower carbon than conventional kerosene jet fuel. These hopes are unrealistic. To try to prevent climate destabilisation from worsening, the world needs as much forest as possible left standing, intact and health. The last thing we need is forest being cut down, in order to produce fuel for planes – largely for hedonistic leisure travel.  It makes no sense to destroy so much forest, and its biodiversity, for such an inessential reason. The report says the only technology currently operating at a commercial scale to make bio-jet fuel is the ‘HEFA’ (Hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids) process using vegetable oils and animal fats. The cheapest and most readily available feedstocks for HEFA jet fuel are palm oil and soy oil, which are closely linked to tropical deforestation – not to mention competition for land for human food.

Click here to view full story…

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Aviation industry body (oxymoron) “Sustainable Aviation” hoping its new greenwash will persuade folk aviation growth is fine ….

The aviation industry is nervous of the growing awareness of the looming climate crisis and the need for personal responsibility for air travel CO2. So they are working to try to persuade the public that aviation is fine, and the the carbon emitted is really not a problem. They have it sorted. This is, of course, just greenwash. They are assuming the public is very stupid, or wilfully wanting to be deluded, to believe there will be no extra CO2 in the atmosphere, with 70% more flights. The aviation industry body calling itself (oxymoron!) “Sustainable Aviation” is trying to say UK aviation will be, quotes, “net carbon zero by 2050”. The industry can certainly make some little changes in engines, flight paths, operations etc, to cut a bit of carbon. That is far outweighed by the growth in passengers and flights. They have crazy hopes for low carbon fuels, which themselves would cause huge environmental problems. The rest is offsets. All that means is carbon reductions being made elsewhere are bought by the aviation sector, and are effectively cancelled out by the growth in air travel.  It is not a solution. Aviation knows it. Greenpeace said: “This whole strategy is a flight of fancy. Carbon offsetting is simply an excuse to carry on with business as usual while shifting the responsibility to cut emissions to someone else, somewhere else, and some other time. It’s greenwash pure and simple and ministers should be wary of lending it any credibility.”

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UK air industry sets zero carbon target despite 70% more flights

Greenpeace criticises pledge from airlines, airports and manufacturers as ‘greenwash’

The UK aviation industry has pledged to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 – despite still planning for 70% more flights over the next three decades.  [“Net” carbon emissions is a disingenuous term, intended to confuse.  It means the CO2 emissions from aviation will continue to rise. The industry wants as much growth as it can get.  There are preposterous claims about finding new low-carbon fuels, which cannot be done at scale without causing other environmental problems.  The industry can find ways of cutting a small % of their emissions by efficiencies of various sorts. But “net” largely means the hope that the carbon can be magically cancelled out, by “offsets”. All that means is some other sector emits less carbon, or somehow sucks carbon out of the air, and instead of that being just what the planet needs – less carbon in the atmosphere – that cut is negated and cancelled out by the growth in carbon from aviation.  It is greenwash.  People should not be hoodwinked by this stuff.  AW comment]

Members of the Sustainable Aviation coalition, which includes most major airlines and airports, as well as aerospace manufacturers, will sign a commitment to reach net zero by mid-century. More than a third of the proposed net reduction will be achieved through offsetting.  [Much more than a third, in practice, as they cannot get genuinely lower carbon fuels at anything like the scale they hope for. They cannot be produced without environmental damage. It would be absolutely catastrophic if palm oil was allowed to be used as jet fuel. AW comment] 

A “decarbonisation road map” will be published outlining how aviation can cut its carbon footprint – replacing a previous road map that only committed the industry to halving emissions over the next three decades.

The plan sets out potential reductions coming from smarter flight operations, and new aircraft and engine technology – including some yet to be invented. Modernising airspace and developing sustainable aviation fuelswill also contribute to reducing pollution.

About 25.8 million tonnes of CO2, out of 71.1 million tonnes set to be created annually by the UK sector, will need to be addressed through what Sustainable Aviation calls “market-based measures”, or offsetting.

The coalition forecasts that sustainable jet fuels, which are yet to be employed commercially, could meet almost a third of UK’s aviation fuel demand by 2050.  [Obviously nonsense. See tweet below. Aspirations for the % of jet fuel that would be used in various years. Like in 2009 the hope by IATA was 10% of jet fuel in 2025 would be low carbon. This year the target is 2% by 2025. In reality, in 2018 just 0.002% of global jet fuel was low carbon.  AW comment ]

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, described the commitment as a huge step forward in creating a greener future. He added: “Aviation has a crucial role to play in reducing carbon emissions, and with the help of new technologies, renewable fuels and our continued international cooperation … we’ll be able to strike that balance.”

Neil Robinson, the chair of Sustainable Aviation, said: “Climate change is a clear and pressing issue for people, businesses and governments across the world. We know aviation emissions will increase if decisive action is not taken, and that’s why UK aviation today commits to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, through an international approach, working with governments around the world and through the UN.”

However, Greenpeace dismissed the move as “greenwash”. John Sauven, its UK executive director, said: “This whole strategy is a flight of fancy. Carbon offsetting is simply an excuse to carry on with business as usual while shifting the responsibility to cut emissions to someone else, somewhere else, and some other time. It’s greenwash pure and simple and ministers should be wary of lending it any credibility.”

British Airways’ owner IAG has already committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while easyJet has gone further by already offsetting all flights.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/04/uk-air-industry-sets-zero-carbon-target-despite-70-more-flights

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See also:


Aviation not the enemy in climate battle, says Heathrow bossImage copyright

High level greenwash warning with this !

4.2.2020  (BBC)

Flying is not “the enemy” in the fight against climate change, the chief executive of Heathrow Airport has said.

John Holland-Kaye told the BBC’s Today programme: “The answer is not to stop people flying. It has to be about decarbonising aviation.”

The UK’s aviation industry is promising to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

Cleaner engines, new fuels and planting trees will all help, according to the industry group Sustainable Aviation.

Mr Holland-Kaye said: “The enemy is carbon, not aviation. We need to protect the ability to fly in a world without carbon.

“When the government blocked Heathrow expansion 10 years ago, people started flying through Amsterdam and Paris instead, taking two flights instead of one and not a single tonne of carbon was saved.”

He said synthetic fuels were the way forward. “It has been around for about 100 years and is becoming more affordable. It needs a real push on investment.”

‘Crisis is here and now’

Sustainable Aviation says the industry’s plan will mean airlines can cut pollution even as passenger numbers grow by an expected 70%.

But campaigners say the only way to cut airline pollution is by reducing air travel and cancelling new airports and runways.

“We need to restrict flying,” said Muna Suleiman, from Friends of the Earth. “We can’t have airport expansion at the same time.”

Rail travel and buses are greener alternatives and taxes should be applied to frequent fliers, she said.

Biofuels, which Sustainable Aviation say will be part of the industry’s plan, still pollute, Ms Suleiman added. “The crisis is here and now.”

The aviation sector is under increasing pressure to come up with a plan to cut emissions, especially as it has no commercial comparator yet to the electric car, which is seen as the auto industry’s hope for cutting emissions.

While other forms of transport produce more carbon, individual journeys on planes produce large amounts of CO2.

Sustainable Aviation says the UK industry can reduce its emissions of CO2 from 30 million tonnes a year to zero, without restricting growth.

Chart showing emissions from different modes of transport

 

An economy-class return flight from London to New York emits an estimated 0.67 tonnes of CO2 per passenger, according to the calculator from the UN’s civil aviation body, the International Civil Aviation Organization. [And about 1 tonne by most other estimates. AW comment]

That is equivalent to 11% of the average annual emissions for someone in the UK or about the same as all of those caused by someone living in Ghana for more than a year.

US firm Wright Electric said last week it had started electric engine development for a 186-seater plane, and hoped to begin test flights in 2023.

British Airways is investing in a project to make fuel from rubbish.

‘Difficult sector’

“We are going to have to do this through many projects,” Alex Cruz, chief executive of British Airways, told the BBC.

“Biofuels will give us a greener alternative and we are attracted by that,” he said, while conceding that they will still produce carbon dioxide and that they are expensive at the moment.

“We do believe we will reach a point where the price will be compatible with the rest of fuel prices.”

BA will also retire old planes, with the double-decker Boeing 747 being phased out in 2024.

Other plans include planting trees – so-called carbon offsetting – and investing in renewable power sources, said Matt Gorman, a council member of Sustainable Aviation.

“Aviation is one of the more difficult sectors to decarbonise but we are absolutely confident it can be done,” said Mr Gorman. “We have to do it”

Sustainable Aviation’s members include Heathrow Airport, British Airways, EasyJet, Rolls Royce, Airbus and air traffic controller Nats.

Presentational grey line
Analysis box by Theo Leggett, business correspondent

The aviation sector has a problem. On one level, it is extremely successful. Passenger numbers in the UK are higher than they’ve ever been, and massive growth is expected worldwide over the next couple of decades.

More passengers means more planes, and all else being equal that means an awful lot more emissions. The sector only accounts for about 2.5% of global CO2 output at the moment, but the obvious risk is that share could rise significantly.

You don’t have to be Greta Thunberg to realise where that could lead. There’s a risk that faced with growing public pressure to act on climate change, regulators could start to clamp down on the sector in a meaningful way – and that could hit growth.

So here in the UK, businesses are taking pre-emptive action. Action they claim will reduce emissions to zero without curbing growth.

So how effective will the plans be? Boeing and Airbus are already selling a new generation of aircraft that are much more efficient than their predecessors, and it’s fair to say that there are plenty of benefits to be gained from investing in new technology.

But the value of “market-based measures” such as carbon offsets is harder to calculate and hotly debated. People within the industry claim the projects they support are carefully chosen and reap real benefits.

Climate campaigners say that’s greenwash – and they’d rather we simply decided to fly a lot less.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51364103

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Major Italian oil company fined €5 million for adverts greenwashing diesel made from palm oil

Italian oil giant Eni has been fined €5 million over its greenwashing of palm-oil based diesel as ‘green’.  It ran a major marketing campaign to con consumers into mistakenly believing its ‘Eni Diesel+’ had a positive impact on the environment. T&E and an Italian environmental organisation had complained about the adverts.  The ruling and fine deliver a blow to attempts by fossil fuel companies to portray biofuels to politicians as a way to decarbonise transport. In practice, diesel made from any sort of food crop causes deforestation due to indirect land use change (ILUC) impacts. Use of palm oil drives destruction of rainforests and wildlife, and EC data shows biodiesel from palm oil is 3 times worse for the climate than regular diesel when ILUC is accounted for. In March 2019 the EU ruled that the use of palm oil in diesel will be gradually reduced from 2023 and should reach zero in 2030, with some exemptions. But palm oil producing countries like Malaysia and Indonesia are pushing hard for palm oil to be used to produce jet fuel, with the pretence that it is lower carbon than conventional fuel.
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Oil major slapped with €5m fine for greenwashing palm oil diesel

Italian oil giant Eni has been slapped with a €5 million fine over its greenwashing of palm-oil based diesel as ‘green’. The company ran a major marketing campaign that deceived consumers by claiming its ‘Eni Diesel+’ has a positive impact on the environment, Italy’s advertising watchdog ruled this week.

By Eoin Bannon   (Transport & Environment)

January 16, 2020

In a landmark ruling against greenwashing, the Italy’s Competition and Market Authority (all’Autorità Garante per la Concorrenza e il Mercato) imposed the highest possible fine on the state-backed energy company.

The agency told Eni not to use the advertisement again after a complaint was lodged by Italy’s consumer organisation Movimento Difesa del Cittadino, environmental NGO Legambiente, and T&E. The oil company has been running ads on TV, radio, in cinemas, fuel stations, print and online platforms since 2016. Official estimates found it cost between €5m and €15m.

T&E said the authority’s decision delivers a blow to attempts by fossil fuel companies to portray biofuels to politicians as a way to decarbonise transport.

Veronica Aneris, T&E’s Italy manager, said: ‘There is no such thing as green diesel made from palm oil or any other food crop because they cause deforestation. Oil companies need to stop trying to mislead drivers and politicians with the fake claim that biodiesel protects the environment and our health. Instead they should invest in proper clean fuels such as renewable electricity. The government should push oil companies to do their fair share to decarbonise the economy.’

The Eni Diesel+ fuel is 15% composed of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) from Eni’s Venice refinery. This ENI refinery makes HVO from crude palm oil and its derivatives, as shown by official data from the governmental energy agency Gestore Servizi Energetici.

The watchdog ruling states that ‘it’s particularly deceitful to use the denomination “Green Diesel’ and the qualifications ‘green’ and ‘renewable’ to refer to the HVO component of the product’. This is mainly because of the indirect land-use change emissions associated with palm oil use. It also argues that there’s no justification or calculation that justifies the 40% reduction in air pollution.

Palm oil is known to be an important driver of the destruction of rainforests and wildlife. According to a study for the European Commission, biodiesel from palm oil is three times worse for the climate than regular diesel when indirect emissions from changes in the use of land are accounted for.

Italian green NGOs are urging the government to stop incentives for the use of palm oil in diesel, and over 50,000 Italians have already requested it at www.change.org/unpienodipalle.

Italy is the second largest palm oil biodiesel producer in the European Union. More than half (54%) of all palm oil and derivatives imported into Italy in 2018 was used to make biodiesel, mainly at Eni’s refinery at Porto Marghera, Venice.

The palm oil comes predominantly from Indonesia and, to a lesser extent, from Malaysia, two countries with notable deforestation rates in the past two decades.

Last March, the EU decided that palm oil is not a green fuel and should not be promoted because it causes deforestation. The use of palm oil in diesel will be gradually reduced from 2023 and should reach zero in 2030, with some exemptions. Thus, Italy, like any other EU country, can amend today the national targets for renewable energy in transport to remove incentives for using palm oil and its derivatives in biodiesel.

https://www.transportenvironment.org/news/oil-major-slapped-%E2%82%AC5m-fine-greenwashing-palm-oil-diesel

 


 

See earlier:

Palm oil may be blended in jet fuel as study shows suitable

April 16th, 2019

by AFIQ AZIZ  (The Malaysian Reserve)

There are technologies currently available to produce biojet fuel, through conversion of biological resources

THE aviation sector can play a crucial role in boosting Malaysian palm oil, which has been saddled with discrimination in the West, low prices and high inventory.

As debates are still ongoing on palm oil fuel for vehicles, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) suggests that the commodity can be mixed into biojet fuel — a composition to be blended with the fossil-based aviation fuel.

MPOB DG Datuk Dr Ahmad Kushairi Din said there are technologies currently available to produce biojet fuel, through conversion of biological resources such as oil, fats, palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD), algae and biomass.

“These technologies are different from the conversion of oils or fats into biodiesel that is used in the transportation sector. The biojet fuel is to be blended with the fossil-based aviation fuel,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) via an email reply.

While PFAD has been accepted as feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel, works are underway for palm oil to be accepted as well.

Ahmad Kushairi said MPOB has conducted a collaborative study with an American company to identify and screen the suitable feedstock from palm for biojet fuel production.

“PFAD and palm oil have been tested under this study in Chicago, US, for pilot plant trials.

“Based on the study, both have shown good conversion into biojet fuel with by-products such as diesel, naphtha, propane and others. The study showed that PFAD and palm oil are suitable feedstock for biojet fuel,” he said.

“But what we can affirm is that Malaysian palm oil industry’s commitment in participating in the CORSIA implementation (reduce carbon dioxide, or CO2, emission from international aviation), by developing sustainable aviation fuel using PFAD, used cooking oil, oil palm biomass and algae,” he said.

The usage of palm oil in biojet fuel mix can reduce palm oil stocks which put a pinch on prices. Recent data from MPOB showed that in March 2019, end-stocks dropped 4.6% to 2.92 million tonnes from February 2019.

According to Ahmad Kushairi, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has adopted the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to reduce greenhouse gas emission for the aviation sector.

One of the carbon offsetting measures is to use sustainable biojet fuel accredited under CORSIA.

“With the commitment of CORSIA, the minimum blending of biojet fuel is 2% starting 2027, and the approved blending could be up to 50%,” he highlighted.

Under CORSIA, all airline operators with annual emissions greater than 10,000 tonnes of CO2 are required to report their emissions on an annual basis, with monitoring starting in January 2019.

The CO2 offsetting requirements in CORSIA will be implemented in 2021 in phases with mandatory implementation to begin in 2027.

Ahmad Kushairi said MPOB is currently conducting a feasibility study on aviation fuel for the economy and its impact to airline operators, bearing in mind that any effort to protect the environment comes with a cost.

“For example, a Malaysia-based airline would require 60,000 tonnes per year of biojet fuel to meet the 2% blending ratio requirement,” he said.

Currently, there are more than 80 airlines operating to and from Malaysian airports nationwide.

Ahmad Kushairi said in the Asean region, there is no biojet fuel production plant at the moment.

Currently, European firm Neste Corp is producing green diesel (hydro-treated vegetable oil) from waste oil and vegetable oils at one million tonnes per year capacity. The company has also announced to invest an additional €1.4 billion (RM6.51 billion) for setting up the second bio-refinery plant in Singapore by 2023 for biojet fuel and green diesel production with a capacity of 1.3 million tonnes per year.

Indonesia and Malaysia, the world’s top two producers of the vegetable oil, have threatened to challenge the European Union in the World Trade Organisation over the economic bloc’s plan to ban palm oil-based biofuel by 2030.

To minimise impact and reduce stocks, Malaysia started rolling out the B10 biodiesel (a blend of 10% palm oil in diesel) for the transportation sector last month, while Indonesia has introduced B20 since 2016.

An industry player told TMR that the government should demand ICAO to accept palm oil as part of the biojet fuel blend.

“We could lose this competitive market to our neighbours if we do not address this now. Alternatively, we could mandate the use of biojet fuel domestically using palm oil as feedstock.

“This initiative will help to increase usage of palm oil without subject to the ICAO regulations,” the person said.

https://themalaysianreserve.com/2019/04/16/palm-oil-may-be-blended-in-jet-fuel-as-study-shows-suitable/

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See earlier:

UN plans for aviation biofuels (ie. much from palm oil) & carbon offsets condemned by 89 organisations worldwide

89 organisations from 34 countries have called on the UN’s International Civil Aviation Agency (ICAO) to ditch plans for aviation biofuels and carbon offsets, as the Agency’s governing body convenes in Montreal to finalise proposals for a controversial “Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme”.  An Open Letter by the groups warns that ICAO’s proposal could incentivise airlines to use large quantities of biofuels made from palm oil in order to meet greenhouse gas targets – even though member states rejected biofuel targets last autumn amidst concerns about palm oil. Proposed biofuel targets for aircraft were rejected by member states in October 2017, but groups fear that the proposed new rules will introduce large-scale biofuel use ‘by the backdoor’.  On sustainability certification for palm oil, “none of the schemes has been effective at slowing down deforestation, peatland draining or the loss of biodiversity”. On carbon offsets, the organisations say “There is no way of reaching the goal to limit global warming to 1.5oC unless all states and sectors rapidly phase out their carbon emissions. This means that there can be no role for offsets”. Instead the growth of the aviation sector needs to be limited – rather than depending on greenwash.

Click here to view full story…

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Badly thought-through aviation carbon targets, involving biofuels, risk massive deforestation to grow palmoil and soya

A new report shows that the aviation industry’s attempts to cut its carbon emissions (caused by encouraging more and more people to take more flights….) are likely to lead to a dramatic increase in demand for palm oil and soy for aviation biofuels. They suggest the amount of tropical forest that would be taken for this could be 3.2 million hectares – an area larger than Belgium. The aviation industry hopes to be able to use as much alternative fuel as possible, and hopes this will be classed as lower carbon than conventional kerosene jet fuel. These hopes are unrealistic. To try to prevent climate destabilisation from worsening, the world needs as much forest as possible left standing, intact and health. The last thing we need is forest being cut down, in order to produce fuel for planes – largely for hedonistic leisure travel.  It makes no sense to destroy so much forest, and its biodiversity, for such an inessential reason. The report says the only technology currently operating at a commercial scale to make bio-jet fuel is the ‘HEFA’ (Hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids) process using vegetable oils and animal fats. The cheapest and most readily available feedstocks for HEFA jet fuel are palm oil and soy oil, which are closely linked to tropical deforestation – not to mention competition for land for human food.
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Aviation climate targets may drive 3 million hectares of deforestation

The aviation industry’s climate targets are likely to lead to a dramatic increase in demand for palm oil and soy for aviation biofuels. A new report concludes that this may result in 3.2 million hectares of tropical forest loss – an area larger than Belgium.

As the general assembly meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) got underway in Montreal, Rainforest Foundation Norway’s new report ‘Destination deforestation‘ goes into the heated debate about “flight shame” and the role of the aviation sector in contributing to the climate crisis.

The report “Destination Deforestation” reviews the status of the targets the aviation industry has set for alternative fuels and shows how high the risk is that expanding biofuel use in aviation will cause the last thing the world wants or needs right now: increased deforestation.

The aviation industry has set an aspirational goal to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50 percent in 2050 (compared to 2005), without limiting growth. Central to this vision is a near complete shift from conventional jet fuel to alternative aviation fuels. Near total replacement of fossil fuel would be needed to meet this target.

Sky-high demand for soy and palm oil

A number of technologies are available to produce aviation biofuels, or even to produce aviation fuels from electricity, but the only one of these technologies currently operating at a commercial scale is the ‘HEFA’ (Hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids) process to produce jet fuel from vegetable oils and animal fats. 

The cheapest and most readily available feedstocks for HEFA jet fuel are palm oil and soy oil, which are closely linked to tropical deforestation. Unless alternative aviation fuel policies actively support more sustainable options, it is likely that meeting the aviation industry’s aspirations to reduce emissions would lead to a sharp increase in demand for soy and palm oils.

The report estimates that meeting the aspirational targets outlined by ICAO through the cheapest and most readily available technology would lead to an additional demand in 2030 of 35 million tons of palm oil, 3.5 million tons of palm oil by-products (PFAD), and 35 million tons of soy oil. For comparison, the current global annual production of palm oil globally is around 70 million tons.

Previous studies, including some published by the EU Commission, have shown that the climate impact of biofuels based on palm oil and soy oil is even higher than continuing to use fossil fuels.

An area the size of Belgium at risk

The report concludes that this increased demand for palm oil and soy could drive 3.2 million hectares of tropical forest loss (an area larger than the size of Belgium) and 5 gigatons of land use change CO2 emissions (close to the current annual greenhouse gas emissions of the USA) in 2030, unless measures are taken to avoid the targets being met using the most readily available aviation biofuel technology and feedstocks.

“The aviation industry risks becoming a major threat against the world’s rainforests. While ICAO’s proposed use of alternative aviation fuels is meant to reduce emissions, it in fact risks inducing massive emissions from the destruction of tropical forests and peatlands, alongside loss of biodiversity and violations of the rights of forest-dependent peoples”, says Nils Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway.

Aviation biofuel policy at the EU level and in selected countries is also reviewed, revealing that proposed government programs in countries such as France, Finland, Sweden and Indonesia could contribute to the massive deforestation outlined in the report, through varyingly allowing for the use of aviation biofuels based on palm oil, PFAD and soy oil respectively.

Strong measures are needed

Avoiding the direct use of palm oil and soy oil as feedstocks can reduce the deforestation impact of alternative fuel policies, but due to the connectivity of global vegetable oil markets, any use of food oils as biofuel feedstock will drive expansion of tropical oil crops, with associated indirect deforestation and accompanying greenhouse gas emissions.

“The aviation industry should take urgent steps to avoid using biofuels from the highest deforestation risk feedstocks such as palm oil, PFAD and soy. They should also exclude or limit support for biofuels from food oils more generally. Anything less would risk severely undermining the world’s commitment through the Sustainable Development Goals to stop deforestation and strive to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius”, concludes Ranum.

The report is written by the renowned low carbon fuels expert Dr. Chris Malins.

https://www.regnskog.no/en/news/aviation-climate-targets-may-drive-3-million-hectares-of-deforestation

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Read the report ‘Destination deforestation’

For further quotes, background or contacts:

Nils Hermann Ranum, Head of Rainforest Foundation Norway’s Drivers of Deforestation Program

Phone: +47 990 01 032    Email: nils.hermann@rainforest.no

Dr. Chris Malins of consultancy Cerulogy, the author of the report

Phone: +44 (0)7905 051 671    Email: chris@cerulogy.com

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Heathrow wants the £4 bn APD revenue (paid because aviation pays no VAT or fuel duty) to boost ‘green’ aviation fuels

Heathrow’s avarice and self-interest appear to know no bounds. Aside from the immense cost to public health from the increased noise and air pollution of its plans for a 3rd runway (equivalent to bolting another large UK airport onto the Heathrow site….) the huge cost to the taxpayer for the necessary improvements to surface access infrastructure, if it expands, and so many other costs – like destroying villages, Heathrow wants yet more. The Treasury has repeatedly said that the aviation industry in the UK pays Air Passenger Duty (APD) BECAUSE that makes up, to a small extent, for the income lost to the Treasury each year, because the aviation sector pays NO fuel duty and NO VAT.  The money is NOT there to give the aviation industry a boost.  But Heathrow wants  the approximately £4 billion raised each year from APD to be given back to the industry, so it can try to find a way to produce jet fuels that are allegedly “sustainable” and “lower carbon” that convention jet fuel. The problem for the aviation industry is that, other than worthy-sounding pronouncements about “the ambition of a net-zero carbon aviation industry by 2050” etc, they have no actual plans of any means by which to do that.  APD funds should NOT be given back to aviation.
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Heathrow urges £4bn APD revenue to boost ‘green’ aviation fuels

by Phil Davies (Travel Weekly)

August 21st 2019

Heathrow is once again urging the government to invest £4 billion annual intake from Air Passenger Duty to raise production of ‘green’ aviation fuels.

The revenue generated from the air tax could help to accelerate the production of biofuels and support the ambition of a net-zero carbon aviation industry by 2050.

The airport first made the demand for a reform of APD last month.

Heathrow sustainability director Matt Gorman said: “Having won an overwhelming majority in Parliament supporting expansion at Heathrow we are getting on with delivering a project that will connect the whole country to economic growth in a way that is sustainable and responsible.

“We understand the responsibility our sector has to help tackle climate change and ensure we protect a world worth travelling, which is why we’re calling on government to invest the revenue generated from Air Passenger Duty in sustainable fuels.

“This move will help to drive a much needed change in our sector and make travel more sustainable.”

More: Industry should stop bleating about carbon tax

APD should be reformed to support sustainable aviation fuels

The call came as the London hub revealed that SAS took the top spot in its ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ airline sustainability league table in the second quarter of the year.

The result came as the Scandinavian flag carrier reduced early and late flights.

The airline also scored well for its operational performance by improving its ‘track keeping’ – following preferential noise route flight paths precisely and using a quieter landing method known as continuous descent approach.

The league table compiles the results of the airport’s top 50 busiest airlines from April to June, rating how each airline scores for operational factors such as punctuality, track keeping, continuous decent approach, and monitors the fleet upgrades that help to reduce emissions.

Both 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A350s are among the top environmental performers, helping airlines to rise in the rankings.

Qantas jumped 28 spots to sixth place, earning the title of most improved airline, after achieving 100% compliance for track keeping and running its schedule without late or early flights.

The announcement coincided with Heathrow’s 12-week expansion consultation, which details measures the airport will be putting in place to reduce emissions and provide respite for local communities as part of its plans for a third runway. The consultation runs until September 13.

http://travelweekly.co.uk/articles/340755/heathrow-urges-4bn-apd-revenue-to-boost-green-aviation-fuels

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See also

 

£125 million more UK public money going to fund aviation research to (possibly, eventually) minimally cut CO2 emissions

The aviation industry repeatedly gets money from the UK government, to help it try to find new technologies, or new fuels, that might slightly cut the carbon emissions of flights.  Instead of the industry funding this research itself, it always wants public money to help – money from taxpayers that could be better used.  If the aviation sector really wanted to cut its carbon emissions significantly, it would stop attempting to grow as fast as possible. If the government was serious about cutting aviation CO2, it would introduce measures to make flying more expensive and less attractive, in order to cut demand. But instead, money is spent on technologies that just – basically – involve continuing with “business as usual” and carrying on flying as much as possible.  Hopes of magical future technologies, or fuels, just postpone the day when they have to “bite the bullet” and reduce aviation growth. Now the UK government is spending another “£125 million in the Future of Flight Challenge, supported by an industry co-investment of £175 million, to fund development of technologies including cargo drones, urban air taxis and larger electric passenger aircraft.” Fiddling while Rome burns….

Click here to view full story…

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Yet another “first” household & commercial waste to aviation fuel plant planning application – Velocys, Shell, BA

Altalto, a collaboration between Velocys, British Airways and Shell, has submitted a planning application for a plant that turns waste into so-called “sustainable” aviation fuel. The proposed plant near Grimsby would take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household and commercial solid waste destined for landfill or incineration. That would be converted into fuel, to be used by the aviation industry (some could be used for road vehicle fuels…). The scheme is claiming it would “reduce reduce net greenhouse gases by 70% compared to the fossil fuel equivalent.”  The company says the fuel also improves air quality, with up to 90% reduction in particulate matter from aircraft engine exhausts and almost 100% reduction in sulphur oxides – but gives no explanation how. It also claims the process produces less air pollution that if the waste was incinerated or landfilled (but gives on details).  Usual blurb from British Airways (desperate to try to make out that aviation will emit less CO2 in future, while continuing to grow) about “Sustainable fuels can be a game-changer for aviation…”  blah blah… BA had proposed a similar plant in Essex which was cancelled due to lack of funding in 2016.

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UK’s first commercial waste to aviation fuel plant proposed

Altalto, a collaboration between Velocys, British Airways and Shell, has submitted a planning application for a plant that turns waste into sustainable aviation fuel.

The proposed plant near Grimsby would take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household and commercial solid waste destined for landfill or incineration and turn it into clean-burning sustainable aviation fuel, which is claimed would reduce net greenhouse gases by 70% compared to the fossil fuel equivalent.

The company says the fuel also improves air quality, with up to 90% reduction in particulate matter from aircraft engine exhausts and almost 100% reduction in sulphur oxides; and the technology offers a lower emissions route to process UK waste than incineration or landfill.

The site is called Portlink 180 which consists of approximately 80 acres of land located on Hobson Way, between Immingham and Grimsby in North East Lincolnshire.

Alex Cruz, British Airways Chairman and CEO, said: ‘The submission of the planning application marks a major milestone in this project and we are delighted with the progress being made.

‘Sustainable fuels can be a game-changer for aviation which will help power our aircraft for years to come.

‘This development is an important step in the reduction of our carbon emissions and meeting the industry targets of carbon neutral growth from 2020, and a 50% in CO2 reduction by 2050 from 2005 levels. It also brings the UK another step closer to becoming a global leader in sustainable aviation fuels.’

British Airways had proposed a similar plant to be built in Essex which was cancelled due to lack of funding in 2016.

Last week, Heathrow Airport called on UN’s aviation body ICAO to set targets for the use of sustainable fuels in aviation and for the government to invest some of the £4bn annual revenue raised from Air Passenger Duty to scale-up its production.

In other related news, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced in May that they will buy 75,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel a year for the next 10 years.

They will buy the fuel from SkyNRG who will develop Europe’s first dedicated plant for the production of sustainable airline fuel (SAF) in Delfzijl in The Netherlands.

They say it will be capable of producing the fuels bioLPG and naphtha primarily using regional waste and residue streams as feedstock.

https://airqualitynews.com/2019/08/20/uks-first-commercial-waste-to-aviation-fuel-plant-proposed/

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From the Velocys website:

Plans submitted for the first waste to jet fuel plant in the UK and Europe

Altalto Immingham Limited is a subsidiary of Velocys and a collaboration with project co-investors British Airways and Shell.

Velocys is a British sustainable fuels technology company. Originally a spin-out from Oxford University, in 2008 the company acquired a US company based on complementary technology developed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Over 15 years Velocys has developed proprietary Fischer-Tropsch technology that enables the production of drop-in transport fuels from the embedded carbon-sources in a variety of waste materials. Having demonstrated its technology at commercial scale, Velocys is currently developing projects in Natchez, Mississippi, USA and Immingham, UK to produce fuels that significantly reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and key exhaust pollutants for aviation and road transport.

Velocys is leading the development of the Altalto Immingham project and has assembled all the technology components into a standardised integrated design. Velocys also supplies the central processing unit: micro-Channel Fischer-Tropsch  reactors with the proprietary Velocys Actocat catalyst. This is the part of the process that turns a gas mixture of carbon and hydrogen into the liquid hydrocarbons required to create the sustainable fuels.

British Airways intends to purchase jet fuel produced at the plant for use in its aircraft. This is an important step in the reduction of the airline’s carbon emissions towards the industry targets of carbon neutral growth from 2020 and a 50% reduction by 2050 from 2005 levels.

Shell intends to purchase both jet fuel and road fuel from Altalto, which may then be blended and sold to Shell’s customers, helping to reduce their carbon footprint. Shell will also provide technical expertise, based on its long experience of gasification and Fischer-Tropsch conversion.

The process enables the production of aviation and road fuels with 70% less net greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fuel.

Subject to planning and funding decisions, we plan to begin construction in 2021 and to start producing commercial volumes of Sustainable Aviation Fuel in 2024.

For more information about the project, visit www.altalto.com or contact Robert Jeffery at Robert.Jeffery@fieldconsulting.co.uk or 07852 428 915.

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The Fischer-Tropsch process uses a lot of energy: 

The Fischer–Tropsch process is a collection of chemical reactions that converts a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons. These reactions occur in the presence of metal catalysts, typically at temperatures of 150–300 °C (302–572 °F) and pressures of one to several tens of atmospheres.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer%E2%80%93Tropsch_process



See earlier:

DfT, always trying to make aviation growth look “green”, to pay £434,000 to fund waste-to-jetfuel project

A project to turn landfill waste into (quotes) “sustainable” jet fuel has received a major boost by securing almost £5m of funding from the government and industry backers. The DfT has committed £434,000 to fund the next stage of the project, which will involve engineering and site studies to scope potential for a waste-based jet fuel plant in the UK.  This will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste – otherwise destined for landfill – and convert it into jet fuel. The project is being led by biofuels firm Velocys, which has committed £1.5m to the next phase of development. The scheme has also secured a further £3m from industry partners, including Shell and British Airways. BA hopes to use the fuel, to claim it is cutting its carbon emissions (while continuing to grow, burning ever more fuel). The DfT is keen to give the impression that UK aviation expansion is fine, if some biofuels, or alternative fuels, are used. The funding for the Velocys project is part of £22m alternative fuels fund from the government, to advance development of “sustainable” fuels for aviation and freight transport. As of April 2018 renewable jet fuel also qualifies for credits under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2018/06/dft-always-trying-to-make-aviation-growth-look-green-to-pay-434000-to-fund-waste-to-jetfuel-project/

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Solena, the company meant to be producing jet fuel from London waste for BA, goes bankrupt

In February 2010 it was announced that British Airways had teamed up with American bioenergy company Solena Group to establish “Europe’s first” sustainable jet fuel plant, which was set to turn London’d  domestic waste into aviation fuel.  The plan was for BA to provide construction capital for a massive plant somewhere in East London. BA committed to purchasing all the jet fuel produced by the plant, around 16 million gallons a year, for the next 11 years at market competitive prices.  BA had hoped that this 2% contribution to its fuel consumption – the equivalent to all its fuel use at London City airport  – would give it green credibility, and it would claim it cut its carbon emissions.  The timescale for the plant to be built kept slipping.  Nothing has been heard of it for a long time. Now it has been announced that Solena has gone into bankruptcy in the USA. It was never clear why, if genuinely low carbon fuels could be produced from London’s waste, why these should not be used for essential vehicles in London – and why they would instead become a PR exercise for an airline. British Airways and the company Velocys are listed as creditors of Solena. 

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2015/10/solena-the-company-meant-to-be-producing-jet-fuel-from-london-waste-for-ba-goes-bankrupt/

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British Airways + Solena plant to make jet fuel from London’s rubbish – announcement soon?

GreenAir online gives an update on the anticipated biofuel plant (costing around $500 million)  to be built in east London, to produce diesel and jet fuel.  GreenAir says that according to British Airways’ a 20-acre (8ha) site has been selected for its GreenSky project with Solena and an announcement is expected within weeks. Getting the required planning permission had proved “extremely challenging.”  GreenSky will convert around 600,000 tonnes of London  municipal waste into 50,000 tonnes of biojet and 50,000 tonnes of biodiesel annually, and will – they hope – meet BA’s total fuel needs at London City Airport.  BA hope they can claim annual carbon savings of up to 145,000 tonnes of CO2. “It’s very much a demonstration plant for us. If we can prove this works commercially then we will build a number of them in the UK – potentially up to six – at this scale or even bigger.”  “The economics is driven by a current UK landfill tax of about £80 per tonne, so the scheme hopes to get the rubbish cheaply – saving councils the landfill tax.  Under its 10-year contract with Solena, BA will purchase all the fuel produced by the plant. They hope to start building in early 2015 and start producing fuel in 2017.

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2014/03/british-airways-solena-plant-to-make-jet-fuel-from-londons-rubbish-announcement-soon/

 

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Velocys CEO suspended over allegations of ‘serious misconduct’

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