RENJET – Reducing Carbon Emissions in the Aviation Sector

The aviation industry is a substantial contributor of carbon emissions, and unless efforts are made to transform the industry both air traffic and emissions are predicted to intensify.

Aviation depends on liquid fuels with high energy density. Compared with conventional jet fuel, renewable jet fuel can deliver life-cycle CO₂ reductions up to 80%. These bio-fuels could deliver essential reductions on aviation emissions.

The climate change issue

Today, aviation accounts for more than 2% of global CO₂ emissions. With growth forecasted to reach approximately 3-5% of global CO₂ emissions by 2050, it is imperative that alternative fuels are considered. The environmental impact of fuel combustion and the insecurity of affordable and stable fuel prices constitute serious risks to a sustainable future in aviation.

A ground-breaking innovation

History has proven transport is part of our lives: business, leisure and goods. But it also enables us to explore other cultures, art, ideas and built knowledge and understanding.

Globally, aviation is considered to be the only transport mode to bring people together, to do business or to enjoy ourselves during holidays. It is expected that global air transport will grow around 4 per cent annually.

Two series of long-haul Bio Fuel passenger flights have been conducted over the period 2013-2014 in conjunction with ITAKA FP7 and other programs. The activities enlarge the visibility and demand for Bio Fuel, which in turn enlarges the demand for feedstock and their supply chains.

The challenge

Today fuel makes up about 30% of an airline’s cost: with the volatility of fuel prices and fierce international competition it is hard for airlines to generate stable profites. This leaves sparse possibilities to invest in renewable jet fuels as these are three to four times as costly. 

Ground-breaking is the approach to overcome this challenge. Stakeholders from the triangle and envisioned partners in a supply chain have joined their efforts to move forward together, trying to prevent a well-known phenomenon, the innovation gap: good technical solution … but no timely financial model to concur the market and at the same time secure renewable fuels for aviation as competing industries may offer higher return for a half product.

The solution

In the short-term airlines don’t have the option to take control over the supply chain which is currently dominated by oil industry leaders. Competitiveness is scarce as the renewable jet fuel market is still in its infancy. This project will lay the basis for multiple self-sustaining networks of regional renewable jet fuel supply chains based on sustainable (European) feedstock sources, that can account for 20% of renewable jet fuel demand in the European Union in 2025.

The project delivers the knowledge for an ecosystem for setting-up a regional jet fuel supply chain and prepares a probable supply chain to be financially supported by mayor investors. To ensure success, the approach is innovative and it incorporates:

  • industry, academics and policy makers to understand economic, societal and ecological demands;
  • a multi-disciplinary approach to understand “best option” choices in the network of value chain(s) to secure production of bio fuels in a very competitive environment, and;
  • both supply side and demand side activities are pursued simultaneously to speed up the innovation process.

A Corporate Bio Fuel Programmme has been started in the Netherlands, which already has recruited 17 multi-national corporations and public bodies. Interest for the program is growing and there are plans to start an international Bio Fuel Programme.

Climate-KIC and RENJET

Climate KIC supports the processes in the RENJET project and allows its adaptations to secure success. The project will be supported by Climate-KIC until the end of. By then, spinouts should have found their ways and be supported by other investors.

Contactgegevens Renjet