Fuel Supply Chain Development and Flight Operations


Innovation – Develops and brings to market climate relevant knowledge, products and services


Pan-European, co-ordinated from the Netherlands

November 2013

Jonas van Stekelenburg, RENEWABLE JET


Developing a bio-economy

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 will deliver life-cycle CO₂ reductions of 60%. Hence, these bio-fuels could deliver essential reductions on aviation emissions.

Today, aviation accounts for more than 2% of global CO₂ emissions. With growth forecast 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.

At current prices, fuel makes up 30% of an airline’s cost. But with the volatility of fuel prices it is hard for airlines to generate stable profits. 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.