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Last night, co-legislators reached a final agreement on the last of the transport files from the Fit for 55 Package, the ReFuelEU Aviation regulation, which aims to promote the production and up-take of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) until 2050.
In what is an important achievement for the decarbonisation of aviation, SAFs are now set to make up 70% of all fuels supplied to operators at EU airports by 2050, while dedicated sub-targets have been set for the uptake of synthetic (hydrogen based) aviation fuels.
Darko Levicar, Hydrogen Europe’s Mobility Policy Director said: “After having reached a positive outcome on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) and the FuelEU Maritime proposals last month, we are happy to see that a timely and ambitious deal was reached for the use of alternative fuels in the aviation sector as well. This agreement is a historic moment on the path to decarbonisation of this hard-to-abate transport sector. By setting binding mandates for the uptake of sustainable aviation fuels, this regulation delivers the necessary long-term certainty for fuel suppliers to make investments and establish a European supply-chain for these cleaner fuels.”
Hydrogen Europe particularly welcomes the compromise found for the up to 1.2% synthetic fuel sub-target for 2030-2031 and the up to 2% synthetic fuel sub-target as of 2032, even though not setting a first target as early as 2025 might be a missed opportunity.
The scope of fuels that may be used to reach these targets has been broadened in another important compromise allowing more technologies to contribute to a boost in sustainable aviation fuels production. The inclusion of ‘renewable hydrogen for aviation’ as part of these enabling fuels, allowing for the development of hydrogen-powered aircrafts, is also welcomed.
The final text should also include a flexibility mechanism until 2035, letting fuel suppliers deliver shares of SAFs as a weighted average over all the aviation fuels they supplied across EU airports each year.
The co-legislators also agreed on collecting the revenues generated from fines, earmarking them to be used to support R&I projects and SAFs.
For more information:
- European Commission press release: European Green Deal: new law agreed to cut aviation emissions by promoting sustainable aviation fuels
- European Parliament press release: Fit for 55: Parliament and Council reach deal on greener aviation fuels
- Council press release: Fit for 55: increasing the uptake of greener fuels in the aviation and maritime sectors