The International Air Transport Association forecast Wednesday that global production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will triple to 1.5 million metric tons next year, accounting for 0.5% of airlines’ fuel needs.
IATA’s outlook for 2024 may largely reflect the commissioning of Neste’s Singapore expansion project, which is planned to increase global SAF capacity by 1 million mt/year.
In 2023, global SAF production doubled to 0.5 million mt, compared with 0.25 million mt last year. Still, IATA noted that SAF only accounts for 6% of overall renewable fuel production, with the rest of the capacity allocated to other fuels such as renewable diesel (HVO).
The association’s director general Willie Walsh warned that this limits SAF supply and keeps prices high for airlines.
“Aviation needs between 25% and 30% of renewable fuel production capacity for SAF. At those levels aviation will be on the trajectory needed to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” he said.
IATA urged governments to introduce incentives to accelerate SAF investments and ensure enough renewable fuel capacity is allocated to SAF. The association estimates that at least 14 million mt/year of SAF will be needed by 2030, whereas overall renewable fuel production is expected at 63 million mt/year by the end of the decade.
In addition, IATA said that technology diversification should be a key focus, since 85% of SAF facilities coming online in the next five years will use the HEFA production pathway, which relies on limited feedstocks such as used cooking oil and fats.
Originally shared by OPIS: A Dow Jones Company, December 6, 2023.