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Ireland could play a key global role in green jet-fuel market, according to report


Ireland's renewable energy sources could be used to create sustainable aviation fuel

Ireland's renewable energy sources could be used to create sustainable aviation fuel

Ireland's renewable energy sources could be used to create sustainable aviation fuel

Ireland could play a leading global role in the development of sustainable aviation fuel by taking advantage of its huge offshore wind energy potential, according to a new report published this morning by Aircraft Leasing Ireland.

Aircraft Leasing Ireland is an Ibec body that represents the aircraft leasing sector here.

The report commissioned for the group and prepared by KPMG points out that it is “critical” for countries 
including Ireland to have government engagement with a suitable policy framework and associated supports to facilitate and deliver sustainable aviation fuel (Saf) production.

The aviation sector accounts for about 2.3pc of global greenhouse emissions.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has set its global airline members a target of having net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

It has forecast that 65pc of the contribution towards that goal would be achieved via Saf.

But IATA reckons that as much as 449 billion litres of Saf will be needed by 2050. Last year, just 300 million litres were produced.

Saf can be produced from sources such as vegetable oils and animal fats, but also via a novel process that uses green hydrogen combined with carbon dioxide to create fuel.

“We know that it is a difficult path to achieving that decarbonisation target,” Aircraft Leasing Ireland chair Marie-Louise Kelly told the Irish Independent.

Also the chief financial officer of aircraft leasing giant Orix Aviation, Ms Kelly said that while future technologies such as electric aircraft will play a role in decarbonisation, there are other ways of addressing it.

“We actually have a solution now, which is a really important part of the roadmap to getting to net-zero, and that is sustainable aviation fuel,” she added.

Ireland has significant offshore wind energy production potential that could be a catalyst for the country to become a major Saf producer – if a portion of the electricity generated by such sites is used for the production of green hydrogen.

“We in Ireland don’t really have a concrete roadmap for how we’re going to develop Saf,” said Ms Kelly.

Rob Asher, head of credit risk at Orix, said the industry wants to collaborate with governments, airlines, airports and all other stakeholders to create a roadmap to “foster the development of Saf in Ireland”.

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