Sustainable Skies Act focuses on use of SAF
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives announced the introduction of the Sustainable Skies Act on Thursday, which would use targeted tax credits to ramp up production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
The bill was introduced by Congressman Brad Schneider of Illinois, along with Reps. Dan Kildee of Michigan and Julia Brownley of California. It has gathered support from various places including airlines, airline industry unions, environmental groups, and fuel producers.
Under the provisions of the Sustainable Skies Act, energy producers would receive a $1.50-per-gallon tax credit for the supply of SAF that reduces greenhouse emissions by 50% or more. Producers would also receive a credit of 1 cent per gallon for each percentage point the fuel reduces emissions over 50%.
Reaching net-zero emissions
Entering the Covid-19 pandemic, aviation accounted for an estimated 2.5% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. Globally, airlines have committed to reducing emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2050. But that standard has largely given way to stronger promises by the carriers themselves. For example, in the US, the members of Airlines for America (A4A) have pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
"A4A's goal of eliminating net carbon emissions by 2050 builds on the U.S. airline industry's strong record of sustainability. The Sustainable Skies Act would go a long way toward improving the cost-competitiveness of sustainable aviation fuel, which is crucial to rapidly expanding its deployment by U.S. carriers," said Airlines for America President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. "The U.S. airline industry has set an ambitious mid-term goal of making 2 billion gallons of SAF available for U.S. carriers to use in 2030, and supportive measures like the Sustainable Skies Act will enable us to achieve that goal.
The European Business Aviation SAF Summit was conducted virtually last month, where industry leaders shared their strategic vision to increase the use of SAF across Europe. These goals included encouraging the SAF supply chain to promote steady market growth as well as additional research for further development of SAF technologies and feedstock. Presenters also noted the importance of prioritising SAF and increasing capacity.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.