French government announces launch of roadmap and deployment targets for a national sustainable aviation fuel industry
Mon 27 Jan 2020 – The French government has launched a roadmap to develop a national sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry with the aim of replacing fossil kerosene with 2% of SAF from 2025, 5% in 2030 and 50% in 2050. This, says the government, is consistent with the country’s long-term low-carbon strategy. In December 2017, it signed a ‘Commitment for Green Growth’ with five industrial groups – Air France, Airbus, Safran, Total and Suez Environment – to define and collaborate on the roadmap. Alongside the roadmap, a Call for Expressions of Interest (CEI) has been opened by the Ministries of Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Economy and Agriculture. It will determine the best tools to encourage the development of the new sector and identify and support innovative investment opportunities for advanced aviation fuels.
“This CEI is a fundamental first step towards the emergence of a sustainable aviation fuel industry in France,” said the five companies in a joint statement. “The implementation of an economically viable and lasting industry is key for accelerating the use of SAF and for reducing net CO2 emissions in air transport.”
The initiative was announced in Toulouse today by Elisabeth Borne, Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, and Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, Secretary of State for Transport.
The government says although the use of aviation biofuels does not pose a problem from an operational and technical point of view, the lack of economic viability is holding back their deployment. “France, nevertheless, has all the assets to be a pioneer of this deployment: resources, mastered technology, industrialists and committed public authorities,” it argues.
To achieve a successful energy transition in air transport, five conditions have been recommended:
Mobilise the necessary volume of raw materials towards the aviation sector;
Ensure that sustainable and diverse resources and technologies, especially resources sourced from the circular economy, are used for SAF production;
Testing of biofuel distribution to verify integration into existing airport fuel logistics and infrastructure; and
Guarantee through appropriate incentive mechanisms an economic viability for all industry participants in the value chain.
The government says it wants the deployment of SAF in France to be consistent with European (for example, the Green Deal) and international (for example, CORSIA) initiatives in this area. It says several projects have been identified and the aim is to define in the short term a framework for achieving the 2025 and 2030 objectives.
The CEI is intended for any contracting authority, including groups of companies, interested in supporting all or part of an investment in France for the production of advanced biofuels that can be used in aviation. Applications should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From left to right: Guillaume Faury, CEO, Airbus; Elisabeth Borne, Minister of Ecological and Inclusive Transition; Ville Arhippainen, Head of Sales Western Europe, Airbus; Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, Secretary of State for Transport; Stéphane Cueille, Senior EVP and CTO, R&T and Innovation, Safran; Anne Rigail, CEO, Air France; Fabrice Rossignol, Senior EVP, SUEZ Recycling & Recovery France; Paul Mannes, Aviation VP, Total (photo:Airbus):