Tuesday, May 14, 2024

"‘Magical thinking’: hopes for sustainable jet fuel not realistic, report finds"

Along with using corn ethanol for any purpose other than drinking, green aviation fuel is one of the dumbest ideas in energy since....since...since Germany decided to shutter their nuclear power plants because of the tsunami that followed the earthquake in Japan.

From The Guardian, May 14:

IPS report says replacement fuels well off track to replace kerosene within timeframe needed to avert climate disaster

Hopes that replacement fuels for airplanes will slash carbon pollution are misguided and support for these alternatives could even worsen the climate crisis, a new report has warned.

There is currently “no realistic or scalable alternative” to standard kerosene-based jet fuels, and touted “sustainable aviation fuels” are well off track to replace them in a timeframe needed to avert dangerous climate change, despite public subsidies, the report by the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive thinktank, found.

“While there are kernels of possibility, we should bring a high level of skepticism to the claims that alternative fuels will be a timely substitute for kerosene-based jet fuels,” the report said.

Chuck Collins, co-author of the report, said: “To bring these fuels to the scale needed would require massive subsidies, the trade-offs would be unacceptable and would take resources aware from more urgent decarbonization priorities.

“It’s a huge greenwashing exercise by the aviation industry. It’s magical thinking that they will be able to do this.”

In the US, Joe Biden’s administration has set a goal for 3bn gallons of sustainable aviation fuel, which is made from non-petroleum sources such as food waste, woody biomass and other feedstocks, to be produced by 2030, which it said will cut aviation’s planet-heating emissions by 20%. Globally, flying accounts for about 2% of all emissions, with the world’s wealthiest people the prime instigators of this form of pollution.

This sustainable fuels target will require an enormous 18,887% increase in production, based on 2022 production levels, this decade, the new report found.

“It’s just not scalable,” said Collins....


Aye lad, there's the rub: scalable.

If interested see also Technical chapter C: Planes II of Sir David JC Mackay's book "Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air.

He put it online concurrently with publication.

In Addition To Vaclav Smil, Another Energy Heavyweight Made His Book Open Access