December 1, 2023 8:48 AM

Sustainability: Ireland could start producing sustainable jet fuel from 2030: study

DUBLIN: Ireland’s offshore wind power plans could see it produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from around 2030 but “significant progress” is needed to develop SAF at scale, a study showed on Wednesday.
Securing enough SAF supply is the aviation industry’s biggest challenge in its push for net-zero emissions, as traditional jet fuel is a major polluter and sustainable alternatives remain costly and in scarce supply.
The feasibility study carried out by SAF producer SkyNRG and the SFS Ireland research group found Ireland’s main opportunity lies in synthetic e-fuels or eSAFs, which are made with captured carbon and green hydrogen and currently produced in even lower quantities than other alternative fuels.
Neither feedstock is available in Ireland right now but the recent awarding of offshore wind project contracts with more than enough capacity to power every Irish home could produce enough green hydrogen “in principle” to fill the 10 SAF plants required to meet Ireland’s share of EU mandated SAF volumes.
“With the potential for offshore wind in Ireland and the ability to have that abundantly available, there is an opportunity to use that pathway to produce SAF,” SkyNRG’s head of future fuels Oskar Meijerink told Reuters.
“But to get there we still need quite a bit of development in the country in terms of policy incentives and clear road maps.”
Meijerink said captured carbon would not be in as plentiful supply, meaning Ireland would have to import the feedstock if it wanted to become a SAF exporter.
The report, which was supported by Boeing and Irish aircraft leasing firms Avolon and ORIX Aviation, said government incentives such as tax credits, capital allowances and pricing guarantees are needed to develop a viable eSAF business case.
Investment would also be needed in hydrogen transport and storage while grid congestion issues would have to be addressed.
Irish Enterprise Minister Simon Coveney said in a statement that the government looked forward to engaging further with industry to explore Ireland’s SAF potential.

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