Given the current trend of spiraling fuel costs, it should not come as a surprise that the aviation industry has been in the doldrums over the same. Many an airline company has gone under, simply because they were unable to remain competitive under the high cost of aviation fuel. And if that is not enough, there’s global warming to queer the pitch further.
At the latest UN climate meet, it was impressed on all nations that there would have to be a firm commitment to reduce each nation’s carbon footprint and most have given guarantees on the same. Essentially, this means that all companies world over are required to go ‘green’ so as to speak and take effective measures to reduce their carbon footprint. As to whether this move would indeed reduce the greenhouse effect and mitigate the current global warming trend, remains to be seen.
What should be pointed out is that the earth’s resources are limited and not infinite, and given the global warming trend and that conventional fuel often results in massive tons of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere. Given this, perhaps it is time that the whole world opted for renewable fuel rather than depend on conventional ones. Imagine the third rock from the sun, the earth being depleted of all fuel, and the resultant chaos; it is but natural to turn the focus away from conventional fuel options to sustainable ones.
Aviation and Sustainable Fuel
Recently, the aviation Industry took affirmative measures to reduce their carbon footprint with the carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation (CORSIA). But given the current global warming trend, the knockdown effect on inflation and spiraling costs on inflation, more companies are spending on research on sustainable fuels.
That is indeed the welcome news, but the recent announcement by Nestle and Air BP, of a joint venture, only show that these two companies have decided to pool their talents as a way to develop and market their sustainable aviation fuel. The news is indeed welcome, but it deserves a closer look at the same to see if sustainable aviation fuel can indeed become a reality.
Changing the industry
There’s not much difference between renewable and sustainable fuels; the latter is more energy efficient. Essentially, the process to obtain or develop sustainable fuels should not cost much so that the cost factor acts as an impediment to developing more of the same. For example, petrol prices had shot all the way up on weak global cues, and one of the main reasons for the spiraling cost is global warming and the disastrous effect it had on most nations worldwide. This is why more companies are spending more on researching renewable energies, and that includes sustainable fuel.
Sustainable fuel is generally made from waste products, where the waste food stock is often used to create sustainable fuel which can help companies’ world over to reduce their carbon footprint. Both kerosene and renewable hydrocarbons are used to create this fuel, and any fuel thus manufactured is termed as A1 fuel as it is mostly made from homemade items.
Essentially, this means that airline companies and private plane players alike can use it freely and that should translate to a lesser reliance on traditional fuels. Given the fact that the Aviation industry has been under a lot of pressure in the last few years over their need to reduce their respective carbon footprint and yet at the same time to remain competitive – it does not come as a surprise the increasing fervor with which some of the smaller airlines are opting for alternative fuels.
Sustainable fuels are not made from petroleum and are quite energy efficient; what’s more, they can certainly help provide a solution to the current problem regarding fuel and consumption of the same.
Overcoming the Prejudice
It is not going to be easy to get most of the aviation industry to fall in line; the fact is that almost everyone loathes to try out something new and the same applies to sustainable aviation fuel. As the Air BP Chief executive officer Jon Platt voiced similar thoughts, one thing had become apparent. Sustainable aviation fuel is here to stay, and it can actually help airline companies save money in the long run by lowering their dependence on traditional fuels and in the process, minimize their carbon footprint.
The fact is that while the aviation industry has set for itself lofty targets where carbon footprint is concerned, this can only be achieved by proactive measures by the companies concerned such as sustainable aviation fuel.
But irrespective of whether other companies want to enact measures to lower their dependence on traditional fuels, they may soon be forced to do so. Recently, Norway made the news for unexpected reasons when it was rumored that the Norwegian government might soon introduce new laws for the whole aviation industry around 2020.
The new law will soon take effect and force airline companies operating out of Norway to meet a minimum threshold where sustainable air fuel is concerned. In other words, these companies may soon find themselves backed into a corner as they are forced to utilize sustainable air-fuel over other current variants.
First Transatlantic Flight
Richard Branson and his Virgin airlines made the news when it was leaked that they used sustainable biofuel in one of their commercial flights. This only underscores the fact that more companies are now open to the idea of sustainable aviation fuels and have already started exploring options that can help them to save money in the long run.
Irrespective of how the rest of the aviation industry views the recent tie-up between Nestle and Air BP or Virgin airlines and the fact that it completed a commercial flight across the Atlantic with sustainable biofuel, one thing is clear though. Sustainable fuels, especially sustainable aviation fuel is here to stay for the long run. It is time for airline companies to change their tune and be more open to the idea of sustainable fuels rather than depending on the old ones. Give it a thought that how beneficial it would be for flying companies to consider the use of sustainable fuel in the for the long run.