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Sustainable Aviation Fuel – or SAF – is expected to be the biggest contributor to aviation’s plans to reach net zero by 2050. And SAF has the potential to reduce emissions by up to 80%. 

Despite being up to three times as expensive as traditional jet fuel, every drop of SAF available in 2022 was used by airlines. Even with a 200% increase in production from the year before, orders still outstripped supply. The market signal is strong, but there’s still a lag in the production capacity of SAF. Airlines believe government production incentives and encouraging financial investment are key.

For SAF to fully play its part in aviation reaching net zero, there needs to be an annual production capacity of 450 billion litres by 2050. To achieve this, investors, producers and governments will need to be on the same page. 

Paddy Lowe, Co-founder, Zero Petroleum; Preeti Jain, Global Director, LanzaTech; Jonathan Bloch, Executive Director, Sustainable Finance, ANZ Banking Group, and Laurence Wildgoose, Assistant Administrator for Policy, International Affairs & Environment, US Federal Aviation Administration, were the panelists gathered to discuss this hot topic around financing this energy transition and achieving the potential of SAF.

It will be critical to unlock financing for this technological and energy transition, to diversify feedstocks to use, and realize the socio-economic benefits that can come with making more renewable or e-fuels available to the market.  This is why supporting, and incentivizing policies are needed to create snowball effects and free up risk capital early – with the help of banks and governments.

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