Questions and answers about sustainable aviation fuel and the Fly Green Fund
What is the Fly Green Fund?
The Fly Green Fund is a non-profit organisation offering individuals, businesses and public organisations a more sustainable way of flying through the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Our goal is to increase the demand for sustainable aviation fuel and to stimulate its production in Scandinavia. By increasing the use of sustainable aviation fuel the Fly Green Fund hopes to contribute to making aviation a more sustainable means of transportation.
Read more about Fly Green Fund
Who is behind Fly Green Fund?
The fund was started in 2015 by Karlstad Airport, SkyNRG and NISA (Nordic Iniative for Sustainable Aviation). Today the fund is supported by two partners, Swedavia and SRF (Sveriges Regionala Flygplatser = Sweden’s Regional Airports) who covers parts of the fund’s administrative costs.
How much money is needed to finance the fund?
The Fly Green Fund is supported by partners who wish to make aviation more sustainable, who pays an annual fee to cover parts of the fund’s administrative costs.
75% of the money that businesses, individuals and other organisations pay to the Fly Green Fund is used to purchase sustainable aviation fuel. 25% is used to develop the market and to support initiatives that will increase demand and supply of sustainable aviation fuel.
Why is sustainable aviation fuel important?
In order to reduce the rate of global warming anthropogenic carbon emissions need to be drastically reduced.Most of the carbon emissions in the aviation sector come from the burning of fossil fuels. Thus, every sector needs to end the use fossil fuels and turn to sustainable and renewable alternatives. The sustainable aviation fuel that Fly Green Fund purchase emits 70-80% less carbon dioxide than fossil jet fuel.
By buying sustainable aviation fuel you help reduce the carbon emissions at the source and contribute to making flying more sustainable.
What are sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) made of?
Sustainable aviation fuel is produced from sustainable and renewable feedstocks. Sustainable fuel does not compete with food production or lead to deforestation. SAF can, for example be made from algae, residues from the paper or forest industry, domestic waste, waste oils from biological origin, slaughterhouse waste, camelina or carbon dioxide and water (so called electro fuels).
Is there a risk that SAF contains palm oil?
According to the new directive from the EU (EU REDII) palm oil is prohibited in SAF within the EU. That also includes PFAD. PFAD stands for Palm Fatty Acid Distillate and is a by-product from the production of palm oil. PFAD is used in animal feed and in the production of washing-powder and soap as well as raw material in the cosmetic industry. PFAD can also be used in the production of biofuel and HVO-diesel. Fly Green Fund is committed to only purchase fuel that is truly sustainable which includes being PFAD-free.
Where does the SAF that the Fly Green Fund delivers come from?
To date, the fuel that we have delivered comes from California, USA and is made of used cooking oil. The company World Energy (previously AltAir) produces the fuel and SkyNRG distributes it.
Can it really be sustainable to ship the fuel from the USA to Scandinavia?
The fuel’s sustainability is assessed trough a life cycle analysis. When the SAF is transported from California, the climate reduction is diminished by four percent. The SAF still reduces 70 – 80 % of the carbon emissions compared to fossil fuel.
By stimulating local production of sustainable aviation fuel, we wish to increase the sustainability even more. SAF produced in the Nordic countries could reduce 90-95% of the carbon emissions compared to fossil jet fuel. Locally produced fuel will also mean lower shipping costs, which in turn will lead to a lower fuel price.
Why is it so difficult to start production in Sweden?
The demand for locally produced SAF has been low for a long time. Consequently, the interest to start a Nordic production of sustainable jet fuel has been low and investors have been reluctant to invest.
Thanks to an increasing public climate awareness and increased knowledge about the profit for our climate when using SAF, the demand for locally produced fuel is rising. Conditions for local fuel production in Sweden are improving. In the near future both Preem and ST1 will start producing sustainable aviation fuel at the same time other producers are investigating possibilities to produce SAF with various different methods. As the availability of fossil free aviation fuels increase, prices are expected to fall – which in its turn will further increase both demand and production.
How long have we been allowed to fly on sustainable aviation fuels?
Since the first commercial flight with bio jet in 2011, more than 150 000 flights have been made with a mixture of sustainable fuel and traditional jet fuel. Today, there are six certified methods of producing sustainable fuels using different feedstocks and more are being evaluated and certified.
How much biomass is available in relation to the demand for aviation?
A fossil fuel free Swedish domestic air-traffic would need about 2 TWh of sustainable fuel annually. That corresponds to about 200,000 m3 fossil fuel free fuel which in turn corresponds to 1,5 % of the annual Swedish production of bio energy. Completely fossil fuel free flights, both domestic and international would need about 1.2 million m3 fossil-free fuel which corresponds to about 9% of the Swedish production of bio energy.
In their report ”Bioenergi på rätt sätt” the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Energy Agency, the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the Swedish Forest Agency concludes that Sweden could sustainably increase its bioenergy supply by about 50 TWh in the short run and 90 TWh in the longer run. In addition, the potential in so called electro fuels – fuel made from carbon dioxide – can be added in the longer perspective. Thus, the availability of biomass is not the problem. The challenge is to make it available and affordable for aviation.
Doesn’t the impact on the climate from aviation mean that we should fly less?
To fly less is one way of reducing the impact of aviation on our climate. Certain journeys, however, are difficult to make with other means of transport, and travelling is important for both exchanging knowledge, experience, goods and – last but not least – for contributing to a more open and tolerant world. It is important that the climate impact of aviation is reduced through technical development, flying with fuel-efficient aircrafts and by using sustainable fuels.
How does aviation handle its non- CO₂ emissions?
Aviation must, just like any other means of transport, reduce its impact on our climate. This includes the climate effects caused by non- CO₂ emissions. The engines on newer airplanes burn its fuel more efficiently with lower non-CO₂ emissions and so-called turbo prop aircraft never reach the altitudes. Thus, your choice of airline also matters.
It is worth mentioningthat many domestic flights, or flights under one hour, never reach altitudes where non- CO₂ emission cause additional warming.
Does sustainable aviation fuel reduce the “non Co2-effects”?
NASA (amongst others) have shown sustainable aviation decreases the non- CO₂ emissions and thus its impact. Using a 50% blend, will reduce the occurrence of long-lived contrails by 50-70%. The aircraft manufacturer Boeing has also noted that the fuel consumption is reduced when sustainable aviation fuel is used.
Why are some people sceptical to the possibility of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) solving the climate challenges in the aviation industry?
Replacing fossil fuel with sustainable fuel is an important part of aviation industry’s efforts to become sustainable. However, continued technical development in order to reduce fuel consumption, is as important as well as the development of electric aircrafts. A more effective use of the airspace would also reduce fuel consumption and consequently emissions.
There is a common misconception that changes in fuel the aviation industry will lead to massive deforestation and demand huge amounts of farmland otherwise used for food production. That is not correct. With the existing supply of unused forests residues and with the wide spectrum of other feedstocks which can be used to produce aviation fuel, and through the use of more efficient aircrafts it is quite possible to cover aviation industry’s need for sustainable fuel.
How can I fly more sustainable?
You can swish money to Fly Green Fund: 123 131 41 37 or pay with your credit card.
How does aviation affect the climate?
When airplanes burn fossil fuel the carbon emissions contribute to the global warming. When jet fuel is burnt, nitrogen oxides (NOx), soot and water is released. At altitudes between 8,000 – 12,000 meters, these emissions may also contribute to global warming. These climate effects have a rather short atmospheric “lifetime” (ranging from a few minutes to weeks) their climate impact is highly dependent on the location, season and time of day of emissions – unlike CO₂ emissions which spread over the globe during their lifetime of centuries or more. The most visible and also biggest non-CO₂ contributor to climate warming comes from contrails. Contrails are the white lines often seen behind aircrafts which are caused by water vapor condensing around soot in the plane’s emissions. When these contrails spread out as cirrus clouds, thin and wispy high-level clouds, they may contribute to the global warming. It is expected that night-time flying accounts for 60%-80% of all contrail forcing from planes, despite accounting for just a quarter of flights. This is because while contrails trap warming infrared energy during both day and night, this is offset somewhat during the day by a cooling effect as they reflect sunlight back into space. Studies also suggest that winter flights have a far bigger overall warming effect than those taken during the rest of the year, since contrails are more likely to form when it is cold. In general, its impact largely depends on atmospheric conditions, such as temperature and the background concentrations of water vapour and nitrogen oxides.
Although it is estimated that the total historic impact of aviation on the climate have been around two times higher than for CO₂ emissions alone, scientist argue that doubling the carbon emissions in carbon calculators in order to take them into account is incorrect due to their much shorter lifespan and the vast variety of factors that determines a single flights non- CO₂ related climate impact.
How much carbon dioxide is emitted by aviation?
Globally aviation is responsible for 2-3% of all carbon dioxide emissions. The total climate impact is however, when the impact of non- CO₂ emissions is considered aviation may contribute to about 5% of anthropogenic global warming emissions.
Where did the idea about a fund for sustainable aviation fuel come from?
The idea of the fund was born at Karlstad Airport where a tank for bio fuel was installed as early as 2014. Even though the prices of sustainable aviation fuel have since fallen, it is still 3-4 times more expensive than conventional jet fuel. This means that airlines cannot carry the extra costs for flying on SAF on their own. Inspired by the KLM Corporate Program – which already offered a way to support the use of fossil free jet fuel – the fund was established for opening up this option for the broader market and independent of choice of airline.
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