The Race for Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Dan Biofuels/Energy

Fuel nozzle filling up aircraft, refueling jet fuel in an aircraft wing.
By NadaK2/DepositPhotos image

The global race is on for existing and prospective sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Those words from the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), which held a webinar this week titled Putting a Price on Sustainable Aviation Fuel. OPIS Biofuels Director Jordan Godwin says the conversation around the evolving SAF landscape – so far – involves a lot of promises.

“There’s been a lot of projects announced in this space, a lot of promises made by airlines as they set their respective goals of trying to blend more sustainable aviation fuel into their in their fuel supply,” Godwin said during the webinar hosted by OPIS. “We’ve been all over it.”


However, there is a lack of tangible results when it comes to the widespread production and usage of sustainable aviation fuel. Godwin noted that the current cost of producing SAF is significantly higher than that of jet fuel. He said the industry needs tax credits to level the playing field.

“We’ve also heard that there are people working on these sort of certificates where, for example, when you go to buy your airline ticket, it may give you an option of would you like to add X amount to your the cost of your ticket to offset your carbon footprint or whatever it may be, to kind of ask the consumer to voluntarily help pay for the cost of the SAF,” he said. “That could be a development that we’ll see over the next five years or so. It wouldn’t surprise me at all.” Experts expect the Biden administration to release a preliminary climate model for its sustainable aviation fuel subsidy program in the coming weeks.

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.