The race for ‘green’ aviation fuel begins with 56,000 million and 270,000 jobs at stake

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Europe’s interest in decarbonizing the aviation sector may have an impact of about 56,000 million euros in the GDP of Spain, where it could also generate 270,000 jobs. According to a study carried out by PwC for Iberia and Vueling, the five million tons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) that Spain would need in 2050 could be produced with between 30 and 40 plants spread throughout the country. that would generate this wealth. In addition, the sector highlights the opportunity of being on time for this global race to lead the SAF market, especially in a country as dependent on tourism that arrives by plane as Spain is.

Thus, with a scenario of 32 plants throughout Spain (three plant biofuels, 12 biofuels from biomass, 12 developed with agricultural and forestry residues, and five synthetic fuels), with an investment of 22,362 million euros in the process. of construction would be achieved an impact on the Gross Domestic Product of 13,304 million euros and 251,340 jobs would be created. Later, in the operation phase, an estimated 50,129 million euros of income, 42,851 million impact on GDP and 19,703 jobs. As highlighted by the airlines at the event, they have already conveyed to the Government and the opposition the importance of investing in the sector, in addition to developing it and facilitating its regulation.

The report takes as a reference the year 2019, prior to the pandemic, in which 942,000 commercial flights in Spain, 135 million passengers, a total consumption of 7.2 million liters of fuel and 18.5 million tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.

The document was presented at an event attended by Teresa ParejoDirector of Sustainability at Iberia, and Frank Sanmartin, Director of Sustainability at Vueling. Both had an impact on the opportunity of entering this market. In Parejo’s opinion, it can mean “employment and wealth” for Spain, but also independence and energy sovereignty for Europe. Sanmartí, for his part, recalled that it is a “fundamental lever for the decarbonization of air transport.” In any case, Europe has already made it clear that it believes that the SAF is the solution to decarbonise flights.

According to the ReFuelEU Aviation initiative, which is part of the fit for 55 legislative package, aircraft fuel suppliers at European Union airports will be required to increase the amount of sustainable fuels they supply. It will do so gradually -currently the percentage is practically testimonial- starting from 2% in 2025 until reaching 70% in 2050 (The target was recently updated from 63% before.) In between there will be several milestones -6% in 2030, 20% in 2035, 34% in 2040 and 42% in 2045-, several of which have also increased.

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