Planned biofuels policies in the United States and Europe include sustainability requirements, but new fuel pathways and new feedstock processing technologies must be commercialized to support future growth. The biojet must be produced using sustainable raw materials to avoid the risk of negative impacts on biodiversity, freshwater systems, food prices and availability. The IEA’s net zero scenario revealed that to support growth, new production of biofuels, including AFS, can and must increasingly come from waste, residues and fuelwood crops grown on marginal land. and cultivated land unsuitable for food production. The Clean Skies Coalition sees a limited role for used cooking oil and residual fat, which it says could only supply a maximum of 5% of aviation fuel demand in 2030, and excludes oilseeds edible as an acceptable raw material. The ReFuelEU proposal also recommends excluding fuels for animal feed and food crops. Edible oil crops and wastes and residues (mainly used cooking oil and animal wastes) are the main raw materials for the proposed biojet facilities.
Since the expected volumes through 2026 remain relatively low and biojet factories could accept oils from other raw materials in the future, raw materials and sustainability constraints are not yet a major constraint. However, the raw material constraints for used cooking oil, animal fats, and edible oil crops are likely to apply at some point if the biojet is to scale to the scale envisioned in the net zero scenario of l. IEA, either as a cost issue or as an unacceptable impact on sustainability measures. In the medium and long term, the biojet will have to be produced mainly from waste, residues (beyond used cooking oil and animal waste) and crops that do not compete with arable land.
Governments will also need to include GHG performance criteria as part of FAS support. This is already the case in proposed and existing policies in Europe and the United States, examples from which other countries considering FAS support could draw inspiration.
Biojet is ready to take off if governments are ready to establish the right policy environment. Long-term growth, however, depends on the commercialization of technologies and new raw materials that do not compete with edible crops and use waste and residues beyond animal fat and used cooking oil.