ReFuelEU, the accelerator for production and use of sustainable aviation fuel

Authors: Berta Matas Güell and Judit Sandquist

In the frame of the recently finished (30 June 2023) EU project SUPEERA a series of policy briefs have been developed to identify concrete R&I challenges in EU policies relevant to the energy research community. Among those, SINTEF Energy Research has been the major contributor of a policy brief on ReFuelEU, evaluating the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation on ensuring a level playing field for sustainable air transport.

The SUPEERA project supports the coordination of national research and innovation programmes in areas of activities of the European Energy Research Alliance


After introducing shortly ReFuelEU, followed by a list of identified R&I challenges related to the proposal, the policy brief is structured into three main blocks.

The first one addresses the importance of aviation and its continued growth in the coming decades, the expected increased emissions associated to such growth, and the crucial role sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) will play in reducing the air transport carbon footprint in the short to mid-term. This first section also acknowledges the relevance of ReFuelEU as a policy tool to define concrete SAF mandates to boost SAF production and uptake while lowering production costs.

The second block analyses the four success factors needed to accelerate the production and scale-up of SAF, thus bringing large volumes of such fuels into the market. The four success factors are feedstock availability, production costs, sustainability of SAF production and favourable policy frameworks. For each of these success factors, the state of the art is described, and the most relevant R&I challenges are identified and highlighted.

The third and final block of this policy brief concludes with key take-aways.

Complete Policy brief (pdf).


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