Simulation-Based Analysis of the Potential of Alternative Fuels towards Reducing CO2 Emissions from Aviation
The mid-term framework of global aviation is shaped by air travel demand growth rates of 2–5% p.a. and ambitious targets to reduce aviation-related CO2 emissions by up to 50% until 2050. Alternative jet fuels such as bio- or electrofuels can be considered as a potential means towards low-emission aviation. While these fuels offer significant emission reduction potential, their market success depends on manifold influencing factors like the maturity of the production technology or the development of the price of conventional jet fuel. To study the potential for adoption of alternative jet fuels in aviation and the extent to which alternative fuels can contribute to the reduction targets, we deploy a System Dynamics approach. The results indicate that the adoption of alternative fuels and therefore their potential towards low-emissions aviation is rather limited in most scenarios considered since current production processes do not allow for competitive prices compared to conventional jet fuel. This calls for the development of new production processes that allow for economic feasibility of converting biomass or hydrogen into drop-in fuels as well as political measures to promote the adoption of alternative fuels.