Europe could produce 1.83 million tonnes of e-kerosene in 2030 and save about five million tonnes of CO2 if policymakers boosted the market by lifting targets for its use, an umbrella group of non-governmental organisations said on Thursday.
E-kerosene, sometimes called synthetic kerosene, is a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced from CO2, water and renewably-sourced electricity.
SAFs are vital for the aviation industry's efforts to cut carbon emissions because most planes are too large to switch to battery power, as is happening in the car industry.
But they are currently expensive due to their limited availability, which makes airlines reluctant to buy them. Investors, in turn, do not want pay to make a product for which there is little demand.
According to the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), higher blending mandates - making it compulsory for all jet fuel supplied to EU airports to contain a certain proportion of SAFs - could give investors the assurance they need to expand production.
E-kerosene is the most sustainable SAF as the production of other SAFs from waste oil cannot be scaled up to the same degree and using crops such as rapeseed requires land, T&E said.
Fuel blending mandates are currently being negotiated in the context of ReFuelEU Aviation - part of the European Commission's "Fit for 55" climate package - but the current proposals are below manufacturers' production targets, T&E said.
The Commission's e-kerosene proposal of 0.7% by 2030 is too low to have an incentivising effect on the market, T&E said, suggesting a blending mandate of at least 0.1% in 2025 and at least 2% in 2030.