Airlines must move ″rapidly″ to using renewable energies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a national aviation conference at Berlin airport on Friday.
Merkel cited synthetic fuel in particular as a key component of a "disruptive renenwal" process required in the industry.
In response, Lufthansa chief executive Carsten Spohr asked for state help because synthetic fuels, generated using electricity, which itself needs stem from renewable sources in order for there to be a major environmental gain, currently cost 10 times more than standard fuel. [She] said the shift to renewable energy sources must be made "not at some point, but as rapidly as possible, because production cycles in the aviation industry are very long."
https://www.dw.com/en/angela-merkel-pus ... a-57953799
Which is a good point. Neither hydrogen nor batteries or any other alternative are capable or mature enough to provide a 1-for-1 replacement for current kerosene-fueled planes. While other industry sectors are aiming for decarbonization in the coming decades, and even developing countries are rapidly increasing their renewable energy output, aircraft manufacturers have yet to present a viable plan. Even if there was a breakthrough discovery of some super-battery right now, it would take a decade or more until the first battery airliner is delivered.
Rolls Royce is betting on sustainable - synthetic - aviation fuels as well.
Rolls-Royce, the jet engine maker, has said that all products launched after 2030 will be capable of running with net zero carbon emissions as part of decarbonising plans that rely heavily on replacing fossil fuels with synthetic alternatives that are yet to be approved.
Rolls-Royce is instead pinning its hopes on synthetic fuels, which the industry calls “sustainable aviation fuels”, or SAF. Almost identical chemically, but produced from non-oil sources, the fuels could theoretically result in significantly less or even zero new carbon emissions across their lifecycle.
https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... zero-plans
Fundamentally, SAF appears to be viable. Test flights have operated successfully, an A350 as given in the article above, a H145 helicopter, and perhaps others. Studies even show that the 'cleaner' synthetic fuel burns with less soot, leading to fewer contrails - another impact of aviation on the climate.