Sustainable Aviation Fuel Volumes Growing but Still Missing Opportunities IATA Says

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced estimates for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production.

In 2023, SAF volumes reached over 600 million liters (0.5 Mt), double the 300 million liters (0.25 Mt) produced in 2022. SAF accounted for 3% of all renewable fuels produced, with 97% of renewable fuel production going to other sectors.

In 2024 SAF production is expected to triple to 1.875 billion liters (1.5Mt), accounting for 0.53% of aviation’s fuel need, and 6% of renewable fuel capacity.

The small percentage of SAF output as a proportion of overall renewable fuel is primarily due to the new capacity coming online in 2023 being allocated to other renewable fuels.

“The doubling of SAF production in 2023 was encouraging as is the expected tripling of production expected in 2024. But even with that impressive growth, SAF as a portion of all renewable fuel production will only grow from 3% this year to 6% in 2024. This allocation limits SAF supply and keeps prices high,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

“Aviation needs between 25% and 30% of renewable fuel production capacity for SAF. At those levels aviation will be on the trajectory needed to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Until such levels are reached, we will continue missing huge opportunities to advance aviation’s decarbonization. It is government policy that will make the difference. Governments must prioritize policies to incentivize the scaling-up of SAF production and to diversify feedstocks with those available locally,” added Walsh.