Future of renewable jet fuel faces questions despite hefty new incentives

Source: By Philip Brasher, Agri-Pulse • Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2022

It could take years for sustainable aviation fuels to take off despite significant, but temporary, new tax credits included in a newly enacted package of financial incentives intended to jump-start progress on the Biden administration’s climate goals.

Some analysts question whether ethanol can qualify as a feedstock for SAF. The new $1.25-per-gallon tax specifically requires feedstocks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% compared to fossil fuels. Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, said he believes SAF made from ethanol could qualify for the new tax incentives. He believes the ethanol industry can get well under the 50% carbon intensity limit with improved farming practices and use of renewable power and carbon sequestration. The use of cover crops, for example, could reduce the carbon footprint of the corn grown on that land. “We are quite confident a large share of our industry, certainly by 2025, will be eligible for” the clean fuel credit, he said.