Path Creation towards Sustainable Aviation Fuels 2018-11-29آ  Path Creation Towards Sustainable Aviation

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  • Master Thesis Exposé:

    Path Creation towards Sustainable Aviation Fuels

    Submitted by:

    Lilli Kulta

    Kassel, 31.10.2018

  • Path Creation Towards Sustainable Aviation Fuels 1

    ABSTRACT

    Background This thesis focuses on the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as a way of reducing

    CO2 emissions in aviation industry, and the current state of path creation

    towards using SAFs in aviation. The aviation industry is emitting 2,5% of the

    global carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. There are various technologies which

    have made sustainable aviation fuels ready for commercial scale production.

    Therefore, the main obstacle for widespread uptake of sustainable aviation

    fuels is not due to technical reasons. Instead the main barriers are related to

    economic and policy issues in the market, especially the high costs of

    sustainable aviation fuels.

    Purpose The purpose of this thesis is to explore the current state of path creation in

    aviation industry towards using sustainable aviation fuels with technological

    innovation systems framework. This is achieved by finding out airlines’

    current perspectives towards sustainable aviation fuels and how prepared

    airlines are to use sustainable aviation fuels. The study will also focus on

    getting insights why the airlines are acting the way they are and their attitudes

    towards SAFs and voluntary carbon offsets as a way to off-set the higher price

    issue of SAFs.

    Methodology This study focuses on the phenomena of path creation, which means that the

    objective is to find answers to why and how questions. Hence the qualitative

    research is the most suitable research methodology for the purposes of this

    study. The qualitative data is collected by conducting semi-structured

    interviews. The answers are then outlined and analyzed comprehensively. The

    quality criteria for the study is composed of uniformity and trustworthiness of

    the interviewees’ answers about the airlines’ perspectives towards sustainable

    aviation fuels. Whatever the conclusion of the study will be, it should be

    considered as suggestive by the nature.

    Keywords sustainable aviation fuel, path creation, technological innovation systems,

    aviation industry, biofuel, path dependency

  • Path Creation Towards Sustainable Aviation Fuels 2

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................................... 1

    TABLE OF CONTENTS ..................................................................................................................... 2

    LIST OF FIGURES .............................................................................................................................. 3

    LIST OF TABLES ................................................................................................................................ 3

    LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS .............................................................................................................. 3

    1. INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................... 4

    1.1 BACKGROUND .......................................................................................................................... 4

    1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS ................................................. 7

    1.3 STRUCTURE ............................................................................................................................... 9

    2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK ................................................................................................ 10

    2.1 AVIATION INDUSTRY AND CLIMATE CHANGE .............................................................. 10

    2.2 SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL .......................................................................................... 13

    2.3 PATH DEPENDENCE AND LOCK-IN EFFECT..................................................................... 16

    2.4 PATH CREATION ..................................................................................................................... 18

    3. RESEARCH QUESTION .............................................................................................................. 22

    4. METHODOLOGY ......................................................................................................................... 25

    4.1 RESEARCH DESIGN ................................................................................................................ 25

    4.2 QUALITATIVE RESEARCH .................................................................................................... 26

    4.3 DATA COLLECTION ............................................................................................................... 27

    4.4 DATA ANALYSIS ..................................................................................................................... 27

    4.5 QUALITY CRITERIA ............................................................................................................... 28

    OVERVIEW OF CHAPTERS ........................................................................................................... 30

    PLAN OF WORK ............................................................................................................................... 31

    BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................................................................................................. 32

  • Path Creation Towards Sustainable Aviation Fuels 3

    LIST OF FIGURES

    Figure 1. Long term targets for international aviation CO₂ emissions (Noh, Benito & Alonso,

    2016) .......................................................................................................................................... 5

    Figure 2. Stylized net global CO₂ emission pathways. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate

    Change, 2018) ............................................................................................................................ 6

    Figure 3. Transport CO₂ emissions by region (International Energy Agency, 2018) .............. 11

    LIST OF TABLES

    Table 1. Functions of technological innovation systems (Suurs et al., 2010) ......................... 21

    LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

    CO₂ carbon dioxide

    CORSIA Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation

    GHG greenhouse gas

    IATA International Air Transport Association

    ICAO Intergovernmental Civil Aviation Organization

    IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

    SAF sustainable aviation fuel

    TIS Technological Innovation Systems

    VCO voluntary carbon offset

  • Path Creation Towards Sustainable Aviation Fuels 4

    1. INTRODUCTION

    This paper analyzes the current state of path creation in aviation industry towards using

    sustainable aviation fuels. This section intends to give a brief overview of the topic and to the

    research conducted in this thesis. Sustainable aviation fuels have several other names such as,

    advanced aviation biofuel, bio jet fuel, bio-kerosene, alternative jet fuel and aviation biofuel.

    For the sense of consistency, the sustainable aviation fuel will be used to describe all the

    previously mentioned other forms in this thesis.

    1.1 BACKGROUND

    The aviation industry is emitting 2,5% of the global carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions. These

    emissions have high probability to increase in the near future due to rising living standards and

    accelerating travel activities in emerging countries such as China, Brazil and India.

    Additionally, growing world trade flows will result in ascending amount of flights per year.

    Therefore, international aviation industry has developed a self-commitment of carbon neutral

    growth from the year 2020. This leads to CO₂ emission reduction of 50% in 2050 related to the

    year 2005. The ways to achieve the goal include more efficient aircrafts, optimized flight

    operations and sustainable aviation fuels that have significantly reduced carbon footprint.

    According to this plan extensive reduction on CO₂ emissions results from the market

    introduction of sustainable aviation fuels to aviation illustrated in the figure 1. (Neuling &

    Kaltschmitt, 2018)

  • Path Creation Towards Sustainable Aviation Fuels 5

    Figure 1. Long term targets for international aviation CO₂ emissions (Noh, Benito & Alonso,

    2016)

    According to research conducted by Staples, Malina, Suresh, Hileman and Barrett (2018), the

    use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) could reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

    from aviation by a maximum 68,1 % in 2050. However, this requires offsetting more than 85%

    of projected demand for petroleum derived jet fuel with SAF. In this scenario there are in

    addition several other requirements related to the previous. These include prices or policies to

    emphasize SAF production relative to other ways of utilization for bioenergy resou

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