On September 9, 2021, the Biden administration issued a fact sheet (Fact Sheet) describing recent actions that aim to produce 3 billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) annually, reduce aviation emissions by 20% by 2030, and grow good-paying, union jobs.

The Fact Sheet notes that “aviation (including all non-military flights within and departing from the United States) represents 11% of United States transportation-related emissions. Without increased action, aviation’s share of emissions is likely to increase as more people and goods fly” and that “President Biden proposed a Sustainable Aviation Fuel tax credit as part of the Build Back Better Agenda. This credit will help cut costs and rapidly scale domestic production of sustainable fuels for aviation. The proposed tax credit requires at least a 50% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and offers increased incentive for greater reductions.”

In this Blog Post, we highlight important aspects of the Fact Sheet, as well as related initiatives from the US Department of Energy (DOE) in support of SAF development in the United States.

The Fact Sheet describes actions, including:

  • A new Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge to inspire the dramatic increase in the production of sustainable aviation fuels to at least 3 billion gallons per year by 2030;
  • New and ongoing funding opportunities to support sustainable aviation fuel projects and fuel producers totaling up to $4.3 billion;
  • An increase in R&D activities to demonstrate new technologies that can achieve at least a 30% improvement in aircraft fuel efficiency; and
  • Efforts to improve air traffic and airport efficiency to reduce fuel use, eliminate lead exposure, and ensure cleaner air in and around airports.

The Fact Sheet notes that the Biden administration also “plans to release an aviation climate action plan in the coming months, which will set forth a comprehensive plan for aviation.”

The DOE, in a related announcement and to support the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Grand Challenge, announced “$64.7 million in funding for projects focused on producing cost-effective, low-carbon biofuels. These investments will advance technologies to create replacements for petroleum fuels used in heavy-duty forms of transportation, like airplanes and ships, and accelerate America’s path to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.”

Similarly, in a related blog post, DOE’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) stated, “Commercial-scale SAF projects that utilize innovative technology and avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions and meet other program requirements may be eligible for loan guarantees under the LPO’s Title 17 Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program. LPO has received strong interest from SAF project developers about the potential for DOE financing of SAF production facilities.”