Airlines alone spent $140 billion on jet fuel in 2010. That cost grew to more than $200 billion in 2012.
Operation Renewable Jet Fuels aims to catalyze the development of a sustainable renewable fuel market that will diversify the fuel supply, reduce price volatility, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Unlike road transport, air travel still doesn’t offer the consumer a green travel option. It is our goal to try to bring about greener flights for all by getting non-petroleum fuels from demonstration stage to commercial use in airplanes around the world.
We will accomplish this by solving the information barrier, encouraging sustainable technologies and business models, and helping the industry cross the financial “valley of death.” In its current pre-commercial stage, getting the growth capital needed for commercial-scale production build out is a major challenge.
The CWR is working with partners in the financial community, leading fuel purchasers, insurers, producers, and policy makers to help launch the industry, using the data and analysis contained in our database and www.RenewableJetFuels.org.Learn more about the important work of Carbon War Room's Operation Renewable Jet Fuels at RenewableJetFuels.
About the Aviation Operation
Aviation is responsible for approximately 2% of annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The industry is projected to grow by 300% and generate over 5% of global emissions by 2050, if it continues with business as usual. In addition, aviation is highly vulnerable to fuel price fluctuations with fuel representing one third of an average airline’s operating costs. Fuel costs, price volatility, and the lack of alternatives (e.g. there are no electric or fuel cell powered commercial jets) have made the development of renewable jet fuels a key focal point.
Renewable jet fuels have been developed, certified, and deployed internationally on more than 1,500 flights. However, the supply of renewable fuels has not yet achieved commercial scale, which severely inhibits wider adoption by the industry. The Carbon War Room has identified key barriers to commercialization of renewable jet fuels and their rapid uptake in the marketplace through targeted convenings and intensive stakeholder engagement. These barriers include:
- Lack of transparency and information about the available technologies and producers, making it difficult to compare alternatives
- Insufficient capital invested in the development of commercial-scale production facilities
- Uncertainty regarding life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions and the overall sustainability of a diverse set of renewable fuels and producers
While the aviation industry can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions through efficiency enhancements and improved navigational systems, we focus on renewable jet fuels, which we believe are key to catalyzing change in the industry.
Successfully addressing these barriers will result in a sustainable renewable fuels industry and a more sustainable aviation sector. Virtually all aircraft CO2e emissions and approximately half of all airport CO2e emissions stem from the combustion of jet fuel, meaning that the widespread adoption of renewable jet fuel could result in a significant reduction in the industry’s CO2e emissions. In addition, by accelerating the commercialization of renewable fuel technologies, the Operation can catalyze the transition to renewables for all transport sectors and achieve gigaton-scale.
To make this vision a reality, the Carbon War Room is working with industry experts and our partners to address these barriers and scale-up production of renewable fuels, by:
- Developing innovative means of de-risking the first-of-kind financial deals in order to unlock new sources of third-party capital to fund commercial-scale advanced renewable fuel manufacturing facilities and expand sustainable supply chains
- Improving the flow and quality of information about renewable jet fuel technologies and producers to better inform decision makers in the aviation and investment communities
- Promoting the use of credible third-party sustainability certification schemes by renewable fuel suppliers and major renewable fuel consumers
Strategy & Progress
The Renewable Jet Fuels team is working with our partners to accelerate the flow of capital to enable the development of a multi-billion dollar global advanced renewable fuel industry
We have developed a comprehensive strategy to accelerate the growth of the renewable jet fuel market. Key strategy areas include:Accelerate Commercialization through Innovative Finance
- Currently, the Operation’s primary focus is advancing commercial-scale production of renewable fuels by developing an innovative finance deal that will create new business opportunities not only for renewable fuel producers and consumers, but also for the financial industry
- We launched RenewableJetFuels.org, a repository of valuable renewable jet fuel information designed to inform major fuel purchasers, investors, policy makers, and other key stakeholders
- We are transforming our proprietary renewable fuel producers’ database into an information-rich, curated, and indispensable resource
- We supported the uptake of the Roundtable for Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and other credible third-party-validated sustainability certification schemes in order to provide assurances that these new fuel supply chains are developed responsibly. Multiple renewable jet fuel producers are currently undergoing RSB certification
Getting Involved with Renewable Jet Fuels
- Airlines: Contact us to learn more and join our group of industry leaders
- Renewable fuel producers: Make sure your company is included in our producers database
- Financiers: Contact us to become involved in our innovative finance projects
Members of our advisory board lend their diverse perspectives and decades of experience in policy, finance, science, and business to our work, enhancing our ability to collectively move the sustainable renewable fuels market forward.
Dr Ausilio Bauen is a Director of the consultancy E4tech, where he works with industry, investors and governments on the assessment of bioenergy opportunities and on the development of related strategies. He is also Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College London and Head of the Bioenergy Group at the Centre for Energy Policy and Technology, where his research covers techno-economic, environmental, market and policy aspects related to bioenergy systems.
Dr Bauen has 16 years of research and consulting experience, and has leading expertise in the area of alternative transport fuels, including those for aviation. He is part of the technical and strategic advisory committees of a number of organisations, such as the UK Energy Technologies Institute, Carbon Trust (Algae Biofuels Challenge), German Biomass Research Centre, and World Bank. Since 2006, he has been advising the UK government on the implementation of the UK Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation. He is currently an advisor to the European Commission’s Flightpath Initiative on alternative fuels in aviation. He has published extensively in the bioenergy area, including leading a recent bioenergy sector review for the International Energy Agency, and a report on aviation biofuels for the UK’s Committee on Climate Change.
Britt Boughey, is COO of Beryl Renewables, which offers technical and financial consulting services on energy projects, specializing in renewable energy and advanced alternative fuels.
Beginning in 2009, Boughey began working at Booz Allen Hamilton as a Lead Associate. There he has worked across the technology readiness level range of projects, from S&T with DARPA and AFRL to evaluation of commercially mature energy projects and operational energy initiatives. He has worked many areas included gas turbine propulsion, magnetic confinement fusion, thermophotovoltaics, marine and satellite autonomy, and long endurance undersea propulsion to name a few. Boughey has been involved in all aspects of solar (photovoltaic and thermal) projects from installation to project finance since the mid 1990’s.
From 1999 to 2009, Boughey was an F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet pilot for the US Navy, completing tours with the VFA-14 Tophatters in Lemoore, CA, and the VFA-106 Gladiators in Virginia Beach, VA. He occupied various division, department, and flight leadership positions. He accrued nearly 2000 hours in the Super Hornet and over 450 carrier landings – more than half of which were at night. He currently serves in the Navy Reserve as the Executive Officer of the Office of Naval Research Science and Technology 103 unit, where he coordinates and leads Navy Power and Energy research projects.
After returning from a lengthy Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment in 2003, Boughey began to get heavily involved in biofuels. He is an amateur biodiesel brewer, and worked on using algae in the Centia process for drop-in diesel and jet fuel while at NC State in 2007-2009. He has since authored and evaluated responses to technical and financial aspects of multiple government advanced drop-in biofuel solicitations. He has met with all facets of the industry on behalf of his government clients.
Boughey graduated in 1999 from the US Naval Academy with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Engineering and worked as Trident Scholar on heat transfer via phase change. In 2007, he earned a master’s degree in business administration, focusing on international finance, from Touro College. In 2009 he earned a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Carolina State University.
Robert Boyd is the Biofuel Deployment manager at the International Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines representing some 240 airlines and 84% of total air traffic. The varied project aims to increase global deployment of biojet fuel, addressing policy, financial and logistical barriers. Robert serves as a member of the United Nations ICAO Alternative Fuels Task Force charged with scoping CO2 reduction potential to 2050. Prior to joining IATA Robert was Head Economist for Virgin Australia Airlines and co-lead of the renewable jet fuel team. During this time he was involved in establishing the Australian Initiative for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (AISAF). After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a post graduate diploma in Applied Finance Robert spent nearly 10 years in banking for both JP Morgan in Australia and Morgan Stanley in London. He earned a Master’s in Business Economics from the University of Queensland, Australia in 2008.
Barbara Bramble heads the International Climate and Energy Program of the National Wildlife Federation. Over two decades at NWF she has led strategic initiatives including: 1) an international advocacy coalition of NGOs for environmental reforms at the World Bank and other multi-lateral development banks; and 2) negotiations among private industry and civil society to establish voluntary certification systems for sustainable forest products, biofuels and agricultural commodities. Ms Bramble serves as Chair of the Steering Board of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, which has established global sustainability standards for biofuels. She helped to organise the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the Rio + 5 Conference in 1997; in the early 2000s she worked with Mexican NGOs to enhance their advocacy and environmental education skills, and chaired the Forest Stewardship Council in the US. She serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations in Mexico, Brazil and the US. She is an environmental lawyer and has worked in the Executive Office of the US President, and in private law practice.
Steve Csonka is a commercial aviation professional with 28 years of broad, strategic airline and aviation OEM experience (GE Aircraft Engines, American Airlines, GE Aviation, and CAAFI). Built upon strong technical experience that spanned the breadth of the commercial aircraft/engine life-cycle, Steve’s capabilities over the last decade have led to engagements in business development and long-term, strategic planning for the aviation enterprise.
Such work has focused on the nexus of future product requirements, technology progression, and industry value propositions, including aspects of policy, advocacy, regulatory affairs, and environmental impact. He has served in leadership/committee/BOD roles with multiple aviation industry organizations (AIA, ICCAIA, IATA, GAMA, ICAO/CAEP, ATAG) in areas of technology and environmental progression.
Steve is a strong industry advocate who seeks pragmatic solutions to the challenges of aviation growth – that advocacy has led to his current role as Executive Director of CAAFI (the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, www.caafi.org) where Steve leads this Public-Private Partnership working toward the advancement and commercialization of renewable jet fuel. This role has also led to appointments to advisory/leadership roles with the USDA/DOE BRDB TAC and the USDA/DOT Farm-to-Fly 2.0 initiative.
Uwe R. Fritsche studied applied physics at the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany and, since 1984, has worked as a scientist at Oeko-Institut, where he headed the Energy & Climate Division in Darmstadt. He recently founded and directs IINAS which conducts research on system analysis and sustainable resources.
He is an expert in material-flow and life-cycle analysis of energy, biomass/food, and transport systems and respective sustainability scenarios.
He heads Oeko-Institut’s research on LCA and MFA for energy and transport systems, worked with GTZ, DfID and the World Bank on environmental issues of energy, and contributed to the European and global sustainable energy discussion, especially regarding biomass.
He works with his team on national, European, and global sustainability standards and criteria for bioenergy together with FAO, UNEP and GEF, as well as WWF, acts as National Team Leader for the IEA Bioenergy Task 40, co-chairs the Global Bioenergy Partnership Sustainability Task Force Environment Subgroup and leads the GBEP workstream on indirect land use changes.
John Heimlich joined Airlines for America (A4A) in April 2001 and currently serves as Vice President and Chief Economist. Prior to A4A, Heimlich spent five years at United Airlines in financial planning, financial analysis and international and regulatory affairs.
Heimlich is Chairman of the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) board of directors and represents A4A in the MIT Airline Industry Consortium and the Air Transport Research International Forum (ATRIF). Heimlich also serves on the steering committee of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and on the Joint Steering Group of the A4A-Defense Logistics Agency Strategic Alliance for Alternative Aviation Fuels. In 2010 and 2011, Heimlich and colleague Nancy Young were voted among the top 50 people in bioenergy. In December 2010, Heimlich received the Armbrust Aviation Group’s award for “Distinguished Achievement in Aviation.”
A native of Kent, Ohio, Heimlich holds a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Cornell University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
John J. McKenna is the Managing Partner of Hamilton Clark & Co LLC and CEO of Hamilton Clark Securities Company, which is a SEC broker/dealer and a member of FINRA and SIPC. HamiltonClark is a merchant bank that works exclusively with energy technology companies. He started his career in finance as a Vice President in the Petroleum Group at Citibank in New York (1971-1981), where he also managed the bank’s synthetic and alternative energy financing business. He was a Managing Director and head of the Independent Oil and Gas Group at Dean Witter Reynolds Inc (now Morgan Stanley) in Houston (1981-1985), and was a Managing Director and head of the Houston investment banking office of Lehman Brothers (1985-1989). In 1989 he started McKenna Securities Company. In 1996 McKenna Securities Company was sold to Price Waterhouse and he became head of the Price Waterhouse Energy Corporate Finance group in Houston. In 1999 he moved to Washington, DC to manage the firm’s Project Finance and Privatization Group and also organised the energy technologies effort at PricewaterhouseCoopers Securities. From 2000 to 2003 he was the Chief Financial Officer of STM Power, Inc in Ann Arbor, MI and Washington, DC, which was a leading developer of kinematic Stirling-cycle engines for the distributed generation and methane conversion markets. In 2003 he co-founded Hamilton Clark & Co LLC. Prior and current board memberships include: the management company of Equus Investments, a business development company (now Equus Total Return, Inc NYSE:EQS); PROMPT Corporation, a medical services software company; Proler International Corp, which was the world’s largest publicly traded scrap steel recycler (formerly NYSE:PS); STM Power, Inc; Rotating Sleeve Engine Technologies, Inc; and numerous charitable and civic organisations. He graduated with a BSFS degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and served as an Adjunct Professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown (2000-2001), where he taught the course titled Project Finance. From 2006 until 2008 he was a member of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee, a joint committee of the DOE and USDA.
Evan Smith is an expert advisor on advanced biofuels and has worked to develop or advise on aviation biofuels since 2007. He was a co-founder and partner at Verno Systems, an advanced biofuel advisory and management services company whose clients included Qatar Airways, Qatar Science and Technology Park, Delta Airlines, Boeing, and UOP. Before Verno, Evan advised Boeing in developing the company’s knowledge base and strategy for aviation biofuels. He led next-generation technology initiatives for Imperium Renewables, the operator of North America's largest biofuel refinery. He served on the Steering Board of the Roundtable on Sustainable biofuels from 2009 to 2001. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Yale University.
Mark Thornton is the former Chief Operating Officer of JPMorgan Private Bank, London. He has 17 years in banking with expertise in credit risk, market risk and operational risk management. He negotiated new products with the Bank of England, helped merge Robert Flemings with JPMPB, and was responsible for new product development at JPMIM, UK. He is CEO/Founder of Business for the Planet (B4P), a non-profit whose vision is to use capital markets to end poverty. B4P designs innovative impact investments that create significant social impact. B4P pioneered the opening of Bangladesh capital markets with the first ever approval from the Central Bank of Bangladesh for hard currency loan repatriation for the nonprofit sector. Using traditional hedge fund strategies, B4P is creating a carry trade that funds pro poor initiatives with best of breed social impact providers such as the Government of Panama, IADB and Nobel Peace Prize winner Prof. Yunus. He has served on Board of Directors for publicly traded companies in the US.
He teaches Leadership and meditation to elite business schools and corporate leaders, including Wharton Business School Leadership Development Program for 1st and 2nd year MBAs, Columbia Business School, McGill International Executive Institute for Executive Education and New York University; as well as corporate organizations such as McKinsey & Co, JPMorgan, Deloitte Touche, The New York Times; and thought leaders from TIAACREF, Rio Tinto Alcan.
Thornton earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Thornton is also the published author of “Meditation in a New York Minute:
Super Calm for the Super Busy”.
Nick Tiller is the founder and Chairman of Sustainable America, a nonprofit which seeks to reduce America’s oil usage and increase its food availability through consumer behavior change and innovative investments. Prior to working full-time at Sustainable America, Tiller performed 15 years of analysis and portfolio management in the energy and food sectors at SAC Capital and Fidelity Investments. His portfolio management of over $1 billion in capital on behalf of individual and institutional investors included trading futures contracts of oil, oil products, natural gas, ethanol, and grains. This proprietary commodity trading was used both for portfolio hedging and alpha generation.
Born and raised in Ohio, Tiller is the owner of Tiller Family Farms, an agricultural holding company which produces primarily corn and soybeans. He has a BA from Boston College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Maarten van Dijk works for SkyNRG, the KLM joint venture that has a mission to create a market for sustainable jet fuel that is affordable. At SkyNRG he is responsible for Business Development and Sustainability. He focuses on regional supply chain development (feedstock and technology), upstream investments and sustainability. He is SkyNRG’s representative on its Independent Sustainability Board (on which WWF-NL, Solidaridad and the Copernicus Institute hold seats) and is currently co-chairing Chamber 3 of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels.
Mr van Dijk studied chemistry at Utrecht University, focusing on renewable energy technologies. Before joining SkyNRG, he worked for Spring Associates, dedicated to business development, modeling and due diligence in the clean tech sector. In this function he was involved in the development of the biofuel strategy for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.