Report on fuel and air transport
The greater share of efficiency gains in the past has come from improved engine
performance, but gains from available technology have been slowing and it will take
radical changes to match past trends in fuel efficiency. Engine manufacturers offer
the prospect of technology enhancements creating fuel burn reductions of around 4%,
and future developments such as the open rotor could offer up to 20% improvements.
Renewable fuels decouple fuel costs from the price of oil, reduce dependence on
petroleum and are more carbon neutral than fossil fuels. Second generation bio-fuels,
such as algae, do not compete for land and water resources with food crops and are
favoured because of the relatively high oil yields predicted.
The EU ETS will be introduced in 2012, initially capping airlines’ CO
97% of their average annual levels between 2004 and 2006. Airlines producing
emissions above this level will be required to acquire permits. Some protection is
offered to new entrants and fast growing airlines.
Department of Air Transport, Cranfield University, Fuel and Air Transport
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