Greener Aviation Industry Deemed Feasible for Australia and Region

The creation of a sustainable, “bio-derived” aviation industry for Australia and New Zealand can be achieved within two decades, a report by Australia’s top science agency says. According to the report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the region has enough sources of non-food biomass — including crop and forestry residue, municipal waste, and algae — to support a local jet fuel industry and make the region less reliant on imported aviation fuels. In addition to cutting aviation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent, the report projects that in Australia the amount spent spent annually on imported fossil fuels could be slashed by $2 billion. By 2050, the report predicts, about 50 percent of an airline’s fuels could come from biofuels. But while the bio-derived industry will ultimately be commercially independent, the report says government support will be critical in establishing a supportive market structure and the development of refining plants.