What are the key challenges and opportunities in scaling up sustainable aviation fuels in the EU?
: an analysis of the aviation and energy industry in Europe

  • Moritz Meinert (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The European Union (EU) has agreed on ambitious targets to decarbonize the aviation sector. One main measure to reach this goal is the ramp-up of sustainable aviation fuels that are intended to replace conventional jet fuels over time. In 2050, the EU expects these fuels to account for 70 per cent of the aviation fuel mix. This thesis conducts a thorough analysis of barriers and opportunities in this scale-up process. The objective is to comprehensively assess key factors such as feedstock availability, economic viability, regulatory landscapes as well as the role of airlines in this transition. The thesis combines existing knowledge from literature with learnings from interviewed industry professionals exhibiting expertise in commercial, technological, strategic, or regulatory areas. Noteworthy findings reveal a wide range of challenges such as sector competition for feedstock, economic obstacles for power-to-liquid fuels, or an unfavorable investment environment. These factors are likely to lead to higher fuel costs increasing operating costs for airlines that will ultimately raise ticket prices. On the side of opportunities, high infrastructural compatibility, supporting policy frameworks, emerging technologies as well as the mounting electrification in the road transport sector may support the successful scale-up of sustainable aviation fuels. The research conclusions underscore the need for collaborative efforts across industries but also globally given the limited regional feedstock availability and disadvantageous conditions to produce power-to-liquid fuels. Furthermore, the policy framework needs to encourage investments and concentrate efforts on the seamless adoption of sustainable aviation fuels.
Date of Award23 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPedro Parada (Supervisor)


  • Aviation
  • Decarbonization
  • Sustainable aviation fuels
  • Strategy
  • Sustainability
  • Jet fuel
  • EU climate targets


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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