The Danish government has vowed to make all internal flights ‘completely green’ by the end of the decade, which will mean that the country has joined Sweden in setting a target for fossil-fuel-free domestic air travel by 2030.
reports that Mette Frederiksen, the Danish prime minister, announced new targets in her New Year’s speech and set a goal for all travellers to have the option to ‘fly green‘ on domestic trips by 2025.
“And by 2030 at the latest, we must be able to fly completely green when we fly domestically in Denmark,” she said while admitting that the goal would be difficult to reach, even though researchers and companies are looking into how to achieve it.
“Is it possible? Yes, I think so. We are already on our way,” she added.
The move comes amid a wave of pledges and action that are aimed at making air travel more climate-friendly. The industry is estimated at being responsible for producing two per cent of global CO2 emissions.
Airlines have been turning towards sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and British Airways operated its first flight using the biofuel in 2021, and Air France-KLM completed the first long-haul flight using SAF.
The biofuel is produced with materials other than crude oil and produces up to 80 per cent fewer carbon emissions in its production stage – although emissions tend to be similar to traditional kerosene in flight.
Other measures introduced to reduce the impact on the climate by the industry include a ban on domestic flights in France that would take two and a half hours or less by train.
By using hydrogen produced using renewable electricity, Denmark could more easily reach its emissions goals, but it is unclear if the technology will be developed in time, nor if the costs would be sufficiently low for the end-of-the-decade target.
It is thought that Denmark is leaning heavily towards hydrogen for domestic flights, and it is likely welcome news that Airbus is working on several fuel-cell solutions that could help the small country meet its domestic travel needs.
However, as mentioned, Airbus has pencilled in a 2035 launch date for its hydrogen-cell aircraft, as confirmed by Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury.
“These concepts will help us explore and mature the design and layout of the world’s first climate-neutral, zero-emission commercial aircraft, which we aim to put into service by 2035,” he said.
In the shorter term, Airbus is working on getting its aircraft to run on 100 per cent biofuel, which while being far from a perfect solution, is significantly better than current fossil fuels.
Airbus completed its first A319new flight on 100 per cent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in October. The company also announced ‘the first in-flight study of a single-aisle aircraft running on unblended SAF.’
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