IndiGo takes delivery of its first A320neo

Asia’s first and world’s second A320neo operator

Toulouse, March 11, 2016: India’s largest airline by passenger numbers, IndiGo has taken delivery of its first A320neo. The delivery makes IndiGo the first A320neo operator in India and in Asia.

“The A320neo aircraft will enable us to continue to offer affordable air transportation and a new flying experience for our customers. The fuel efficient aircraft will be part of a new phase of our growth and will enable us to offer more regional and international destinations at the best price,” said Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo.

IndiGo is one of Airbus’ biggest A320 Family customers having ordered 530 aircraft in total. These include 430 A320neo from orders placed in 2015 (250 A320neo) and 2011 (180 A32neo). IndiGo also placed an order in 2005 for 100 A320s which have all been delivered.

“It fills us with pride that IndiGo, India’s largest airline and the biggest customer for our A320neo, has taken delivery of its first aircraft. On top of best in class operational efficiencies and environmental benefits, the A320neo will offer IndiGo’s passengers unmatched comfort,” said Dr. Kiran Rao, Airbus EVP Strategy and Marketing.

The A320neo “new engine option” incorporates many innovations, including latest generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices, which together deliver 15 percent in fuel savings from day one and 20 per cent by 2020. This is equivalent to a reduction of 5,000 tons of CO2 per aircraft per year.

A320neo IndiGo

The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line with nearly 12,500 orders to date and over 6,900 aircraft delivered to 300 customers and operators worldwide. Thanks to its widest cabin, all members of the A320 Family offer the industry’s best level of comfort in all classes and Airbus’ 18” wide seats in economy as standard.

IndiGo’s and Asia’s first A320neo in Toulouse.

Dr. Kiran Rao, Airbus EVP Marketing and Strategy and Captain Ashim Mittra, IndiGo VP flight Operations, at the hand-over of IndiGo’s and Asia’s first A320neo in Toulouse.

Source: Airbus

Neste: Record Greenhouse Gas Reductions

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Emission reductions from renewable fuel of Neste corresponds to greenhouse gas emissions of about 1.3 million cars

Keilaranta, Finland, March 8, 2016: Neste’s record-breaking year in 2015 was also record-breaking from an environmental excellence viewpoint. Globally, Neste renewable diesel reduced greenhouse gas emissions by about 6.4 million metric tons. This corresponds to the greenhouse gas emissions of about 1.3 million cars, or over 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions of Finnish road traffic. Compared to 2014, the reduction increased by about one million metric tons, especially due to more extensive use of waste and residue raw materials.

“Our vision is to create responsible choices every day, and that really is what we do, as we provide customers and society with solutions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are the world’s largest company that produces renewable fuel from waste and residue raw materials, and our goal is to further increase their use because they result in the highest greenhouse gas emission reductions”, says Kaisa Hietala, Executive Vice President, Renewable Products at Neste.

The amount of waste and residue used in Neste renewable fuel refining increased to almost 2 million metric tons in 2015. They were used for refining almost 2 billion liters of Neste Renewable Diesel, which is enough to power about 2 million cars for 12 months if used as 100% blend.

Using Neste Renewable Diesel results in 40-90% lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil diesel. Using waste and residues as raw material the greenhouse gas emissions can be up to 90% lower than those of fossil diesel.

In practice, Neste is capable of refining renewable diesel from almost any fat-containing raw material. Suitable waste and residues are created as the by-products of the food and vegetable oil industry, for example. Neste has substantially increased its waste and residue use in recent years. In 2015, they accounted for 68% of the raw materials of renewable diesel produced by Neste. The share of crude palm oil has decreased to 32%.

The goal of Neste is to annually reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a total of 7 million metric tons with renewable fuels by 2017.

Utilizing fat-containing waste of an increasingly lower quality is a main priority for research conducted by Neste. The company also performs research to find totally new raw materials for renewable fuel production, such as wood-based raw material and algal oil. About 1,000 of Neste’s 5,000 employees work with R&D and engineering.

Source: Neste Corporation

MTU Aero Engines: New Propulsion Technologies

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Clean Sky Initiative supported by small and medium-sized enterprises

Munich, March 8, 2016: Clean Sky is the largest aviation technology research initiative ever launched by the European Commission. Under the effort, over 600 partners have joined forces to develop new technologies to further improve the environmental compatibility of aviation in the future. MTU Aero Engines also has a role in the project. “Our work doesn’t stop at developing new technologies for our high-pressure compressor and low-pressure turbine modules, we also qualify new partners for the European aerospace industry,” explains Dr. Rainer Martens, Chief Operating Officer at MTU Aero Engines.

Clean Sky aims at strengthening the European aviation industry and enhancing its international competitiveness. The two central tasks in pursuit of this objective are to develop advanced aircraft and engine technologies, and to qualify and integrate new partners from research and industry. In the industrial sector, the focus is on small and medium-sized enterprises. The manufacturer is doing a great job on both fronts. New, innovative propulsion system technologies were developed and integrated into a demonstrator: MTU is responsible for SAGE 4 (Sustainable And Green Engines), one of five Clean Sky engine demonstrators. The SAGE 4 demonstrator was tested in Munich late last year. The demonstrator is based on a geared turbofan engine and incorporates a number of innovations, including components – blades for example – that are made from new materials and come in a new design. In addition, the demonstrator features components produced using new manufacturing techniques. Advanced simulation methods and measurement techniques round off the gamut of new developments.

Partners from industry and research are participating in this sub-project alongside MTU. Most of the new companies and institutes to join MTU’s innovation value chain come from Germany, but not all: some are based in the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria and Sweden. “Our objective was to bring together the best in class, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” Dr. Jörg Henne, Senior Vice President Engineering and Technology at MTU, sums up. The outcome is a win-win situation for both sides: “In addition to new hardware, we also gain new partners,” he explains. The cooperation under Clean Sky provides the partners with an opportunity to get a foothold in the European aviation industry for the first time, or to establish themselves in a specific segment of the industry.

First time partner Meggitt for high temperature composites

For Meggitt Polymers and Composites (formerly Cobham Composite Technologies), the work under the Clean Sky program marked the first time the British specialist for carbon fiber materials cooperated with MTU. Together the two companies developed a new high-temperature material for a seal carrier with a honeycomb structure: The innovative carbon-fiber-reinforced inner ring will be installed in the high-pressure compressor. “The main challenge of the project was selecting a composite material system which would meet the design requirements of a high-pressure compressor and of course for such a high temperature environment, in which typically it has been difficult to utilize composite materials,” explains Matthew Denmead, design engineer at Meggitt.

Both partners are highly satisfied with the outcome. “The opportunity to have these parts incorporated into an engine and tested in a real life environment, will allow greater understanding of the material performance,” says Denmead. The weight of parts made from carbon fiber materials is up to 400 percent lower than that of parts in metallic materials, such as titanium. “Moreover, their production is considerably less expensive,” adds Dr. Stefan Weber, Senior Vice President Technology and Engineering Advanced Programs, at MTU in Munich. Denmead predicts: “The use of high temperature composites in aero engine applications is becoming more and more widespread throughout the industry. High temperature composites have a great potential to drive weight out of future engine designs.” He also has words of praise for the collaboration with MTU: “The co-operation was very successful and MTU were supportive in terms of implementing design changes to ease manufacture.”

iwb application center: New simulation tool to analyze additive manufacturing processes

iwb Anwenderzentrum Augsburg, which is part of Munich’s technical university (TUM), is no stranger to MTU. Says Weber: “We know each other quite well from previous co-operations in various areas of production engineering.” Under the Clean Sky initiative, the two partners joined forces to develop a simulation tool to analyze additive manufacturing processes that permit engine parts to be built up layer by layer. The aim was to gain a better understanding of these processes and to improve the quality of the parts thus produced, while keeping an eye on costs. The advantage for the manufacturer: Computer simulations can now replace time-consuming experimental investigations and trial production runs. The partners’ work specifically focused on the additive process used by MTU to manufacture borescope bosses for the high-speed low-pressure turbine for the geared turbofan powering the A320neo. These parts are being produced by the selective laser melting process, or SLM for short.

Johannes Weirather, graduate physicist at iwb: “The simulation of laser beam melting is one of our key topics of research in the field of additive manufacturing. So we are particularly pleased that the work under the Clean Sky initiative enabled us to expand our know-how in this area. But the project also raised some new questions to which we’ll have to find answers in the years to come if we want to enlarge the scope of application of simulations in additive manufacturing.” Additive manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly important also at MTU. This is why the company keeps pushing their further development. “What we have in mind is to tap and leverage the potential unleashed by freedom of design for an ever increasing number of components. Also, we want to come up with more new materials,” says Weber as he looks ahead.

Hexagon Metrology: Automated solution for blisk inspections

As part of the Clean Sky activities Hexagon Metrology worked on the development of a new measuring and inspection system. The metrology specialists from Wetzlar have already demonstrated their expertise in the field of quality assurance in several projects conducted jointly with MTU. The task they had to tackle this time was finding an integrated, fully automated solution for the surface and dimensional inspection of blisks. Blisks (blade integrated disks) are high-tech components manufactured in one piece that eliminate the need to fix separately manufactured blades to the disk. They are currently used in compressors for military and commercial applications. So far, measurements and inspections have had to be performed in several steps. So the experts decided that it was time to make a change for the better. “In the industry there is a clear trend towards integrating several measuring processes into one single system,” explains Stefan Fall, Project Manager at Hexagon Metrology.

The result is quite impressive: In a joint effort, the two companies came up with a practicable and efficient solution for the inspection of blisks. Says Fall: “We can now offer our customer extended functions for our measuring systems, such as – in this special case – the visual inspection of blisks. This marks another milestone in the development of automated and flexible systems using sensors that can be optimally adapted to solve complex measuring tasks.” Hexagon Metrology is now planning to optimize the new system for production use based on the insights gained from the project. The company is confident that it will be possible to further improve the efficiency of coordinate measuring machines and to incorporate additional functions that would permit other aviation components to be inspected too. “In a next step, we’ll explore options of using the technology in other industries as well, as we see great potential here,” says Fall. And the benefit for MTU? “The integration of new measuring methods in conjunction with a higher degree of automation will reduce set-up times and increase production throughput,” explains Weber.
Before the new technologies, materials and processes developed as part of the Clean Sky initiative can be implemented in practice, they first had to prove their worth in extensive testing at MTU: Incorporated on the SAGE 4 demonstrator, they were put to the acid test in the company’s test cell in Munich. Dr. Jörg Henne: “Following detailed analysis, the results will be available to us sometime in the next few weeks. But from what we’ve seen so far, we are very confident that everything will turn out as we had hoped.” The newly developed technologies will then be used on the next generation of geared turbofan engines to further improve their eco-efficiency.
Source: MTU Aero Engines

Southwest Airlines Applauds Important Next-Generation Milestone

Southwest Airlines Applauds Important Next-Generation Milestone at Denver International Airport

Dallas, March 3, 2016: Southwest Airlines Co. applauds the milestone of 30,000 RNP approaches flown into Denver International Airport. Southwest®, a nationally recognized advocate in RNP implementation, is working alongside the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airport administrators, and industry stakeholders to develop and implement fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly RNP procedures for wide scale usage at airports across the nation.

RNP procedures are high-performance, GPS-based, continuous-descent approaches that enhance safety, provide greater fuel efficiency, and reduce track miles with lower carbon emission (CO2) and noise generation, compared to conventional procedures. RNP approaches can reduce flying by 3-5 miles during visual approaches and by up to 20 miles during instrument approaches at DEN.  These flights follow highly predictable paths to allow descents at idle power from high altitude cruise, producing the quietest and most fuel-efficient arrival.

“Southwest remains committed in supporting the FAA’s efforts to develop RNP procedures, which benefit the industry as a whole, as well as the communities we serve,” said Alan Kasher, Vice President Flight Operations at Southwest Airlines. “The success of this program could not have been possible without coordinated support and the leadership of Denver Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center, and Denver International Airport.”

This remarkable milestone makes Denver the most prolific promoter of RNP in the national airspace system. Denver stands out among 152 runways at 46 airports where Southwest Airlines has collaborated with the industry and the FAA, and progress at DEN represents a good case study of how the FAA, airlines, and local stakeholders can work together to move Next Generation Airspace (NextGen) forward.   In the past ten years in DEN, Southwest has grown from 13 flights a day serving three cities nonstop to 186 flights a day to 57 cities nonstop and now carries more local passengers to/from Colorado than any other airline.

“When Denver International Airport opened in 1995, it was the first airport to achieve a triple-simultaneous landing in bad weather, representing the height of airport design and technology at the time,” said airport CEO Kim Day. “Today, we once again find ourselves helping to transform the national airspace through innovative new technology that is catching up to the capabilities DEN was designed for. These new arrival procedures truly represent the leading edge of aviation technology, and Denver is positioned to be a model for airports around the country and the world.”

“Cooperation between carriers and the FAA is vital for the success of NextGen across the system,” Kasher said. “Southwest looks forward to continued partnerships with the FAA, its industry partners, and airport administrators as we work together toward a modernized air traffic control system.”

Southwest Airlines

Source: Southwest Airlines Co.

NASA Partners on Air Quality Study in East Asia

Air Quality Study

Washington, D.C., February 24, 2016: NASA and the Republic of Korea are developing plans for a cooperative field study of air quality in May and June to advance the ability to monitor air pollution accurately from space.

The Korea U.S.-Air Quality study (KORUS-AQ) will assess air quality across urban, rural and coastal areas of South Korea using the combined observations of aircraft, ground sites, ships and satellites. Findings will play a critical role in the development of observing systems of ground and space-based sensors and computer models to provide improved air quality assessments for decision makers.

Air Quality Study

A new field study this May and June seeks to advance NASA’s ability to monitor air quality from space. This 2007 NASA satellite image shows a swath of air pollution sweeping east across the Korean peninsula to Japan. Credits: NASA

“KORUS-AQ is a step forward in an international effort to develop a global air quality observing system,” said James Crawford, a lead U.S. scientist on the project from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. “Both of our countries will be launching geostationary satellites that will join other satellites in a system that includes surface networks, air quality models, and targeted airborne sampling.”

Air quality is a significant environmental concern in the United States and around the world. Scientists are trying to untangle the different contributors to air quality, including local emissions from human activities, pollution from far away, and natural sources such as seasonal fires and wind-blown dust.

South Korea’s capital, Seoul, is one of the globe’s five most-populated metropolitan areas. Because of the country’s varied topography and its location close to both rapidly industrializing mainland China and the ocean, the impacts associated with the many factors controlling air quality are larger and often easier to measure over the Korean peninsula than elsewhere.

“Working with our South Korean colleagues on KORUS-AQ, we will improve our understanding of the detailed factors controlling air quality, how the processes interact, and how they are changing over time,” Crawford said.

In accordance with an agreement NASA recently completed with South Korea’s National Institute of Environmental Research, Korean scientists will collect KORUS-AQ observations on the ground and in the air with a King Air aircraft from Hanseo University in Seosan. To take data during the experiment, NASA will contribute a DC-8 flying laboratory from the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, and a Beechcraft UC-12B King Air from Langley.

NASA

Two NASA research aircraft, the UC-12B (top) and the DC-8, will gather atmospheric data across urban, rural and coastal areas of South Korea to help improve the ability to monitor air pollution from space. Credits: NASA

Five South Korean instruments will be part of the DC-8 payload and one NASA instrument will be onboard the Hanseo aircraft. NASA’s DC-8 will conduct eight-hour flights to make direct measurements of the atmosphere from altitudes up to 25,000 feet. The NASA King Air will fly overhead with remote-sensing instruments that simulate satellite observations. The Hanseo King Air will make direct atmospheric measurements focusing on areas less accessible to the larger DC-8. Scientists and air quality modelers from both countries will work together to plan the aircraft flights and analyze the measurements.

South Korea maintains an extensive ground-based, continuous air-quality monitoring network of more than 300 sites. Almost half of the sites are in the Seoul area and just over 80 percent are in urban areas. South Korea will host NASA instruments at some of the monitoring sites that are being enhanced for KORUS-AQ.

  • KORUS-AQ will benefit the development of a new a constellation of spaceborne science satellites and instruments expected to launch in the years 2018-2022 that will make air quality measurements over Asia, North America, Europe, and North Africa. South Korea’s Geostationary Environment Monitoring Spectrometer instrument will monitor long-term climate change and improve early warnings for major pollution events for the Korean peninsula and Asia-Pacific region.
  • NASA’s Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution mission, an instrument that will fly as a hosted payload on a commercial communications satellite in geostationary orbit, will collect air pollution measurements over North America from Mexico City to Canada.
  • ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Sentinel-4 mission will take air quality measurements and monitor stratospheric ozone, solar radiation and climate variables over Europe and Northern Africa.

NASA uses the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records. The agency freely shares this unique knowledge and works with institutions around the world to gain new insights into how our planet is changing. For more information about NASA Earth science research, please visit: http://www.nasa.gov/earth

Source: NASA

Airbus: New Solution for Environmental Monitoring

Contract is first for pioneering high-altitude pseudo-satellite (HAPS) craft

 

February 18, 2016: Airbus Defence and Space has won an order from the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the manufacture and operation of two solar-powered Zephyr 8 high-altitude pseudo-satellite (HAPS) craft.

Flying at some 65,000ft, the ultra-lightweight Zephyr 8 is uniquely capable of providing persistent surveillance over land or sea, and hosting communications links, over the same area for months at a time without landing. The precise purposes for which the UK MoD will use its Zephyrs have not been disclosed.

Zephyr flies slowly and above weather systems, loitering over a selected area under the close guidance of a ground controller to perform its mission. The earlier Zephyr 7 HAPS holds the world record for 14 days continuous flight set in 2010 – with the aircraft charging its batteries from sunlight during the day and maintaining its high altitude at night.

The latest generation Zephyr 8 has a wingspan of 25 metres, is 30% lighter and can carry 50% more batteries than its predecessor – the 22.5 metre wingspan Zephyr 7. This enables the Zephyr 8 to carry heavier payloads for its surveillance and communications roles. The Zephyr 8 HAPS is designed to fly continuously for over a month before landing, being refurbished, and flying again.

As well as for military purposes, Zephyrs can be used for humanitarian missions, precision farming, environmental and security monitoring, and to provide internet coverage to regions of poor or zero connectivity.

The first Zephyr 8 is under construction at Airbus Defence and Space’s Farnborough, UK facility and is due to fly in mid-2017.

Airbus: New Solution for Environmental Monitoring: Zephyr 8

Source: Airbus Defence and Space

Economics of Biofuels

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

U. S. Policy Paper of the National Center for Environmental Economics NCEE

 

Washington, D.C.: Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels—fuels produced from renewable organic material—has the potential to reduce some undesirable aspects of fossil fuel production and use, including conventional and greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutant emissions, exhaustible resource depletion, and dependence on unstable foreign suppliers. Demand for biofuels could also increase farm income. On the other hand, because many biofuel feedstocks require land, water, and other resources, research suggests that biofuel production may give rise to several undesirable effects. Potential drawbacks include changes to land use patterns that may increase GHG emissions, pressure on water resources, air and water pollution, and increased food costs. Depending on the feedstock and production process and time horizon of the analysis, biofuels can emit even more GHGs than some fossil fuels on an energy-equivalent basis. Biofuels also tend to require subsidies and other market interventions to compete economically with fossil fuels, which creates deadweight losses in the economy.

Background

  • First generation biofuels are made from sugar crops (sugarcane, sugarbeet), starch crops (corn, sorghum), oilseed crops (soybean, canola), and animal fats. Sugar and starch crops are converted through a fermentation process to form bioalcohols, including ethanol, butanol, and propanol. Oils and animal fats can be processed into biodiesel. Ethanol is the most widely used bioalcohol fuel. Most vehicles can use gasoline-ethanol blends containing up to 10 percent ethanol (by volume). Flexible fuel vehicles can use E85, a gasoline-ethanol blend containing up to 85 percent ethanol. There were more than 2300 E85 fueling stations located throughout the US in 2013 (US Department of Energy).
  • Second generation biofuels, or cellulosic biofuels, are made from cellulose, which is available from non-food crops and waste biomass such as corn stover, corncobs, straw, wood, and wood byproducts. Third generation biofuels use algae as a feedstock. Commercial cellulosic biofuel production began in the US in 2013, while algae biofuels are not yet produced commercially.

Potential Economic Benefits of Biofuel Production

Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels has the potential to generate a number of benefits. In contrast to fossil fuels, which are exhaustible resources, biofuels are produced from renewable feedstocks. Thus, their production and use could, in theory, be sustained indefinitely.

While the production of biofuels results in GHG emissions at several stages of the process, EPA’s (2010) analysis of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) projected that several types of biofuels could yield lower lifecycle GHG emissions than gasoline over a 30 year time horizon. Academic studies using other economic models have also found that biofuels can lead to reductions in lifecycle GHG emissions relative to conventional fuels (Hertel et al. 2010, Huang et al. 2013).

  • Second and third generation biofuels have significant potential to reduce GHG emissions relative to conventional fuels because feedstocks can be produced using marginal land. Moreover, in the case of waste biomass, no additional agricultural production is required, and indirect market-mediated GHG emissions can be minimal if the wastes have no other productive uses.

Biofuels can be produced domestically, which could lead to lower fossil fuel imports (Huang et al. 2013). If biofuel production and use reduces our consumption of imported fossil fuels, we may become less vulnerable to the adverse impacts of supply disruptions (US EPA 2010). Reducing our demand for petroleum could also reduce its price, generating economic benefits for American consumers, but also potentially increasing petroleum consumption abroad (Huang et al. 2013).

Biofuels may reduce some pollutant emissions. Ethanol, in particular, can ensure complete combustion, reducing carbon monoxide emissions (US EPA 2010).

It is important to note that biofuel production and consumption, in and of itself, will not reduce GHG or conventional pollutant emissions, lessen petroleum imports, or alleviate pressure on exhaustible resources. Biofuel production and use must coincide with reductions in the production and use of fossil fuels for these benefits to accrue. These benefits would be mitigated if biofuel emissions and resource demands augment, rather than displace, those of fossil fuels.

Potential Economic Disbenefits and Impacts of Biofuel Production

Biofuel feedstocks include many crops that would otherwise be used for human consumption directly, or indirectly as animal feed. Diverting these crops to biofuels may lead to more land area devoted to agriculture, increased use of polluting inputs, and higher food prices. Cellulosic feedstocks can also compete for resources (land, water, fertilizer, etc.) that could otherwise be devoted to food production. As a result, some research suggests that biofuel production may give rise to several undesirable developments.

Changes in land use patterns may increase GHG emissions by releasing terrestrial carbon stocks to the atmosphere (Searchinger et al. 2008). Biofuel feedstocks grown on land cleared from tropical forests, such as soybeans in the Amazon and oil palm in Southeast Asia, generate particularly high GHG emissions (Fargione et al. 2008). Even use of cellulosic feedstocks can spur higher crop prices that encourage the expansion of agriculture into undeveloped land, leading to GHG emissions and biodiversity losses (Melillo et al. 2009).

Biofuel production and processing practices can also release GHGs. Fertilizer application releases nitrous oxide (NOX), a potent greenhouse gas. Most biorefineries operate using fossil fuels. Some research suggests that GHG emissions resulting from biofuel production and use, including those from indirect land use change, may be higher than those generated by fossil fuels, depending on the time horizon of the analysis (Melillo et al. 2009, Mosnier et al. 2013).

Regarding non-GHG environmental impacts, research suggests that production of biofuel feedstocks, particularly food crops like corn and soy, could increase water pollution from nutrients, pesticides, and sediment (NRC 2011). Increases in irrigation and ethanol refining could deplete aquifers (NRC 2011). Air quality could also decline in some regions if the impact of biofuels on tailpipe emissions plus the additional emissions generated at biorefineries increases net conventional air pollution (NRC 2011).

Economic models show that biofuel use can result in higher crop prices, though the range of estimates in the literature is wide. For example, a 2013 study found projections for the effect of biofuels on corn prices in 2015 ranging from a 5 to a 53 percent increase (Zhang et al. 2013). The National Research Council’s (2011) report on the RFS included several studies finding a 20 to 40 percent increase in corn prices from biofuels during 2007 to 2009. An NCEE working paper found a 2 to 3 percent increase in long-run corn prices for each billion gallon increase in corn ethanol production on average across 19 studies (Condon et al. 2013). Higher crop prices lead to higher food prices, though impacts on retail food in the US are expected to be small (NRC 2011). Higher crop prices may lead to higher rates of malnutrition in developing countries (Rosegrant et al. 2008, Fischer et al. 2009).

U.S. Policy Approaches to Support Biofuel Production

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 used a variety of economic incentives, including grants, income tax credits, subsidies and loans to promote biofuel research and development. It established a Renewable Fuel Standard mandating the blending of 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuels with gasoline annually by 2012.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) (PDF, 310 pp., 828K, About PDF) included similar economic incentives. EISA expanded the Renewable Fuel Standard to increase biofuel production to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Of the latter goal, 21 billion gallons must come from cellulosic biofuel or advanced biofuels derived from feedstocks other than cornstarch. To limit GHG emissions, the Act states that conventional renewable fuels (corn starch ethanol) are required to reduce life-cycle GHG emissions relative to life-cycle emissions from fossil fuels by at least 20 percent, biodiesel and advanced biofuels must reduce GHG emissions by 50 percent, and cellulosic biofuels must reduce emissions by 60 percent. EISA also provides cash awards, grants, subsidies, and loans for research and development, biorefineries that displace more than 80 percent of fossil fuels used to operate the refinery, and commercial applications of cellulosic biofuel.

In addition to EISA, numerous other policies have encouraged the production and use of biofuels in the US in recent decades. Tax credits currently support advanced biofuels, including cellulosic and biodiesel.

References

Condon, N., H. Klemick, and A .Wolverton. 2013. “Impacts of Ethanol Policy on Corn Prices: A Review and Meta-Analysis of Recent Evidence.” NCEE Working Paper 2013-05. http://yosemite.epa.gov/EE/epa/eed.nsf/WPNumber/2013-05?OpenDocument (Accessed Sept. 12, 2013)

Hertel, T., A. Golub, A. Jones, M. O’Hare, R. Plevin, and D. Kammen. 2010. “Effects of US Maize Ethanol on Global Land Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Estimating Market-mediated Responses.” BioScience 60: 223–231.

Fargione, J., et al. 2008. “Land clearing and the biofuel carbon debt.” Science 319: 1235–1238.

Fischer, G., E. Hizsnyik, S. Prieler, M. Shah, and H. van Velthuizen. 2009. Biofuels and Food Security. OPEC Fund for International Development.

Huang, H., M. Khanna, H. Onal, and X. Chen. 2013. “Stacking low carbon policies on the renewable fuels standard: Economic and greenhouse gas implications.” Energy Policy 56 (May 2013): 5-15.

Melillo, J., J. Reilly, D. Kickligher, A. Gurgel, T. Cronin, S. Paltsev, B. Felzer, X. Wang, A. Sokolov, and C.A. Schlosser. 2009. “Indirect Emissions from Biofuels: How Important?” Science 326 (5958): 1397-1399.

Mosnier, A. P. Havlik, H. Valin, J. Baker, B. Murray, S. Feng, M. Obersteiner, B. McCarl, S. Rose, and U. Schneider. 2013. “The Net Global Effects of Alternative U.S. Biofuel Mandates: Fossil Fuel Displacement, Indirect Land Use Change, and the Role of Agricultural Productivity Growth.” Energy Policy 57 (June 2013): 602-614.

National Research Council. 2011. Committee on Economic and Environmental Impacts of Increasing Biofuels Production. Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Rosegrant, M.W, T. Zhu, S. Msangi, T. Sulser. 2008. “Global Scenarios for Biofuels. Impacts and Implications.” Review of Agricultural Economics, 30(3), 495-505.

Searchinger, T., et al. 2008. “Use of US croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change.” Science 319: 1238-1240.

US Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels Data Center. Ethanol Fueling Station Locations. http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_locations.html (Accessed Sept. 10, 2013)

US Environmental Protection Agency. 2010. Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS2) Regulatory Impact Analysis. http://www.epa.gov/otaq/renewablefuels/420r10006.pdf (PDF) (Accessed Sept. 10, 2013).

Zhang, W., E. Yu, S. Rozelle, J. Yang, and S. Msangi. 2013. “The impact of biofuel growth on agriculture: Why is the range of estimates so wide?” Food Policy 38: 227–239.

For further information, please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/EE%5Cepa%5Ceed.nsf/webpages/Biofuels.html

Edie’s Sustainability Leaders Award for LHR

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Heathrow Airport Recognized as an Industry Sustainability Leader

Heathrow, November 20, 2015: Over £20 million has been invested by the airport to increase the energy efficiency of our infrastructure. This included a huge two-year program to replace over 67,000 lights across the airport with LED lamps, saving 44GW hours of electricity, and £6.4 million in electricity and maintenance over the life of the light bulbs.

The Energy Management Award recognized the success of the Heathrow Energy Center – a 10MW biomass Combined Heat and Power Plant providing zero carbon electricity, heat and cooling for the new Terminal 2, the world’s first BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) certified airport terminal. The biomass boiler is fuelled by woodchip coming from forestry that is 75% sourced from within a 50 mile radius of the airport.

The award comes as the airport celebrates the five year anniversary of the Heathrow Sustainability Partnership (HSP). Led by a CEO board from the 13 biggest companies at the airport, HSP works collaboratively to achieve long term sustainability improvements on a scale that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Last year, it launched the Energy Code of Practice to monitor and target improvements in energy consumption. HSP is now in the process of developing a sustainability guide for restaurants at the airport in partnership with the Sustainable Restaurant Association, which will support them to reduce energy even further.

Elizabeth Hegarty, Head of Sustainability & Environment at Heathrow Airport said: “Finding ways to use energy responsibly and efficiently is how we do business as Britain’s busiest airport and we are honored that our efforts have been recognized by Edie’s Sustainability Leaders Awards. Our investments in low carbon energy supply and management have created a win-win situation – we have not only delivered results for the environment, but also cost savings for our partners who operate at the airport.

We know we have much more to do, but we are committed and will capitalize on the potential that Heathrow’s expansion could bring to ensure we have industry-leading, low carbon, energy-efficient infrastructure in our airport.”

Earlier this week, Heathrow was awarded a Bronze award in the Mayor of London’s Business Energy Challenge (BEC) in recognition of the 16.5 per cent reduction in carbon intensity Heathrow has achieved a portfolio of its properties. Going forward, Heathrow has a plan to reduce its CO2  carbon emissions from energy used in buildings by 34% from 1990 baseline by 2020.

In addition to these awards, Heathrow Airport has also recently won other awards in recognition of efforts to become more sustainable. They include: a “GreenFleet” award in recognition of efforts to build a more sustainable airport fleet, the ACI’s Eco-Innovation Award for overall efforts at finding new, sustainable ways to operate, and for the eighth time a Biodiversity Benchmark Award for habitat management.

  • Edie’s Sustainability Leaders Awards are organized by specialist sustainability publishing house Faversham House, and began life as edie.net’s Awards for Environmental Excellence in 2007. Since then the event has grown and expanded to include all key aspects of business sustainability. In line with that growth, the awards changed name in 2012 and the Sustainability Leaders Awards were born.

    The edie Sustainability Leaders Awards are included in the highly regarded RSA accreditation scheme – one of only a handful of environmental schemes to be chosen for this honor. This means that award winners have the opportunity to gain further accolades on the international stage, as they are automatically given access to the European Business Awards for the Environment. For more information, please visit: http://awards.edie.net/SLA2015/about-the-awards

  • The Mayor of London’s Business Energy Challenge (BEC) is open to any business with locations in London that that have influence over their energy use.  The main award is based on the % carbon intensity reduction per meter squared for a business’s London property portfolios (inclusive of owned, leased, whole/part of building) from a baseline (2010-2011) to a challenge year (2014-15). The Top 10% of business(es) making greatest % reduction in carbon intensity per meter squared are awarded Gold, with the following 15% awarded silver and following 20% awarded bronze.  The Business Energy Challenge Awards were held at City Hall on 16th November, hosted by the Mayor. For more information, please visit: https://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/environment/business-energy-challenge/about-the-awards
  • The GreenFleet Awards are a celebration of environmental fleet management and green motoring, awarding dedicated companies and individuals who are passionate about promoting a cleaner environment. With 20 categories ranging from “industry innovation” to “leasing company of the year”, they recognize outstanding achievement within each field. For more information please see: http://events.greenfleet.net/awards/

Source: Heathrow Airport Ltd.

A4A Urges U.S. Congress to Deliver Transformational ATC Reform

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Washington, Nov. 4, 2015 – Today, Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio urged Members of Congress to further build on our nation’s role as a global aviation leader by delivering the modern and efficient Air Traffic Control (ATC) system the industry needs and customers deserve.

In remarks to the International Aviation Club of Washington, D.C., Calio noted that aviation is a key driver of the U.S. economy, and that our nation can no longer afford to rely on an outdated ATC system hampered by a governing and funding structure that inhibits innovation and swift adoption of modern technology, costing passengers and airlines $30 billion per year in delays and cancellations. A4A and its member airlines believe the status quo is unacceptable, and that the best way to spur the next generation of ATC technologies is through transformational reform of the system.

“Congress has a unique opportunity with the FAA Reauthorization bill to do something really meaningful – to truly transform our nation’s Air Traffic Control system,” said Calio. “Now is the time to restore our nation’s global leadership role in ATC technology and innovation – we have the safest aviation system in the world, but it must also be the most modern and efficient.”

Calio also noted the industry’s strong financial performance, which has enabled carriers to grow their investment in people, products and technologies to better meet the expectations of the traveling and shipping public. After decades of financial losses, the industry has achieved its fifth consecutive year of profitability and 21st consecutive month of employment gains, during which time employees are receiving higher salaries, profit sharing, and better-funded retirement accounts.

“Because of the critical role airlines play as drivers of jobs and economic growth, we must be a successful industry,” said Calio. “We must be able to invest, innovate and grow to meet our customer’s needs – and, in order to do all of these things — we must be profitable. Healthy airlines benefit all facets of our economy and U.S. airlines are embracing change, becoming more competitive and investing more than $1.3 billion per month into the travel experience, all while maintaining the affordability of air travel.”

ABOUT A4A: Annually, commercial aviation helps drive nearly $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 11 million U.S. jobs. Airlines for America (A4A) vigorously advocates on behalf of the American airline industry as a model of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives our nation’s economy and global competitiveness.

America needs a cohesive National Airline Policy that will support the integral role the nation’s airlines play in connecting people and goods globally, spur the nation’s economic growth and create more high-paying jobs. A4A works collaboratively with the airlines, labor groups, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.

For more information about the airline industry, visit please airlines.org.

Source: Airlines for America