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Photo: Neste

Sweden may force airlines to use biofuels

A new government report outlines the costs of using biofuels on flights and says Sweden should work closely with airlines.

A Swedish government report that will be submitted on Monday recommends that airlines should be required to use carbon neutral biofuels, the Dagens Nyheter newspaper and The Local report.

The author of the report is Maria Wetterstrand, a former Green Party leader who was appointed by the government to investigate what should be demanded of airlines in the country.

Wetterstrand was asked to investigate measures to promote biofuels on flights, but her report says that the planned biofuels mandate should tighten significantly only from 2025.

The report expects emissions to reduce by between just 1% and 5% by 2025 but will reach 30% by 2030.

“Some are going to feel that our demands are too weak, but it’s because of the limited availability of biofuels and the amount of time we feel it will take to boost volumes,” she explained to Dagens Nyheter.

“We don’t want to set demands we cannot live up to.”

A new law should come into force in 2021, she suggests, with a demand for just 1% biofuel use, which she expects will raise the cost of a flight in Europe by SEK 18 (€1.70).

Wetterstrand anticipates that under her proposals the price of a long-haul flight will rise by about SEK 250 by 2030, due to the increased cost of biofuels.

Tank up
The former politician was appointed to lead the biofuels investigation in January 2018. 

It is important to work closely with the industry, she said, so that airlines do not opt to refuel their planes in other countries.

“If planes choose to tank up on a load of extra fuel to avoid refuelling in Sweden that would increase emissions because the planes would be heavier, so that would be extremely negative from a climate standpoint,” she said.

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