Decarbonization Paths for the Dutch Aviation Sector

Igor Davydenko, Hans Hilbers
Sustainability  •  Volume 16 (2024)   FEATURED BOOK
To reduce aviation’s climatic impact, there are international, regional and national policies in place and under development. The most firm policy measure to reduce net CO2 emissions from aviation is ReFuelEU Aviation, requiring 70% of fuel tanked in the EU to be net CO2-free in 2050. Considering the technological options available, expected improvements in airline operational efficiency and aircraft efficiency, as well as considering behavioral factors that influence aviation travel demand, a path for the complete decarbonization of the Dutch aviation market is provided. The path implies increasing the share of CO2-free energy carriers to 100% in 2050 for all departing and arriving flights. Methodologically, first, the aggregate ticket price increase as a result of this policy is estimated. Second, demand price elasticity factors are applied to the price increase to estimate the impact of complete decarbonization on the number of passengers carried by the Dutch aviation sector in 2050. The findings outline that a shift to exclusively CO2-free energy carriers will result in a 15% reduction in the number of passengers in 2050 compared to the market development under ReFuelEU Aviation obligations. The Dutch aviation sector will still grow from 81 million passengers in 2019 to between 98 and 138 million in 2050, but the growth rate will be significantly lower than before 2019. The expected sustainable energy requirements will be 171 PJ per year in 2050, with a likely range between 146 and 206 PJ, representing no substantial change from the 2019 level of 166 PJ.
aviation decarbonization; aviation CO2 emissions; decarbonization policy analysis; sustainable aviation fuels; aviation system efficiency; travel demand analysis
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