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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 26-Aug-2021

Analysis

Virgin Atlantic Airways signs on as customer for Storegga's proposed UK carbon capture facility

All Nippon Airways to test SAF market and fuel supply at airports from Sep-2021

Istanbul Airport joins ACI's Net Zero 2050 initiative

US FAA grants USD20.4m to US airports for zero emissions vehicles, emissions reduction technology

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport future to be dictated by sustainability drive as much as COVID-19

This CAPA report features a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news, selected from the 300+ news alerts published daily by CAPA. For more information, please contact us.

Virgin Atlantic Airways signs on as customer for Storegga's proposed UK carbon capture facility

Virgin Atlantic Airways signed (19-Aug-2021) an agreement with Storegga to become a customer for Storegga's proposed large scale UK Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility in north east Scotland.

Storegga and its partner Carbon Engineering have commenced preliminary engineering and design of the proposed facility, which aims to permanently remove one million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere p/a, and aim to complete and commission the DAC plant in 2026.

The facility will provide an offsetting solution for Virgin Atlantic and other businesses "that cannot capture or reduce all of their carbon emissions at source" by "supplying an equivalent DAC physical removal of CO2 emissions by capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere".

Virgin Atlantic chief commercial officer Juha Jarvinen stated: "The removal of CO2 directly from the atmosphere has the potential to become a powerful tool in reaching our target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050". [more - original PR]

Original report: STOREGGA SIGNS CUSTOMER MOU FOR DIRECT AIR CAPTURE WITH VIRGIN ATLANTIC

Storegga, the independent UK company focussed on carbon removal for a net zero world, is pleased to announce that Virgin Atlantic has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) to become a customer for the Company’s proposed large scale UK Direct Air Capture (“DAC”) facility. Virgin Atlantic has committed to purchase the permanent and verifiable removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through this facility.

The signing of the MoU demonstrates the accelerating commercial interest from the aviation and other sectors in DAC technology combined with geological storage (“DACCS”). Storegga’s DAC facility offers Virgin Atlantic, and other businesses that are challenging to decarbonise directly, an effective way to address their carbon footprint and progress towards net zero targets.

DAC provides a high quality, cost-effective way to permanently eliminate CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. It also provides a reliable way to remove CO2 emissions from the past, making it a tool to support not only net zero targets, but also ambitions to achieve net negative emissions and full climate restoration.

Storegga, with its technical partner Carbon Engineering, are designing a 1 MTPA DAC in North East Scotland. For businesses that cannot capture or reduce all of their carbon emissions at source, Storegga will be supplying an equivalent DAC physical removal of CO2emissions by capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.

Nick Cooper, CEO Storegga said:

“We are really pleased to welcome Virgin Atlantic as an early DAC customer. It is excellent that Virgin have chosen to embrace DAC as an offsetting solution and to support our facility in North-East Scotland; Europe’s first at scale deployment of DAC.

The need for high quality, permanent, engineered offsetting is clear. To reach our net zero goals and prevent significant temperature rises, we need utilise all the tools available to us. Technical offsetting with DAC is urgently needed at scale to sit alongside nature-based offsetting. Last week’s IPCC report is an alarm call to all of us. The quicker we wake up to this, the better our chances of reaching net zero.”  

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic said:

“Innovation and sustainability leadership is firmly in our DNA and we’re excited to be the first in the aviation industry to partner with Storegga to progress the development of Direct Air Capture solutions in the UK. Reducing Virgin Atlantic’s carbon footprint is our number one climate action priority and the removal of CO2 directly from the atmosphere has the potential to become a powerful tool in reaching our target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“We hope that early adoption of this technology and development of a facility here in the UK will demonstrate the commercial potential of DAC and inspire other businesses to be involved. Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to the facility complements the range of innovative partnerships we have developed to further our sustainability goals including working with technology providers for Sustainable Aviation Fuels and zero-carbon flight.”

Storegga and its partner, Carbon Engineering, a leading DAC provider and developer of the technology, have commenced preliminary engineering and design of the proposed UK facility. The facility aims to permanently remove one million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually. Targeted for North-East Scotland, the proposed facility will be the first large-scale facility of its kind in Europe and is targeting first operations for 2026.

The development of the proposed DAC facility in North East Scotland will help the UK decarbonise and achieve critical net zero targets by delivering a flexible new tool to add to the global climate toolkit. When combined with geological storage, DAC technology delivers the permanent and verifiable removal of CO2 from the air, reversing the emissions process. The highly scalable technology can be used to meet the ever-increasing demand for CO2 removal that is independent of the constraints of nature-based solutions. Whilst nature-based solutions have a material effect on reducing global emissions, DAC technology provides a complementary solution to the climate toolkit that can deliver climate-stabilising quantities of permanent carbon removal and help address the world's most difficult sources of emissions.

All Nippon Airways to test SAF market and fuel supply at airports from Sep-2021

All Nippon Airways (ANA), Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation, Toyo Engineering Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd and Japan CCS Co Ltd proposed (24-Aug-2021) a "Regional CO2 Resource Utilisation Study Business Through Electrolysis Utilising Artificial Photosynthesis Technology" in response to the call for "FY2021 Project to Promote the Creation of Circular Carbon Society Model through CO2 Recycling" by the Global Environment Bureau, Ministry of the Environment, which proposal was adopted as a commissioned project.

The six companies will jointly begin a demonstration project in Sep-2021. Under the plan, ANA will conduct a study of the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) market and fuel supply at airports. [more - original PR]

Original report: Adopted for the Ministry of the Environment "FY2021 Project to Promote the Creation of Circular Carbon Society Model through CO2 Recycling"

-Regional Revitalization Through CO2 Recycling Focusing on Production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)-

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation, Toyo Engineering Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd., Japan CCS Co., Ltd., and All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. have proposed a "Regional CO2 Resource Utilization Study Business Through Electrolysis Utilizing Artificial Photosynthesis Technology" in response to the call for "FY2021 Project to Promote the Creation of Circular Carbon Society Model through CO2 Recycling" by the Global Environment Bureau, Ministry of the Environment, which proposal was adopted as a commissioned project. The six companies will jointly begin a demonstration project in this September.

The six companies have previously cooperated to combine the CO2 electrolysis technology*1 developed by the Toshiba Corporate Research & Development Center for the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide (CO) with the FT*2 synthesis technology used to synthesize liquid fuel from CO and hydrogen to produce Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)*3 and to study carbon recycling business models using P2C*4.

This initiative was adopted as a commission project by the Ministry of the Environment and the six companies will study promoting both decarbonization and regional development by utilizing the infrastructure and characteristics of regional areas to achieve carbon recycling within those regions. 
Specifically, Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corporation will build a prototype of a full-scale CO2 electrolysis unit and conduct demonstration operation of the unit at the company's Hamakawasaki Operations (Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture). Based on this, the companies will create a basic plan to utilize their knowledge, technology, related plant equipment, and other resources to demonstrate the entire process from the separation and collection of CO2 to the production and consumption of SAF at potential sites in Japan including Tomakomai City in Hokkaido Prefecture The data and knowledge that will be obtained from this will be reflected in the regional carbon recycling society model and used to evaluate the viability of establishing a business.

Through this demonstration project the six companies will contribute to the commercialization of a SAF supply chain based on carbon recycling as well as regional revitalization.

Project Period and Roles of Demonstration Project Participating Companies

Demonstration Project Background

Various eco-friendly innovations will be needed to achieve the CO2 emissions reduction targets indicated in Japan's Nationally Determined Contribution*5 for the Paris Agreement. These include separation, storing and recycling CO2, making renewable energies into mainstream power sources, expanding the use of hydrogen, and decarbonization of fuels. In the aviation industry, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has also defined CO2 emissions reduction targets in its Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), and strongly urges stable production and supply of SAF since using it in aviation is one effective means of meeting these targets. 
The P2C plant being studied this time will use artificial photosynthesis technology to reduce the CO2 separated and collected from exhaust resources into CO, which will then be reacted in the FT synthesis process with hydrogen obtained from renewable energy using the existing petroleum refining process in a plant to produce liquid fuels, such as jet fuel, light oil, etc. P2C can efficiently use renewable electric power and hydrogen from renewable energy without extracting new fossil resources and this is expected to significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emissions and greatly contribute to achieving carbon neutral.

Istanbul Airport joins ACI's Net Zero 2050 initiative

Istanbul Airport joined (25-Aug-2021) Airports Council International's (ACI) 'Net Zero 2050' initiative, committing to reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The airport has planned a number of measures to achieve this aim, including:

  • Use of hydrogen fuel for heating and transportation purposes;
  • Solar power plant installations;
  • Purchase of renewable energy;
  • Electric vehicle conversions;
  • Vehicle charging station installations;
  • Use of bio diesel in heavy vehicles;
  • Afforestation projects.

İGA airport operations CEO Kadri Samsunlu said the airport constantly monitors and evaluates technological and operational requirements as part of its carbon emission reduction strategy. [more - original PR]

Original report: Istanbul Airport Commits to Achieving "Zero Emissions" By 2050

Istanbul Airport has joined the "Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050" commitment initiated by the Airports Council International (ACI) and undersigned by 238 airports.

İGA continues to work in line with the principles of sustainable development. Taking action in advance to leave a cleaner world to the next generations, İGA has announced that Istanbul Airport has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest. Launched by Airports Council International (ACI) in June 2019, "ACI Net Zero 2050" was created in line with the goal of taking action and decarbonizing airports against the climate problem.

As a result of its efforts to manage and reduce its carbon footprints within the scope of the environment and sustainability program, Istanbul Airport has joined 238 airports that have committed to achieving "Net Zero CO2 emission" . Within the scope of efforts to reduce carbon emissions at Istanbul Airport, significant efforts such as ISO 50001 Energy Management System Installation, Energy Efficiency Activities, System Improvements with Energy Audits, ISO 14064 Greenhouse Gas Management System installation, and Greenhouse Gas Calculations, Afforestation Studies, the Use of Electric Vehicles, and Vehicle Charging Station Installations have been carried out.

Istanbul Airport will continue to work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and  it has announced its commitment to the Use of Hydrogen Fuel for Heating and Transportation Purposes, and Carbon Capture Technologies from Flue Gas in line with technological developments and efforts for Solar Power Plant Installations, Purchase of Renewable Energy from the Electricity Network, Electric Vehicle Conversions, Vehicle Charging Station Installations, Use of Bio-Diesel in Heavy Vehicles, Energy Efficiency Activities, and Afforestation Projects.

İGA Airport Operations Chief Executive Officer Kadri Samsunlu stated, "As İGA, we are aware that we have an important responsibility towards future generations. Acting with this sense of responsibility, we took action for a cleaner world. At Istanbul Airport, Turkey's gateway to the world, we have prepared our roadmap for "Net Zero CO2 Emission" by 2050 and created our carbon emission reduction strategy by making quite aggressive planning towards this direction. Thus, we have been involved in a process where both technological and operational requirements are constantly monitored and evaluated. By implementing many of our projects in advance, we will have achieved our zero-emission targets even before the year 2050. In short term, we have realized Energy Efficiency Activities, Energy Audits, and System Improvements, the use of Electric Vehicle and Vehicle Charging Station Installations and we will continue to do so in the next two to three years . In the long run, we will supply the majority of our electrical energy needs from renewable sources through the installation of Solar Power Plants and Purchases of Green Energy. We believe that our afforestation activities will also become a sink of significant amounts of carbon emissions. We will also evaluate emission reduction opportunities by following the developing technologies such as Use of Bio-Diesel in Heavy Vehicles, Use of Hydrogen Fuel for Heating and Transportation, and Carbon Capture Technologies from Flue Gas. As İGA, our greatest goal is to set the bar even higher in accordance with our objectives."

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE, stated: "I sincerely congratulate Istanbul Airport for its participation in the collective agreement we have formed with airports across Europe and the world to achieve the 'Net Zero CO2' emission value by 2050. Despite the serious challenges our industry has been facing due to the COVID-19 crisis, airports continue to prioritize climate action, and this statement is proof of that. Bringing the climate agenda forward by aligning decarbonization efforts with global targets will not be easy for any industry, as well as the industries that have significantly suffered from this crisis, whose recovery may take years.  We still have significant works waiting ahead to be completed. Besides that, I would like to thank the Istanbul Airport team, who are always willing to do their best by focusing on the ambitious net zero target."

US FAA grants USD20.4m to US airports for zero emissions vehicles, emissions reduction technology

US FAA awarded (24-Aug-2021) USD20.4 million to US airports under the Airport Zero Emissions Vehicle and Infrastructure Pilot Programme, the Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Programme and the American Rescue Plan Act.

Funding will go towards the purchase of zero emission airport vehicles, electric charging infrastructure and technology to reduce airport and ramp equipment emissions.

Notable recipients include:

Original report: FAA Awards $20.4M to Reduce Airport Emissions, Purchase Zero-Emission Vehicles

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded $20.4 million in grants to reduce emissions and improve air quality at airports across the country. The awards will fund zero-emission airport vehicles, including their electric charging infrastructure, and will electrify the ramp equipment used to service planes at the gate.

“Transportation might be the biggest emitter of CO2, but that means we have the opportunity to be a big part of the solution,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “These grants put us on the right path to build a more sustainable aviation system.”

The White House and multiple federal agencies—including the Energy Department, Agriculture Department, the FAA and NASA—plan to hold a virtual roundtable with public and private sectors leaders on the path to decarbonizing the aviation sector. The event will emphasize the importance of collaboration across the government and industry to accomplish ambitious goals to put aviation on a pathway to net zero emissions by 2050 in line with broader climate commitments of the Biden-Harris Administration.

Today’s announcement includes $5.9 million to purchase zero-emission vehicles. These grants are 100 percent funded by the FAA with $4.5 million from the agency’s Zero-Emissions Vehicle program and $1.4 million from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act. They include:

  • John Wayne/Orange County, Santa Ana, Calif.: $1 million, for a 35-foot electric shuttle bus and charging station.
  • Indianapolis International AirportIndianapolis, Ind.: $956,640, for two 25-foot electric shuttle buses and charging stations.
  • Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, N.C.: $3.9 million, for a fleet of five 35-foot electric shuttle buses.
  • Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, Springfield, Ohio: $46,518, for one electric vehicle and charging station.

Another $14.5 million will be used to reduce airport and ramp equipment emissions. Several grants will electrify portable cooling units that provide air conditioning while planes are parked at the gate. The FAA is paying for 100 percent of these projects this year, with $11.2 million in Voluntary Airport Low Emission environmental set-aside funds and $3.3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. They include:

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport future to be dictated by sustainability drive as much as COVID-19

CAPA - Centre for Aviation, in a report entitled: 'Toronto's Billy Bishop airport. What role for inner-city airports?', stated (20-Aug-2021) any future investor at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will be required to contend with environmental awareness and sustainability targets at the airport as much as the fallout of and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report outlines the comparable European example in London City Airport; as well as current sustainability measures undertaken at Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport, which may well become the minimum environmental standards at Billy Bishop or at inner-city airports generally. [more - CAPA Analysis]

Excerpt from original report: Toronto’s Billy Bishop airport. What role for inner-city airports?

There are few close-to-downtown airports catering to short haul, turbo prop-operated services, mainly to business cites, to be found anywhere. One of them is the ‘Billy Bishop’ airport in Toronto, Canada.

Owned by a public sector enterprise, the terminal is operated by the private sector, but the harsh realities of the coronavirus pandemic have prompted a search for a new investor.

What that investor will find is that the future – if there is one – will be dictated as much by environmental awareness and sustainability as by the pandemic.

There are other examples elsewhere that point to it and one of them, London City Airport, has shown how difficult it can be for such airports to regain lost capacity – which is a warning to ‘Billy Bishop’.

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