Aviation: over 50% of flights in zero-emission mode by 2050?

Aviation zero-emission Europe
Aviation: over 50% of flights in zero-emission mode by 2050?

The Alliance for Zero-Emission Aviation (AZEA) presented its vision of electric and hydrogen-powered flights in Europe at the ILA Berlin Air Show. The potential is significant, but only if the production from renewable energies is anticipated in advance.

Created in 2022, the AZEA intends to play its part in decarbonising aviation. The aim is to have 36% to 68% of intra-EU flights operated by hydrogen and electric aircraft by 2050. We can assume that a third of all flights will be in zero-emission mode, which would be quite an achievement. But this is also the first time it has been suggested that over 50% of flights could be in zero-emission mode.

The challenge will be to produce enough renewable, low-carbon energy to power these aircraft. The AZEA estimates that these requirements will amount to 78 to 198 TWh/year of electricity ( equivalent to 1.1 to 2.8% of the gross electricity production estimated between now and 2050). This will be used either to power electric aircraft or to produce the 1.2 to 2.9 Mt/year of hydrogen needed for hydrogen-powered aircraft. The Alliance estimates that aircraft powered by hydrogen or electricity could reduce CO2 emissions on intra-EU routes by 12% to 31% in 2050.

AZEA has over 170 members, including aircraft manufacturers, airports, energy producers and players in the aerospace industry. France is strongly represented, notably among SMEs (Avions Mauboussin) and start-ups (Blue Spirit Aero, Beyond Aero, Universal Hydrogen).

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Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili

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About the author

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Laurent Meillaud

Freelance automotive journalist and consultant, author as well, focused on technologies and new trends for more than 30 years, convinced that hydrogen is one of the energies for the future.

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