Macron announces a plan for low-carbon aircraft

Macron low-carbon aircraft

Emmanuel Macron announced a plan for low-carbon aircraft. During a visit to the Safran Aircraft Engines plant at Villaroche in the Seine-et-Marne region on Friday, the French President said that the State would be providing €300 million a year (around $327 million) to support the aerospace industry over the period 2024-2030.

A few days before the Paris Air Show, the Head of State wanted to mark the occasion and express his confidence in the future of aviation. The aim is to re-industrialise (France manufactures one in every two aircraft in the world) but also to decarbonise this sector (which accounts for 3 to 4% of CO2 emissions worldwide) and keep its sovereignty. “France must be the champion of the ultra-sober aircraft,” declared the President, who has promised to triple resources.

These funds will be used to finance research and innovation to decarbonise the aviation sector. The aim is to develop clean fuels, new aircraft and new engines. In addition, Emmanuel Macron has stated that €200 million of public and private money will be allocated to start-ups in the aviation sector to support the development of low-carbon small electric or hydrogen-powered aircraft. A similar amount will go towards biofuels for aviation.

A boost for synthetic fuels (SAF)

Emmanuel Macron also announced the creation of a biofuel plant at Lacq, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region: 75,000 tonnes will be produced annually at this new plant, which is due to open in 2027. The “BioTJET” project is led by Elyse Energy and is expected to create 700 direct jobs.

Sustainable fuels derived from agricultural or synthetic by-products are currently between four and eight times more expensive than conventional fuels. As of today, most modern aircraft can run on half biofuels, and the aim is to reach 75% by 2050. For instance, European aircraft manufacturer Airbus wants to replace its A320 within the next ten years with a plane that flies entirely on biofuels.

You can watch President Macron’s speech here (in French).

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King 

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About the author

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Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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