Budget 2023 an opportunity to make Ireland a leader in sustainable aviation fuel

September 23, 2022

Aircraft Leasing Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the aircraft leasing sector in Ireland, today published its Budget 2023 submission, outlining that Government must include innovative measures that will drive the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).  

The submission outlines that Ireland is already the global centre of excellence for aircraft leasing but that Budget 2023 must seize the opportunity for the country to become a leader in innovation. By incentivising the development and production of SAF, this Government can help attract what will be a game changing manufacturing sector to Ireland. 

SAF is a biofuel used to power aircraft that has similar properties to conventional jet fuel but with a smaller carbon footprint. Depending on the feedstock and technologies used to produce it, SAF can reduce life cycle greenhouse gas emissions dramatically compared to conventional jet fuel.

Speaking upon the publication of the Budget submission, ALI Chairperson Marie-Louise Kelly, said: “Ireland is the global centre of excellence for aircraft leasing. Our experience and global influence mean that we can move the needle when it comes to aviation technology that will transform how we travel. Our Government can support the drive for zero emissions sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) by making it attractive for research and development companies and facilities to base themselves in Ireland.

“SAF is a gamechanger, it will happen, we need to incentivise the developers, the producers and the innovators who are leading the charge to eliminate the carbon footprint of jet aviation.

“Ireland now has the potential to be not only a centre of excellence for aircraft leasing but also a centre for aviation sustainability. Our SAF submission for Budget 2023 is the latest opportunity to turn that potential into reality.”

Additional measures included in the group’s Budget 2023 submission, published today, include:

A tax credit for Irish developers, distributors and manufacturers of SAF. Currently, one of the most significant barriers to the use of SAF is cost. Although the differential between SAF and conventional jet fuel is expected to narrow as economies of scale and new production techniques are developed, cost competitiveness is unlikely to be achieved without initial policy support;
Direct subsidies to airlines to use SAF;
The elimination of passenger airport taxes for passengers who fly on aircraft utilising a SAF blend above the EU or equivalent Irish mandated level. Such a measure would both enable airlines to bridge the cost differential and provide additional transparency to the flying public to support and encourage adoption of SAF; and
The establishment of a specific R&D budget for the development of SAF in Ireland. Optimising Ireland’s position in the lucrative SAF value chain will require direct R&D support but will help to ensure that technologies most suited to Ireland are developed, and intellectual property and know-how is retained by Irish institutions.