No one disputes that decarbonizing aviation will require massively expanding the production of low-cost renewable electricity. This story draws on a new report from the World Economic Forum et al that examines the infrastructure requirements for hydrogen and battery-powered flight. Last year, WEF and McKinsey published another report on power-to-liquid SAF, which will also require enormous amounts of clean energy, although this could theoretically be produced by solar farms on sparsely populated, non-arable land all over the world. Hydrogen proponents point out that producing hydrogen is typically more cost and energy-efficient than making PtL SAF, while battery fans note that battery-electric flight is more efficient still, an argument for expanding electric flight to as many aircraft as possible. –E.H.
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