The Danish government has announced its intention to make all domestic flights free of fossil fuels by 2030. By 2025 at the latest, the first domestic flights in Denmark are to start using “green” fuel.
This was declared by the head of government, Mette Frederiksen, in her New Year’s speech. Frederiksen admitted, however, that the technical solutions to achieve her goal are not yet available to a sufficient extent and that the implementation of the goal will be difficult. “If other countries in the world are too slow, Denmark must take the lead and raise the bar even higher,” Frederiksen is quoted as saying.
The Danish prime minister did not yet specify a concrete technology – synthetic paraffin, but also battery-electric or fuel cell-electric aircraft are in the running.
However, it remains to be seen whether battery-electric aircraft with a corresponding range and passenger capacity will be available by 2030. The same applies to fuel cells, which require hydrogen from renewable energies. The high energy demand for synthetic fuels is also a point of criticism, and it is still unclear by when plants will be built that can produce synthetic fuels on a larger scale – and at what cost.
Currently, numerous companies are developing zero-emission aircraft – including larger passenger planes. The US start-up Wright Electric wants to convert a 100-seat aircraft, ZeroAvia and Mitsubishi are currently developing an H2 engine for a regional jet – to name just two examples. About a year ago, Airbus presented an aircraft study with six detachable fuel cell propeller drive systems – but the company is not aiming for an emission-free commercial aircraft until 2035.
However, Frederiksen does not want to give up flights – and domestic flights – altogether. “Travelling is life and that’s why we fly. But at the same time it harms our climate. We want to make flying green,” the prime minister said in the New Year’s address.
Sweden is also reportedly aiming to make domestic air travel fossil fuel-free by 2030. In Norway, all short-haul flights are to be purely electric by 2040.