Boeing has announced a collaborative agreement to work with Hawai'i BioEnergy on renewable energy sources for creating aviation fuel. Announced on the eve of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) CEO Summit, the memorandum of understanding highlights how the companies will work together to identify biofuel sources and supporting technologies for producing sustainable jet fuel in Hawaii.
Boeing and Hawai'i BioEnergy will look at various crops including sorghum and eucalyptus as potential sources that can be grown locally and converted to jet fuel. The collaboration will also look to assess new supporting technologies for aviation biofuel production.
"As an Asia Pacific gateway and leading tourism destination, Hawaii can play a meaningful role in helping aviation reduce carbon emissions, while increasing regional energy resources," said Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Environment and Aviation Policy, Billy Glover. "This collaborative effort will allow us to examine potential local options, while protecting the beauty and culture these islands have to offer."
Being an island state with a strong US military presence and a dependency on imported energy, Hawaii's bioenergy development initiatives can help create new regional resources, while providing a boost to the local economy. Hawai'i BioEnergy, which is at the forefront of the development of a biofuels industry in Hawaii, is a leading renewable energy supplier to the Hawaiian Electric Company and well-positioned to co-lead the local aviation biofuel effort.
"We are looking forward to working with Boeing in addressing Hawaii's energy needs, particularly for aviation fuel," commented Hawai'i BioEnergy's Chief Operating Officer, Joel Matsunaga. "We have the opportunity to shape a more sustainable energy future for our children and generations to come in Hawaii while creating economic growth for the State."
Boeing is at the forefront of global efforts to diversify aviation's fuel supply by helping to commercialize a portfolio of sustainable options. “Only plant sources that don't distort the global food chain, compete with fresh or crop water resources, or lead to unintended land use changes are being considered,” the company stressed.
Boeing is a member of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group, along with around 20 other airlines. The group was formed in September 2008 with support and advice from the world's leading environmental organizations such as the Natural Resources Defence Council and the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels, and focuses on accelerating the development and commercialisation of sustainable aviation biofuels.
Hawai‘i BioEnergy was established by three of Hawai‘i's largest landowners: Kamehameha Schools, Grove Farm Company Inc., and Maui Land & Pineapple Company, Inc. Its mission is “to reduce Hawai‘i's energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependence on imported fossil fuels through the research and development of local renewable bioenergy projects”.