Address by Dr Susan Pond, Adjunct Professor and Program Leader, Alternative Transport Fuels Initiative, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

It is my pleasure to welcome you here to this Roundtable on Alternative Aviation Fuels sponsored by the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

The main purpose of today is to hear from and engage with our US experts. As we all know, the US is leading the world in taking alternative fuel technologies to scale and commercial reality.

Commercial aviation is at the forefront of this emerging industry, not only in the US but worldwide, including here in Australia. Our Australian airlines and their OEM partners, including Boeing and Airbus, are actively engaged in demonstrating the market opportunities and market drivers for fuel supply diversity.

On April 15, 2013 the US Secretary of Agriculture (Tom Vilsack) and Secretary of Transportation (Ray LaHood) signed a landmark agreement with the Commercial Aviation supply chain led by the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative Coalition, CAAFI.

The “Farm to Fly 2.0” agreement over a five-year period seeks to put in place a set of actions that will enable the US to have a pathway to produce one billion gallons of sustainable Jet Fuel. In achieving that level by the 2020 time frame US government and industry will provide adequate supplies to support the US contribution to the worldwide goal of Commercial Aviation to reach “carbon neutral growth” by 2020.

With feedstock and applicable fuel processing solution varying greatly from State to State depending on climate and demographics key to F2F2 success is the definition and achievement of the goal is the execution of initiatives at the state and local level. Solutions can involve feedstocks from municipal solid waste in the densely populated Northeast corridor, to replacement sugar crops for citrus in Florida.

CAAFI/ US Agriculture Department with Defense Department and Energy Department partners have aggregated experience and lessons learned in defining and implementing state and local projects in over 20 US States. Beyond Aviation “Farm to Fly 2.0” builds relationships with ground transport (diesel), co-product (fertilizer and animal feed) end users consistent with State, agricultural, industrial, and environmental stakeholders’ end user interests and to ensure project viability.

Formal F2F2 projects in process in Connecticut, Vermont and South Carolina initiated during 2013, 14. Additional developments are under discussion in Florida, Virginia, Maryland Delaware and New Jersey for possible implementation in 2015. Coupled with added private sector (California, Louisiana) and government (Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Nevada) efforts over 20 different fuel companies are engaged in developing a portfolio of efforts.

By virtue of relationships formed between Australia with the US (via its 2011 bilateral and parallel agreements between the Australian Defense Department), New South Wales and other Australian States are well positioned to draw upon US experience as potential success templates in creating similar opportunities to build a sustainable transportation fuel future.

We will start proceedings with a formal presentation by Rich Altman. This will be followed by an interactive panel discussion with Jim Lane, Paul Bryan, Tony Haymet and Joelle Simonpietri. We want you, the audience, to be active participants in this roundtable, which is why I have allowed 2.5 hours for this focused but open discussion.


Richard Altman, Executive Director Emeritus, Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative

Jim Lane, Editor and Publisher, The Digest

Paul Bryan, Lecturer, University of California Berkeley

Tony Haymet, Visiting fellow, United States Studies Centre and Director & Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego

Joelle Simonpietri, Operational Manager, Energy and Contingency Basing And Deputy, US Pacific Command Energy Team