Industry Analysis

Government Support for Sustainable Air Transportation in California


California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard provides the wide majority of credits and regulations for alternative fuels and related transportation. The available credits and pathways for credits are outlined below, along with a sustainable aircraft fuel credit that was recently included. There are several relevant regulations that the state has adopted with regard to alternative fuel, including increasing its own purchase of it. Funding is available from several resources in California, several of which are included below.

1. Low Carbon Fuel Standard Overview

2. Low Carbon Fuel Standard Fuel Pathway Credits

  • Fuel pathways are another potential for generating credits via the LCFS (involving storing and/or using fuel).
  • Regarding electricity pathways, vehicles or infrastructure using the default California Average Grid Electricity CI as an energy source are eligible; Zero-CI sources (using biomass, biomethane, wind, solar, or other zero-emission fuels) are eligible; and smart charging or smart electrolysis pathways are open to entities wishing to use an hourly metered charge of grid electricity or hydrogen produced using electrolysis.
  • Additional energy pathways using electricity are open to receiving credits through the Tier 2 Pathways for Electricity option.
  • Hydrogen used in gaseous or liquid form, produced through steam methane reformation or electrolysis, and other sources (such as renewable or fossil-derived feedstocks) is eligible for energy credits through the hydrogen Lookup Table Pathways.
  • Any form of hydrogen usage or storage that doesn’t fit the standard Lookup Table Pathways should fit into the Tier 2 Pathways for Hydrogen credit.

3. Alternative Jet Fuel Approved for LCFS program

  • Alternative jet fuel made from petroleum or non-petroleum sources has been approved as a temporary fuel pathway under the LCFS.

4. Regulations

  • Per the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Division of Measurement Standards, hydrogen fuel used in engines via internal combustion must meet the quality standards outlined in SAE International J2719.
  • If the private sector is not developing enough hydrogen fueling stations in accordance with the California Energy Commission’s judgment, it will allocate up to $20 million per year to help fund fueling stations.
  • The state has ruled that at least 3 percent of the fuel it purchases must come from a “very low carbon transportation fuel service”. To achieve this goal, the state will be increasing the amount it purchased by 1 percent until January 1, 2024.
  • There are several regulations and requirements involving Zero Emission Vehicles; however, these are primarily road-based vehicles and these regulations are thus not included in this summary but are noted here for reference.

5. Funding

Helpful Resources

Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

Global Automotive Brands – Sustainability (Environmental & Social) Initiatives

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