The proliferation has been amazing: The 1-millionth app went live as 2011 came to a close, and the pace has continued through 2012. The trend, Mobilewalla told the New York Times, has been 15,000 mobile app releases per week.

Everyone wants to get a piece of this pie. And why not? How can you argue with the huge consumer franchise Zynga has created with its With Friends games (Words, Scramble, Hanging, etc.)? Or Rovio’s Angry Birds? Or the way Flipboard has revolutionized mobile publishing?

Greening Aviation: Reducing Emissions Along The Aircraft Value Chain

A holistic approach must be adopted by the industry. This means an approach that encompasses the entirety of the aviation value chain and ecosystem, reaching beyond aircraft operations and production alone.

Technology is key

Structural evolutions on aircraft and propulsion technology are key to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the aviation industry. There are a few important technology developments that are helping move the GHG agenda forward:

  • Fleet renewal. New aircrafts leveraging advanced technologies, such as lighter alloys, optimized designs, and higher efficiency engines are delivering sizeable fuel savings of 15% to 20%. Optimized designs also contribute to the emissions reduction. For example, winglet retrofits—devices that reduce drag on wings—alone led to 80-million tons of COreduction since 2000 globally.
  • Use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs). These fuels, which are either bio-sourced or obtained by combining green hydrogen with captured CO2 (power to liquid), are a promising option as they are compatible with current engines. Depending on how SAFs are processed, this could mean a 50% to 98% reduction in COemissions. Right now, 45 airlines globally are exploring SAF options. However, use of SAFs is still limited, with costs historically two to four times that of jet fuel—although recent steep increases in oil and gas prices are significantly reducing the gap.
  • Powering aircrafts with hydrogen. Hydrogen-powered aircrafts are expected to arrive in the next decade—which means aircraft with no CO2 emissions at all. Some major aircraft manufacturers are developing not only traditional aircraft that are hydrogen powered but also models with alternate flying wing designs that can improve overall performance.