Brazil-based aviation and aerospace company Embraer unveiled today the Energia Family of aircraft concepts using renewable energy propulsion technologies, aimed at helping the aviation industry achieve its goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The new announcement follows Embraer’s launch of a series of ESG goals earlier this year, including an ambition to launch an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft by 2026 and achieve net-zero aviation emissions by 2050.

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Embraer also supported last month’s commitment made by a coalition of the world’s leading airlines, airports, air traffic management providers, and aircraft and engine manufacturers to achieve net-zero carbon emissions aviation by 2050.

Arjan Meijer, President and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, said:

“We will see a big transformation in our industry towards more sustainable aviation. With 50 years experience in developing, certifying, and supporting regional aircraft, Embraer is in a unique position to make viable the introduction of new disruptive green technologies.”

The aviation industry has come under scrutiny as a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, responsible for 2-3% of global emissions, and one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize. Several initiatives are being pursued in order to address the climate impact of the industry, typically involving efforts to improve aircraft efficiency, develop sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), or create aircraft utilizing low or zero-carbon propulsion systems such as electric or hydrogen-based.

The new Energia Family is comprised of four concept aircraft that incorporate different propulsion technologies, including Energia Hybrid, utilizing hybrid-electric propulsion and providing up to 90% C02 emissions reductions; Energia Electric with fully electric propulsion and zero C02 emissions; Energia H2 Fuel Cell incorporating hydrogen-electric propulsion with zero CO2 emissions, and; Energia H2 Gas Turbine, with a hydrogen or SAF/Jet-A turbine, offering up to 100% CO2 emissions reduction.

In addition to the new concept aircraft, Embraer highlighted advances the company has made towards reducing emissions from aircraft, including testing drop-in SAF, mixes of sugarcane and camelina plant-derived fuel, and fossil fuel on its family of E-Jets, and is planning to have all Embraer aircraft be SAF-compatible by 2030.

Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer’s Sr. VP of Engineering, Technology and Corporate Strategy, said:

“We see our role as a developer of novel technologies to help the industry achieve its sustainability targets. There’s no easy or single solution in getting to net zero. New technologies and their supporting infrastructure will come online over time. We’re working right now to refine the first airplane concepts, the ones that can start reducing emissions sooner rather than later. Small aircraft are ideal on which to test and prove new propulsion technologies so that they can be scaled up to larger aircraft. That’s why our Energia family is such an important platform.”