Net zero-emission aviation is one step closer following the launch of a new competition to support the development of cutting-edge facilities capable of turning everyday waste into jet fuel.
The Green Fuel, Green Skies competition, which is part of the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, will support UK companies as they pioneer new technologies to convert household rubbish, waste wood and excess electricity into sustainable aviation fuel.
Offering emissions savings of more than 70% compared to conventional jet fuel, these projects will help put flying onto a more sustainable path while helping to create up to 11,500 jobs over the coming decades.
Companies will be able to bid for a share of £15 million (€17.5 million) to kick start the development of first-of-a-kind production plants in the UK to produce these fuels at scale.
This comes as the government’s second Jet Zero Council meeting was attended by new CEO Emma Gilthorpe, chief operating officer at Heathrow Airport. Promoting the vision of the group, she said she would increase its reach with key stakeholders across the sector helping drive forward the decarbonisation of aviation.
Joining the roster of industry and environmental experts, new additions from the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will bring new knowledge and experience to the council.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “As the aviation sector emerges out of the pandemic and looks towards recovery over the coming months, we must put our environmental commitments at the centre of everything we do – so not only do we build back better, we also build back greener.
“That’s why we’re stepping up our work on the council, recruiting new members and launching pioneering efforts to ensure that we continue to lead the world by example and deliver on our ambitious net-zero targets.”
Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, added: “Today’s meeting of the Jet Zero Council demonstrates the vital collaboration between government and industry that will make zero-emission flights a reality. Britain’s aerospace sector is at the centre of our plans to build back greener from the pandemic. We are committed to supporting its recovery and investing in green tech to take us closer to zero carbon take-off.”
Chair of Sustainable Aviation Adam Morton said: “This funding is a positive step closer to getting a British sustainable aviation fuel industry off the ground. SAF technology is available now, can cut aviation carbon emissions by at least 70% compared with fossil fuels and requires no modifications to existing aircraft or refuelling infrastructure. These new fuels can also be produced throughout the UK, creating tens of thousands of green jobs and generating billions of pounds for our economy in our industrial heartlands.
“But if the UK is serious about becoming a world leader in SAF production and supply, the Government must accelerate its support for this nascent industry by complementing this funding with the right policies to support the commercialisation of SAF at scale, as Sustainable Aviation has set out. With a world leading SAF industry, and innovations in electric and hydrogen aircraft, Britain can become a Jet Zero pioneer.”
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