Net zero aviation becomes one step closer as eight companies have been shortlisted to receive a share of £15 million (€17.5 million) to develop first-of-a-kind production plants across the UK that will turn waste into jet fuel.
Announced as part of the Prime Minister’s 10 point plan, the Green Fuels, Green Skies (GFGS) competition will support these companies as they pioneer new technologies, converting materials such as household waste, alcohol, carbon from the atmosphere and sewage into jet fuel at commercial scales, offering emissions savings of more than 70% compared to the use of conventional fossil jet fuel.
The competition will help position the UK at the forefront of the emerging global SAF industry by producing millions of litres of SAF per year, putting flying onto a more sustainable path.
Aviation is responsible for 2.5% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and this announcement comes as the government sets out its long-term ambition to lead the world in SAF uptake, with proposals for up to 10% SAF by 2030 and up to 75% SAF by 2050 – generating potential savings of up to 23 megatons of CO2 per year in 2050, equivalent to half a million return flights to Tenerife.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Aviation will be central to our future growth and plans to build back greener from the pandemic, which is why we have invested over £20 million (€23 million) in the past year to decarbonise the sector in line with our world-leading net zero targets.
“With 100 days to go until COP26, we’re ramping up our efforts even further to help companies break ground on trailblazing waste to jet fuel plants and put the UK at the forefront of international SAF production.”
SAF production in the UK could generate between £0.7 billion (€0.8 billion) and £1.66 billion (€1.94 billion) annually and create 11,000 green jobs by 2040 – with this funding alone kickstarting the creation of over 1,000 local jobs in plants built in Cheshire, Lincolnshire, Tees Valley and South Wales among other locations.
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