UK’s Department for Transport announces funding for biofuel projects

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The UK Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) has announced funding for four British plants producing biofuels from feedstock including household waste, unused straw from farmland and old wood.

The new UK-based advanced biofuel plants are expected to help the country achieve its net-zero carbon goal, with the projects leading to greener flights and road journeys.

The latest funding is part of the UK Government’s green transport revolution, following the launch of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan that will help drive the country towards its target of net-zero by 2050.

“Whether you’re commuting to work or travelling on a family getaway, we want that journey to be as green and environmentally friendly as possible,” commented transport secretary Grant Shapps. “This funding will help encourage innovative technology using today’s waste to power tomorrow’s green transport revolution, helping us reach a cleaner and greener future.”

Two of the new biofuel projects are being funded under the government’s £20 million (€23.5 million) Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition. KEW Projects and Rika Biogas have been awarded a share of £6.5 million (€7.6 million) to build plants that will provide green fuel for heavy goods vehicles. The project at KEW will also research the potential for developing low carbon aviation fuel.

The additional two projects, which are being funded under the £25 million (€29.4 million) Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition, are progressing towards final development stages. This includes Nova Pangaea Technologies, which is focusing on the production of bioethanol from wood waste that can be blended with fossil-based petrol used in road transport.

"We made a legally binding commitment to reaching net-zero,” added future of transport minister George Freeman. “Now we are delivering. The UK is reducing CO2 emissions faster than any other G20 nation.  We are doing it by investing in research and development, supporting the uptake of low emission and electrical vehicles, new inner city Clean Air Zones and the world's first comprehensive Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

“This global leadership is helping create a 21st century transport network that is better for our environment, our health and our economy: with the potential to deliver high-skilled jobs in the green economy to all corners of the nation.”

Between 2018 and 2032, low carbon fuels are expected to save nearly 85 million tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to taking nearly 18 million cars off the road. This equates to around a third of transport’s projected contribution to UK carbon savings during the 2020s.