The UK government has announced £165 million of funding for projects to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) over the next few years.
The five projects, which are based across the UK, will receive money from the Advanced Fuels Fund, which is part of the government’s Jet Zero Strategy to decarbonise aviation by 2050.
The sites will have the ability to produce more than 300,000 tonnes of SAF per year once in operation, which will reduce CO2 emissions by an average of 200,000 tonnes annually. The government is aiming to have at least five commercial SAF plants under construction in the UK by 2025.
Projects to receive funding include SAF plants in Teesside, Immingham and Ellesmere Port which will convert everyday household and commercial waste, such as black bin bag waste, into sustainable fuel.
Transport secretary Mark Harper said funding these five SAF projects would help to “make guilt-free flying a reality”.
“It’s exactly this kind of innovation that will help us create thousands of green jobs across the country and slash our carbon emissions,” he added.
Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, added: “This £165 million of funding - alongside the 10 per cent SAF mandate by 2030 shows the government shares our ambition of a home-grown SAF industry here in the UK.”
Increasing the supply of SAF is set to become a major topic within the aviation and corporate travel industries. Although global production of the fuel has more than tripled in 2022, it is still only a tiny fraction of what will be needed to help make aviation net-zero by 2050.
Last month, Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss warned the UK was in danger of “falling behind” other countries in the production of SAF.