“Jet Zero” govt aviation scheme begins with £15m competition

Government’s “Jet Zero” takes off with  £15 million competition to reduce aviation emissions with fuel made from household waste. 

The new competition for net-zero aviation aims to support the development of facilities capable of turning everyday waste into jet fuel. The Green Fuel, Green Skies competition, will support UK companies as they trial 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, projects will help put flying onto a more sustainable path while helping to create up to 11,500 jobs over the coming decades, the government claims.

Companies will be able to bid for a share of £15 million to kickstart the development of first-of-a-kind production plants in the UK to produce these fuels at scale.

The move, part of the government’s ten point plan for net-zero, follows the second Jet Zero Council meeting, led by new CEO Emma Gilthorpe, chief operating officer at Heathrow Airport.

Promoting the “vision” of the group, according to the government, Gilthorpe will increase its reach with key stakeholders across the sector helping drive forward decarbonisation of aviation.

Joining the industry and environmental experts on the council were the Royal Air Force and Civil Aviation Authority – offering knowledge and experience of the sector.

Additionally, through the Future Flight Challenge, the government has committed £125m of funding over 4 years. This has been matched by £175 million from industry to develop greener ways to fly, such as all-electric aircraft and deliveries by drone, by advancing electric and autonomous flight technologies.

Project 2ZERO announced plans to use its share of £2.4 million through this fund to demonstrate flights of 6- and 19-seat hybrid-electric planes this week as part of the initiative. The project will demonstrate the use of electric and hybrid aircraft on regional routes, showing the potential to decarbonise aviation while supporting regional connectivity.

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, said: “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.”

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