The Department for Transport released an independent report entitled 'Developing a UK sustainable aviation fuel industry' by Philip New, which was commissioned to help understand the conditions needed to create a viable long-term sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry in the UK. The report was released alongside the Jet Zero Council's 2-year-plan to support the wider target of decarbonising the aviation sector by 2050.
One of the report's specific recommendations focused on securing a scalable and bankable feedstock supply, with a key idea being to direct more energy from waste towards SAF production rather than generating electricity.
New suggested that "the needs of the SAF sector should be explicitly addressed in the forthcoming government biomass strategy" and recommended the exploration of "options to review the classification of the use of waste feedstock to prioritise use in the most difficult to decarbonise sectors".
A clear view on how best to use the UK’s waste resources should be encouraged. There is a strong argument that the exploitation of waste and other biogenic feedstocks should be prioritised to address the challenges of the hardest to abate sectors rather than be burnt to generate incremental relatively high carbon electricity. Any review should address the question of the role of Energy from Waste in a future net zero grid, particularly when CCS capacity is not close to EfW assets.
The Jet Zero Council's 2-year plan stems from "the race to reach Jet Zero by 2050, as the government continues with ambitious plans to decarbonise faster than any other G7 country, grow the economy, and support hundreds of thousands of well-paid green jobs."
The plan sets out how the council will help to accelerate the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), by continuing to invest millions of pounds in first-of-a-kind SAF plants, supporting crucial scientific research on a larger scale, and helping to drive down production costs.
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