view of aeroplane overhead from between buildings

SLR helps select shortlist for sustainable aviation fuel competition (SAF)

Alban Forster Infrastructure Sector Leader - Europe
Alban Forster

Alban has 30 years professional experience in the field of commercial, technical and environmental due diligence, across the waste and energy sectors. His specialist areas include; business planning and market analysis, strategy development and policy review strategic plan development, procurement support and operational service reviews. He has worked on transactional due diligence studies for banks; assessing the feasibility of numerous infrastructure assets, biomass and waste to energy schemes, business viability and environmental risk.

The UK Department for Transport recently named eight companies that have been shortlisted to receive a share of £15 million to develop first-of-a-kind production plants in the UK to convert waste into aviation fuel.

SLR’s Alban Forster (Infrastructure Sector Lead - Europe), with the support of Paul Wilkinson (Head of Emerging Business - Europe), was involved in reviewing the grant applications, for this step forward for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

The shortlisted companies have been selected as part of the UK Government’s ‘Green Fuels, Green Skies’ competition, which was launched in March 2021. The competition supports UK companies that pioneer new technologies to convert household rubbish, waste wood, and excess electricity into sustainable aviation fuel, forming part of the drive to reduce carbon emissions for the aviation sector.

You can see the full list of selected companies, as well as some information about their technologies, in Biomass Magazine online.

Aviation currently accounts for approximately 2-3% of manmade global carbon emissions, but as explained by SkyNRG – leaders in sustainable aviation fuel – aviation could consume up to 22% of the global carbon budget by 2050 unless swift action is taken. “To maintain growth and at the same time address its environmental impact, the aviation industry has committed to carbon-neutral growth per 2020 and reducing net aviation carbon emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by 2050.

The shortlisted companies for the ‘Green Fuels, Green Skies’ competition reveal some really interesting projects at various development stages. In the push for net zero, all sectors and industries will need to develop deliverable strategies, and sustainable aviation fuel is clearly a significant step in the right direction; however, it is still many years away from being fully commercial.

While ‘Green Fuels, Green Skies’ is a UK initiative, the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is also raising the ambition and urgency for decarbonisation in the aviation industry, by proposing to review the ETS aviation rules as part of the “Fit for 55” legislative package; helping ensure the sector contributes to the more ambitious target of achieving net emission reductions of at least 55% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels).


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