Industry coalition urges UK government to support commercialisation of SAF

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Jebulon)

The UK could be the world-leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel if new facilities are approved, research shows

Up to 14 sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facilities could be implemented across the UK, new research by industry coalition Sustainable Aviation has revealed.

The sites would then be split into seven bases at Teesside, Humberside, the North West of England, South Wales, Southampton, St Fergus, and Grangemouth.

Research conducted by E4tech and commissioned by the group has suggested that Britain could be a world leader in clean aviation technology if plans go ahead.

All sites have the right feedstocks and infrastructure to convert household, industrial and agricultural waste, as well as renewable electricity, into jet fuel.

Sustainable Aviation has asked the government the commit to £500m of funding in the upcoming Spending Review so the plans can go ahead. This includes £429m in the form of a government-backed loan for the first SAF production facilities, as well as £50m for the development of new technologies.

A further £21m has been requested to launch a UK clearinghouse, making way for SAF testing and approval.

Adam Morton, chair of Sustainable Aviation, believes government support is crucial for environmental and economic recovery: “There are enormous benefits in terms of jobs and growth across these clusters. By backing SAF in this way, the government can kickstart a green recovery, create high quality and futureproof jobs for thousands of people. All of this can be delivered at the same time as slashing carbon emissions.”

There is potential for the plans to create over 20,200 jobs whilst delivering around £3bn in gross value added (GVA) to the economy. The annual saving of 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 could aid the aviation industry to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050.