The DfT believes that fuels made from waste, which would otherwise be buried underground and polluting the local environment, could one day be more sustainable that current crop-based biofuels.
The UK government is to release funding for biochemical companies that develop sustainable jet fuels made from landfill waste – biofuel it says could be worth £600m a year. The latest Department for Transport scheme is an attempt by the government department to develop low-carbon alternatives for other modes of transport, matching the financial committment made by those engineering them. In what could be a boom for UK Plc, the DfT said that developing a viable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels could also support just under 10,000 jobs.
The landfill fuel drive, for which the Department for Transport (DfT) has already received interest from 70 groups, follows similar programmes that have taken place in Europe and North America and now it has been thrown open to experts from the UK to come up with a solution. One of the methods currently used to create biofuel from landfill waste is through the use of microorganisms in landfills producing methane gas, with companies such as the Texas company ENVIA Energy using this gas as feedstock for the production of transport fuel. The DfT sees that sort of approach as the future and believes that fuels made from waste, which would otherwise be buried underground and polluting the local environment, could one day be more sustainable that current crop-based biofuels.
Speaking on the £22m fund that it’s hoped will deliver up to five low carbon fuel plants by 2021, Transport Minister Jesse Norman said the government is committed to cutting carbon emissions and promoting new environmentally-friendly fuels.
“We are making funding available to innovative businesses which will lead the way in developing alternative fuels that are efficient, sustainable and clean. We want every new car and van in the UK to be zero emission by 2040, but we know lorries and aeroplanes will rely on more traditional fuels for years to come so we must promote environmentally friendly alternatives.”
The DfT’s commitment to biofuels comes in a month that it unveiled its plans to introduce greener bus journeys across the UK with a low-emission scheme that will use funding to buy new electric and gas buses, installing stations that can fuel or charge them. The £11m plan, which is part of the government’s £600m initiative to get more low-emission vehicles on the road by 2020, will give local authorities including Denbighshire County Council in Wales £500,000 for four electric buses and the City of York Council £3.3m for 24 electric buses.
The latest airline fuel and green bus schemes will contribute to a reduction in the UK's greenhouse gas emissions, an area it'spledged to lower by 80% by 2050.
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