UK government funds green-energy projects that could fuel guilt-free flights

Sustainable aviation fuel plants that convert domestic and commercial waste will benefit from the fund

A plane over the southern runway at London Heathrow Airport. PA
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A share of a £165 million ($199 million) fund has been pledged to projects that turn household rubbish into fuel for “guilt-free flying” on jets.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plants in Teesside, Immingham and Ellesmere Port that will convert domestic and commercial waste are some of the projects to benefit from the fund.

A project in Port Talbot, southern Wales, will convert steel mill emissions into fuel and another scheme will develop a plant creating fuel using carbon captured from a gas-fired power station, and hydrogen made from renewable electricity.

“Using waste or by-products to refuel airliners sounds like a flight of fancy, but thanks to £165 million of government funding it’s going to help us make guilt-free flying a reality," said Transport Secretary Mark Harper.

“It’s exactly this kind of innovation that will help us create thousands of green jobs across the country and slash our carbon emissions.”

The Department for Transport said the five projects would produce more than 300,000 tonnes of SAF a year, enough to fly to the Moon and back an estimated 60 times.

Green energy sources - in pictures

The successful projects will also cut carbon dioxide emissions by an average of 200,000 tonnes a year when fully operational.

The latest allocation of cash from the advanced fuels fund came after the announcement that Virgin Atlantic will operate the world’s first “net zero” transatlantic flight next year.

The airline secured £1 million of government funding to fly a Boeing 787 jet from London Heathrow to New York JFK using SAF instead of kerosene.

Updated: December 22, 2022, 1:00 AM