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Support for Sustainable Aviation Fuel Industry

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The Government has announced it will be introducing a revenue certainty scheme to support sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production in the UK. The Department of Transport says this will be implemented as part of the Energy Security Bill.

What is the Energy Security Bill?

The Energy Security Bill, also known as the Energy Bill, was introduced to Parliament in 2022. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy argue that this Bill will establish provisions regarding energy production, security and regulation of the energy market.

Sustainable aviation fuel

Flights are huge sources of emissions, but airlines could cut their carbon footprints by transitioning away from petroleum-based fuels to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). SAF is a type of biofuel, meaning it is made from plant or animal materials rather than fossil fuels. It can cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared with traditional jet fuels.

Sustainable aviation fuel is the most developed pathway for aviation decarbonisation and the Government is aiming to provide long-term certainty for the industry. As part of the Energy Bill, the Government has tabled legislation that will launch a consultation on options for designing and implementing a revenue certainty scheme under the SAF programme. The Government hopes this will grow the economy by creating 10,000 jobs by 2030, along with contributing towards Government’s commitment of having at least 5 commercial SAF plants under construction in the UK by 2025.

A delivery plan for how the revenue certainty mechanism can be delivered by the end of 2026 has also been published, building on the work by the Jet Zero Council to consider the best way to support the aviation industry to decarbonise.

Further measures

Additionally, the Government has already committed to investing £165m through the Advanced Fuel Fund. This aims to provide investors with reassurance in UK sustainable aviation fuel, as well as funding research and technology to support the transition to net zero. The Government asserts that considering options for additional revenue certainty will further support the development and production of SAF and bring the UK a step closer to achieving “Jet Zero”.

Responses

Aviation and Maritime Minister Baroness Vere has said that along with economic opportunities, certainty will allow the industry to reach its full potential “bringing us closer to net zero flying”.

Chair of the Jet Zero Council SAF Delivery Group, Jonathon Counsell, said that “SAF will play the most important role in meeting our net zero targets and especially in reducing aviation emissions this decade. So we welcome the commitment to a revenue certainty scheme”.

Final thought

This commitment to SAF is an important step to create cleaner and greener aviation in the UK. Supporting research and innovation is also crucial to developing new low-emissions technology for a sustainable future.

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