The UK green fuels industry received a lift recently, with the news that the Department for Transport is launching an initiative to significantly lower carbon emissions.
On 10th December, the government launched a £25 million competition that will see the UK invest in a minimum of 3 demonstration biofuel plants. It’s the first time the UK will have adopted these plants, with the aim being that the winning technology can show at least 60% less greenhouse gas emissions in contrast to fossil fuels. Support for the competition will arrive in the form of private investment, with the Department of Transport setting their stall out in making the UK greener.
“This government is helping the transition to greener, cleaner fuel,” says Baroness Kramer. “Advanced biofuels will play an increasingly important role in lowering carbon emissions from transport and these fuel plants will help ensure the UK is leading the way in building our capacity.”
The £25 million funding will be spread out over the course of 3 years, with the two-stage competition being divided up between an initial ‘expression of interest’ stage, which will last until 13th February 2015, and a proposals stage, which will take place in June 2015. Awards will be handed out later in 2015, and the overall plan is for the biofuel plants to be up and running by December 2018.
“This country has world-class research capabilities,” continues Baroness Kramer. “I want the development of green technology to be part of this success story. This will not only benefit the environment but boost investment in Britain.”
It is known that advanced biofuel, which is derived from a conglomerate of waste products, such as straw, starch, vegetable oil and animal matter, and which produces fuel for a wide range of transport, can produce better carbon savings, and ultimately lower carbon emissions without being a detriment to other important issues, such as food security.
The hope for the competition is that it will allow for innovations in how the UK uses advanced biofuel in the future, and that it will benefit from an extensive bio-energy community. The overall expectation from the Department of Transport is that around 1 million-litres of biofuel will be produced by the year ending 2018, with a subsequent 1 million-litres being produced for each year thereafter.
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