New research by Sustainable Aviation suggests that the UK could be home to up to 14 sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facilities, and boost the economy by £2.9 billion annually by 2038.

The coalition of UK airlines, airports, aerospace manufacturers and air navigation service providers said that the research by energy consultant E4tech showed that the new facilities could be based in seven clusters across the UK, in Teesside, Humberside, the North West of England, South Wales, Southampton, St Fergus and Grangemouth.

The group said that these locations possessed “the right feedstocks and infrastructure to turn household, agricultural and industrial waste and renewable electricity into jet fuel”.

The research also showed that the UK SAF industry could create 20,200 jobs and save 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2038, bosting the economy by almost £3 billion each year.

Back in June the coalition wrote to the UK government urging it to a £500 million in funding as part of its economic recovery plan, and the group has reiterated this demand, calling on the government to provide:

  • £429m in Government-backed loan guarantees for the initial first-of-its-kind SAF production facilities
  • £50m in grants and development support for new SAF technologies
  • £21m to establish a UK clearing house to enable SAF testing and approval

Call for UK government support for sustainable aviation fuels

Commenting on the news Adam Morton, chair of Sustainable Aviation, said:

“Sustainable aviation fuels will be essential for the global aviation industry in a net zero world, and the UK has a golden opportunity to become a world-leader by commercialising this technology at an early stage.

“There are enormous benefits in terms of jobs and growth across these clusters. By backing SAF in this way, 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.”