The Department for Transport ran an Advanced Fuels Call for Evidence in 2013/14 to examine the potential of advanced fuels in aviation and other transport sectors that cannot be easily decarbonised without low-carbon fuels. A summary of the evidence received was published with the Department’s response to the consultation on the post-implementation review of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) in April 2014. Amendments to the RTFO earlier this year increased rewards for gaseous fuels, such as biomethane used in freight, to better reflect their energy content.
The Department also commissioned an independent feasibility study to examine the economic benefits and potential of advanced biofuels in the UK, published in February 2014, the study informed the design of the Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Plant Competition for £25m of matched grant funding. Winning projects were announced on 7th September 2015.
The Department for Transport and the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership established a Transport Energy Task Force in September 2014 to examine options to meet our renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction targets, including through the wider deployment of sustainable biofuel. The Task Force included input from representatives of the Sustainable Aviation group.
The Task Force’s report was published in March 2015 by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. The Task Force acknowledged that sustainable biofuels have a valuable role in reducing carbon emissions from transport, particularly in sectors where there are limited alternatives such as aviation and I met with Task Force representatives, including Sustainable Aviation, in July to discuss that report.
Following the report of the Transport Energy Task Force, we are assessing the benefits of making aviation biofuels eligible for certificates under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and support under that scheme for synthetic fuels from renewable electricity. We aim to include proposals in a public consultation next year on potential amendments to the RTFO scheme.