I have today (10 December 2014) launched the government’s £25 million advanced biofuels demonstration competition to support the development of a domestic advanced biofuel industry, we have also published the independent feasibility study on GOV.UK into the project and the opportunities available for UK industry.
This is a major step forward for the UK. According to the feasibility study, gains from the domestic supply of converting low value waste to high value transport fuel could be worth up to £130 million gross value added to the UK by 2030, and potentially up to £500 million per year including exports. Therefore, I believe that using our world class research capabilities, this competition will provide real opportunities for UK businesses to become a global leader in this market.
Originally announced by the then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Norman Baker MP last August, the £25 million of capital funding, supported by significant private sector investment, is designed to achieve the construction of up to 3 demonstration-scale advanced biofuel plants in the UK. Awards will be made in 2015 and the funding will be available until 2018.
Relative to first-generation biofuels (those made from traditional crops, starch, sugars or vegetable oil), advanced fuels could deliver greater carbon savings without the same concerns around food security and land use change. Advanced fuel technologies have the potential to reduce our reliance on imported energy, by turning unwanted waste products into valuable transport fuel.
Alongside the competition, the Department for Transport has also established a Transport Energy Taskforce to consider options for supporting advanced biofuels through policy mechanisms. We are also supporting a sub target at EU level.
Expressions of Interest are now being sought from potential bidders until 13 February 2015, short-listed projects will then be invited to submit full proposals.