The need to meet targets of reducing greenhouse gasses sees a new government funding for projects to develop the next generation of low carbon fuels from rubbish.
The Department of Transport’s £22-million funding, which will be matched by industry, will be awarded through the ‘Future fuels for flight and freight’ competition.
The Freight Transport Association (FTS) sees this funding as a positive move towards further reductions in carbon emissions, and advances in fuel technology are crucial for the haulage industry.
Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of National & Regional Policy, said:
“Huge strides have been made on air quality emissions from lorries in the past few years. HGVs sold since 2014 emit 80% less local air pollutants on the road than their predecessors, but the industry needs something new to achieve similar reductions on greenhouse gases. Road transport is the main means of delivering goods across the UK with 80% of the UK’s goods moving by road. Even if we maximise use of rail and water it will remain the dominant mode of freight. So we have to improve road freight, and “rubbish” initiatives like this may indeed be the way forward.”
It is not viable to switch over to electric power for HGVS and planes due to their large weight and so a switch to biofuels is seen as the way forward, with such fuels having the potential to use 90 per cent less carbon than traditional fuels.
70 groups have already expressed interest in competing for the funding in order to be able to conduct pioneering research in a sector that could be worth up to £600 million a year to the economy by 2030 and could create around 9,800 new jobs.
Commenting on the announcement, Transport Minister Jesse Norman said:
“We are committed to cutting carbon emissions and promoting new environmentally-friendly fuels that will help us meet that goal. We are making funding available to innovative businesses which will lead the way in developing alternative fuels that are efficient, sustainable and clean.
We want every new car and van in the UK to be zero emission by 2040, but we know lorries and aeroplanes will rely on more traditional fuels for years to come so we must promote environmentally friendly alternatives.”