U.K. opens competition to fund demonstration-scale biofuel plants

By Erin Voegele | December 16, 2014

The U.K. Department for Transport has announced plans to award GBP £25 million ($39.37 million) to support the development of up to three advanced biofuel demonstration plants. The funding, which will be made available over a three-year period, will be awarded through a two-stage competition.

According to the funding announcement, Phase 1 expression of interest applications are due Feb. 13. Those applications will be reviewed by a selection panel. The panel is expected to approve up to five projects that will be allowed to proceed to Phase 2. Applications for Phase 2 of the competition are due June 12, with grants expected to be awarded for up to three projects. According to the funding announcement, the Department for Transport plans to hold an event for prospective bidders on Jan. 14.

“This government is helping the transition to greener, cleaner fuel. 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,” said Transport Minister Baroness Kramer. “This country has world-class research capabilities and 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.”

Selected projects are expected to have the capacity to produce at least 1 million liters (264.17 gallons) of biofuel per year by the end of 2018. Fuel produced at the facilities must achieve a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when compared to fossil fuels.

According to the funding announcement, selected projects are also expected to demonstrate key innovations inherent to the proposed technology pathway, an understanding of market context with a clear view of where the awardee’s product would fit, and a clear strategy for commercializing the technology and products. Projects selected for funding are also expected to demonstrate that the consortia have the necessary expertise and experience to complete the project, the ability to match fund the project’s costs, and a clear strategy for communicating the successful delivery of the project to the bioenergy community and the public.

Additional information on the funding opportunity is available on the Department for Transport website.