UK confirms 10% SAF target for all flights from 2030


The UK has finally confirmed the long-awaited mandate requiring all flights taking off from the UK to use 10% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030.

The mandate is subject to parliamentary approval and will come into force in January 2025.

Department of Transport (DoT) said that it held extensive consultations with the industry and committed to ambitious but achievable targets that will see around 1.2m tonnes of SAF supplied to the UK airline industry each year.

The plan includes a review mechanism to help manage prices and minimise the impact on ticket fares for passengers. The government also has the power to change key limits within the mandate to block higher price rises in the case of SAF shortages – keeping the impact on consumers to a minimum. 

“SAF protects the future of UK aviation, the thousands of British jobs that depend on it, and the holidays and business travel flights that we all rely on,” said Mark Harper, transport secretary, UK.

“As part of our plan to grow the economy, the measures announced today will give both UK aviation and the UK SAF industry the certainty they need to keep creating skilled British jobs while giving passengers the freedom to continue travelling by air in a way that’s fit for the future.”

The government has also launched a consultation today into a range of options for a SAF revenue certainty scheme, which looks to guarantee revenue from SAF and provide new and existing producers and investors with the confidence to continue investing in the industry.

The consultation includes a preferred option of a guaranteed strike price (GSP), which guarantees a pre-agreed price of SAF supplied to the UK market. 

The SAF mandate will set annual targets on fuel suppliers to blend a proportion of SAF into their fuel supply. It will operate as a tradeable certificate scheme where the supply of SAF is rewarded in proportion to its GHG emission reductions.

Some of the key features of the mandate:

Our response confirms:

  • the overall SAF demand will be set at 2% of aviation fuel supplied in 2025, increasing to 10% in 2030 and 22% in 2040
  • hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids will be allowed to contribute a maximum amount (100%) of SAF demand in 2025 and 2026, decreasing to 71% in 2030 and 35% by 2040
  • a power to liquid (PtL) obligation will be introduced from 2028 at 0.2% of total jet fuel demand and will reach 3.5% of total jet fuel demand in 2040
  • the buy-out prices will be set at the equivalent of £4.70 and £5.00 per litre for the main and PtL obligations, respectively
  • formal reviews will be conducted and published at least every 5 years, with the first review carried out by 2030
  • aviation turbine fuel, aviation gasoline and hydrogen will be eligible for reward providing they meet strict sustainability criteria
  • the obligation will be determined on the basis of energy supplied through aviation fuel with the reward of certificates proportionate to GHG savings
  • the administration of the scheme will align with the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation as much as possible
  • the administrator will have the right to apply proportionate sanctions to ensure all relevant parties are compliant the requirements of the mandate