UK SAF usage jumps 188% in 2023


Data released by the UK’s Department for Transport showed that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplied in the country jumped by 188% year-on-year to 138.1m litres compared to 48m in 2022.

As a percentage of total fuel supplied, SAF made up for just 0.28% in 2023 compared to 0.10% in 2022.

The SAF used was produced primarily using used cooking oil and food waste feedstocks. China, Malaysia and United Kingdom were the top sources of UCO feedstock. On the other hand, food waste came mainly from Spain and UK.

Much of the incentives for SAF usage at the airport level were offered by the Heathrow Airport which had set a target of 1.5% SAF mix within flights. The Heathrow Airport had put in place £37m worth of incentives for 2023 to be utilised by airlines.

The airport also continued the same scheme in 2024 to help halve the price gap between kerosene and SAF for airlines. 

In 2024, £71m will be available to airlines through the incentive, targeting up to 2.5% of aviation fuel used at Heathrow to be SAF –  amounting to 155,000 tonnes of SAF.

The scheme encourages airlines to switch to SAF by approximately halving the price gap between kerosene and its greener alternative, making SAF a commercial reality for airlines.

In 2024, the scheme is targeting up to 341,755 tonne reduction of carbon equivalent emissions from flights if 70% GHG emissions reduction is achieved.

The UK las month finally confirmed the long-awaited mandate requiring all flights taking off from the country to use 10% SAF by 2030 and 22% in 2040. At the outset, HEFA will contribute a maximum amount (100%) of SAF demand in 2025 and 2026, decreasing to 71% in 2030 and 35% by 2040. A sub mandate of 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 mandate is subject to parliamentary approval and will come into force in January 2025.