Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Competition

A £25 million funding competition for the construction of waste-to-energy and other advanced biofuel plants in the UK.

The competition will provide up to £25 million in grant funding over three years (2015-18) for major demonstration projects providing transformative and innovative solutions.


Before You Start

This competition is designed to fund the construction of up to three demonstration-scale advanced biofuel plants - the first of their kind in the UK - in order to produce a wide range of fuels for road transport and aviation.

Advanced biofuels are made from waste materials such as agricultural residues like straw, using complex processing techniques. Advanced fuel technologies have the potential to reduce the population’s reliance on imported energy, by turning unwanted waste products into valuable transport fuel.

According to the a government 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.

Companies can bid for a share of the fund by proposing new ideas for viable demonstration-scale plants that can drive the development of the UK’s biofuel industry.

Alongside the competition, the Department for Transport has also established a Transport Energy Taskforce to consider options for supporting advanced biofuels through policy mechanisms.

Funding will be made available over three years. The competition expects plants backed by this funding to be operational by December 2018 and produce at least one million litres of biofuel a year.


Although there are no specific exclusions cited within the programme guidelines, those wishing to apply are advised to liaise with the funding provider in the first instance to discuss eligibility.

What You Need To Know

Key Criteria

Innovative technology companies operating in the UK green fuels industry can apply. These companies must be focusing on technologies that can produce biofuels with emissions at least 60%per cent lower than fossil fuels.

Match Funding

The aid intensity shall not exceed 40% of the eligible costs. However, the aid intensity may be increased by 20 percentage points for aid awarded to small enterprises and by 10 percentage points for aid awarded to medium-sized enterprises.

Eligible Expenditure

The eligible costs shall be the extra investment costs necessary to achieve a level of environmental protection. The extra investment costs shall be established by comparing the investment with the counterfactual situation in the absence of State Aid; the correct counterfactual shall be the cost of a technically comparable investment that provides a lower degree of environmental protection and that would credibly be realised without aid.

The eligible investment shall take the form of investment in tangible assets and/or in intangible assets.

How To Apply


Closed. This was a two-stage competition.

Expressions of Interest were sought from potential bidders until 13 February 2015 (now passed). Shortlisted projects werel then invited to submit full proposals by 12 June 2015 (now passed).

Frequency: Unspecified.

Link to guidelines:

Useful information:

The Department for Transport anticipates competition panel will approve up to five projects at Stage one. Only those projects approved at this stage will have the opportunity to develop and submit an application for Stage two funding; such funding is likely to be awarded to up to three projects.

Awards will be made in 2015 and the funding will be available until 2018.