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Armed Forces: Fuel

Volume 704: debated on Monday 13 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What work is under way to develop and evaluate alternatives to oil-based fuels for aircraft, ships and land vehicles that are active or are planned for service by the Armed Forces. [HL5316]

The MoD has been working on alternative energy sources for several years. The Royal Air Force has led on examining fuel efficiency and alternative fuel sources, including the wider application of biofuels and synthetic fuels across the land, sea and air environments. In 1999, RAF aircraft were among the first in the world certified to fly on up to 56 per cent non-crude oil derived synthetic fuel. Since April 2008, RAF aircraft have been certified to use 100 per cent synthetic fuel. Work continues to achieve the wider use of synthetic fuels for ships and land vehicles.

The MoD is currently exploring the option of conducting joint international collaboration with France, industry and academia to examine reducing dependency on oil, exploiting renewable energy sources and scavenging energy from waste heat.