The US Department of Transportation is putting up some stakes for getting green jet fuel out on the market. DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration together are giving $500,000 to nonprofit X Prize Foundation in order for them to develop a competition to get private industry thinking creatively about renewable jet fuels and technology for aviation. Private sponsors will help to fund a significant prize for the winner of the competition – a purse carrying as much as $10 million. That’s a pretty attractive carrot to dangle in front of private industry – and I’m sure Green Flight International will have a leg up on the competition.
The X Prize Foundation has been wrangling with the DOT and FAA for this competition since the mid-90s, so it must be a sweet relief to finally be moving forward. The nonprofit will talk with aviation industry experts over the next 14 months to figure out rules, structure, and the prize, hopefully launching the competition by 2011. Once the competition is launched, they’re looking at about 5 years for development, with a winner coming out around 2016. Seems slow as snails to me, especially considering the leaps and bounds being made in alternative fuels, but I suppose in reality – and not Generation Now speed – that’s still a pretty brisk clip for developing this new technology, especially if they’ve been pushing since the ‘90s to get this off the ground.
And this isn’t the only competition the X Prize Foundation has going on - it’s actually their fifth. They held the Ansari X Prize for private suborbital space flight which was won in 2004, they have the current $10 million Archon X Prize for Genomics, the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize, and the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize for energy-efficient vehicles. For the latter competition’s prize, DOT granted X Prize Foundation $3.5 million to educate young people about fuel efficient autos. So after looking so intently at the ground, we’re going to see some attention paid to the sky.
written by The Food Monster, July 16, 2008
written by Chris Gammell, July 17, 2008
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