The Department for Transport has launched a competition in a bid to encourage companies developing sustainable aviation fuels.

A prize pot of £15 million is available to support companies who can help the government towards its long-term target of net-zero emission aviation.

The Green Skies competition, announced as part of Boris Johnson’s plan to produce green fuel announced last year, will be overseen by the Jet Zero Council, which was also announced last year.

It is looking to fund new technologies to convert household rubbish, waste wood and excess electricity into sustainable aviation fuel – and create jobs in the process of moving towards more sustainable aviation.

Emma Gilthorpe, chief operating officer of Heathrow airport has been named chief executive of the Jet Zero Council, which has new members from the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Transport secretary Grant Shapps, said: “As the aviation sector emerges out of the pandemic and looks towards recovery over the coming months, we must put our environmental commitments at the centre of everything we do – so not only do we build back better, we also build back greener.

“That’s why we’re stepping up our work on the council, recruiting new members and launching pioneering efforts to ensure that we continue to lead the world by example and deliver on our ambitious net-zero targets.”

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “Britain’s aerospace sector is at the centre of our plans to build back greener from the pandemic.”