FAA And DOT Pushing Green For New X Prize

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While Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand and Boeing have teamed up to develop a green aviation fuel, and the CAFE foundation offers an aviation efficiency "green prize" worth $50,000, Thursday the U.S. Department of Transportation said it will finance its own green fuel contest. The DOT and FAA has granted $500,000 to the X Prize Foundation to create a contest hoped to award $10 million or more to the creator of an alternative jet fuel. Specific requirements for winning entrants will be developed over the next 14 months. The competition is expected to begin in 2011 with a winner to be selected (hopefully) in 2016. The X Prize Foundation will award the money, which will originate from a private sponsor that has not yet been selected. "It will be a competition that everyone wins, because a breakthrough in alternative jet fuels is a potential game-changer that could bring lower airline fuel costs, greater U.S. energy independence, and cleaner air," Mary Peters, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, said in a statement.

Senior director of prize development at the X Prize Foundation, Jason Morgan, believes in the competitive approach: "With all the discussion about global warming, the increasing cost of oil, and the increasing congestion everyone's feeling at the airport, we need to do something dramatic about it and we think it's the contest model."