OECD study reveals health cost of road transport emissions
Published on 22 May 2014 Source: EurActiv
The cost of air pollution to the world’s largest economies runs into the trillions of euros, with emissions from road transport accounting for about half of the total, according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The study estimates the cost of air pollution to the OECD member countries and China and India, at $3.5 trillion (€2.6 trillion).
UK Missing Out on Biofuel Opportunities Due to Lack of Clear Policy
Published on 02 May 2014 Source: Waste Management World
The UK is losing out on investment and jobs due to the government’s lack of a clear policy framework for sustainable biofuels, according to the Renewable Energy Association (REA). The organisation explained that it is frustrated by the lack of concrete measures to improve the policy framework for sustainable biofuels in government the decisions published this week. In responses to two important consultations, the Department for Transport (DfT) proposed a limited set of changes to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) and stopped short of outlining how it will meet its binding 10% 2020 renewable transport target.
Advanced Biofuels Production Targets Reduced
Published on 02 May 2014 Source: Human Biology Blog
Most of the ethanol used in blended gasoline is produced from corn. Only about 15% is “advanced biofuels” - ethanol made from various types of non-food biomass such as cornstalks and corncobs, wheat stalks, wood chips, and the pulp waste from fruit processing. Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007), the EPA establishes specific production targets each year for corn ethanol and advanced biofuels. The EPA recently proposed reducing the production targets for 2014. A large proportion of the proposed reduction will come at the expense of advanced biofuels. Back in 2007, EISA set a target for advanced biofuel production of 21 billion gallons by 2022. With a proposed 2014 production rate of only 2.2 billion gallons, that target looks like a pipe dream now.
EU Farmers & Agri-Cooperatives Magazine
Published on 02 May 2014 Source: Copa & Cogeca
The magazine includes Copa & Cogeca Manifesto for European Elections, Interviews with Copa & Cogeca Presidents, MEPs, Commissioner Ciolos and Greek Agriculture Minister Athanasios Tsaftaris.
ILUC Unverifiable and Biofuels Economically Beneficial, Says IPCC
Published on 24 April 2014 Source: Bio-based News
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) released their “Bioenergy and Climate Change Mitigation: An Assessment” report in Berlin on Sunday that confirmed that biofuels production is economically beneficial and that Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) modelling is unverifiable.
New study on indirect land use change (ILUC) values
Published on 23 April 2014 Source: Question for written answer to the Commission, Bogusław Sonik (PPE)
While the current ILUC proposal is based on the IFPRI study, the Commission has launched a new study, Globiom, which aims at developing a new ILUC model at EU level. The need to develop a new study as well as there being limited information available on Globiom, casts doubt over the viability of the ILUC proposal, which will have a huge impact on the biofuels sector.
1. What is the reason behind launching the new study, Globiom?
2. The ILUC proposal put forward by the Commission will have a huge impact on the viability of the biofuels sector. Why did the Commission put forward a legislative proposal, when it seems that the proposed ILUC values (based on IFPRI research) are not based on agreed science and need further research (Globiom)?
3. The new Globiom model is only using data from the period 2005-2010. As a result, the latest changes in terms of market dynamics, yield changes or improved sustainability will not be taken into account in the new study. Why is the study not using more recent data?
4. In its Recommendation of 9 April 2013 (2013/179/EU) on the use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations, the Commission stated that, ‘as there is no agreed methodology on indirect land use change in the context of the Environmental Footprint, indirect land use change shall not be included in the greenhouse gas calculation in the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)’. If there is no agreed methodology on ILUC, why is the Commission spending EUR 800 000 on another ILUC study?
5. The positive role of mitigation, such as better enforcement of legislation of third countries, increasing yields of food crops, changing sourcing patterns, etc., are not included in models such as IFPRI and Globiom, but can result in a considerable weakening of ILUC values. Why is the positive role of mitigation not included in these studies?
IPCC voices support for biofuels
Published on 15 April 2014 Source: Europolitics
In its latest report, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes that uncertainties concerning the exact role of bioenergy products in combating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions should not prevent the development of these potentially beneficial products. But most importantly, the report calls into question the ILUC (indirect land use change) criteria used to calculate GHG emissions from biofuel crops. These criteria were set by the European Commission at the request of environmental NGOs, but also large industries like Nestlé, in its revised draft directive on biofuels.
UN Report Finds ILUC Unverifiable and Biofuels Economically Beneficial
Published on 14 April 2014 Source: Biofuels Journal
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) released their “Bioenergy and Climate Change Mitigation: An Assessment” report in Berlin on Sunday that confirmed that biofuels production is economically beneficial and that Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) modelling is unverifiable. The UN IPCC report found that “Bioenergy projects can be economically beneficial, by raising and diversifying farm incomes and increasing rural employment through the production of biofuels for domestic or export markets.”
Biofuels 'low hanging fruit' in fight against climate change: ePure
Published on 14 April 2014 Source: Platts
Biofuels are "a low hanging fruit in the fight against climate change and must be supported through long-term and ambitious decarbonization policies for transport," ePure, a lobby group of European fuel-ethanol producers said Monday. ePure's statement came in the wake of a comprehensive report released Sunday by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The document states that greenhouse-gas emissions must fall 40-70% by 2050 to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius. ePure said that the IPCC assessment "confirms that bioenergy has a massively positive role to play" in reducing carbon intensity across energy sectors and that "uncertainties about bioenergy should not preclude society from pursuing beneficial bioenergy options that are available."
Investors can be catalysts in transition to sustainable biofuels
Published on 03 April 2014 Source: ClickGreen
The use of commercially feasible advanced biofuels (derived from non-food crops) may help to reduce climate risks and avoid environmental and social conflicts associated with conventional food crop based biofuels, says the latest investor briefing released today by EIRIS, a leading global provider of ESG ratings and research to responsible investors.
The EIRIS imug Biofuels Report, produced by EIRIS and imug (EIRIS' global network partner in Germany), introduces different types of biofuels and shares EIRIS' insights into key environmental and social risks and opportunities, future developments and findings from EIRIS' research. The briefing explains the uncertain policy framework for food crop based biofuels as global concerns about their impact on food security, land use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use, biodiversity and forest management, call into question previous regulatory policies and targets.
Unzipping poplars' biofuel potential
Published on 03 April 2014 Source: Nanowerk News
What began 20 years ago as an innovation to improve paper industry processes and dairy forage digestibility may now open the door to a much more energy- and cost-efficient way to convert biomass into fuel. The research, which appears in the current issue of Science ("Monolignol Ferulate Transferase Introduces Chemically Labile Linkages into the Lignin Backbone"), focuses on enhancing poplar trees so they can break down easier and thus improving their viability as a biofuel. The long-term efforts and teamwork involved to find this solution can be described as a rare, top-down approach to engineering plants for digestibility, said Curtis Wilkerson, Michigan State University plant biologist and the lead author.
The quality of fuels in Member States
Published on 01 April 2014 Source: MEP Question for written answer, Roger Helmer, EFD
Given that the Commission is proposing a 40% GHG reduction target in its 2030 Communication, GHG reductions within the transport sector will also be required if we are to achieve said goal. In the same proposal, however, the Commission does not see fit to propose a mandatory renewables target or a sector-specific GHG reduction target for transport. Instead, it has stated that it believes that Member States will adopt national renewable targets in transport, mostly to be fulfilled with biofuels.
In the light of these observations:
1. Given that the maximum biofuel blend in conventional biofuels that the automotive sector has agreed on is B7 in diesel and E10 in gasoline — as higher blends of conventional biofuels will cause problems in engines — and considering that some Member States would already like to deviate from these commonly agreed fuel blend limits, how will the Commission ensure the compatibility of fuels for consumers across the EU if Member States are to implement different levels of biofuel mandates in the EU?
2. What measures will the Commission implement to promote the use of advanced high‐ quality biofuels, which can in fact be blended into fuel without any technical blending limits?
UFOP: Making the case for first-gen biofuels in EU policy future
Published on 31 March 2014 Source: Biodiesel Magazine
The European resolution and discussion situation with respect to European Commission proposals for amendments to the Renewable Energies Directive and the Fuel Quality Directive only permits one conclusion at present: policies are far removed from mapping—let alone establishing—reliable framework conditions for agriculture and the biofuel sector. On the contrary: with the “Climate and Energy Package 2030” presented by the EU Commission the intention is obviously to phase out subsidies for traditional biofuels. It will be up to the member states to now fulfill the GHG reduction target of 40 percent specified by the EU within the framework of national measures. Only through a concerted action by some member states could a sub-target of 27 percent renewable energies be incorporated in the package.
EurObserv'ER annual report highlights EU bioenergy sector
Published on 27 March 2014 Source: Biomass Magazine
EurObserv’ER has released the 2013 edition of its annual renewable energy report, which determined that final energy consumption from renewable resources increased significantly in 2012. The report, titled “The State of Renewable Energies in Europe,” includes an overview of European biofuel and bioenergy production and consumption.
Regarding biofuels, the analysis shows that consumption reached approximately 14.3 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2012, up 4 percent from 2011’s consumption level of 13.8 Mtoe. According to the report, measurements of the sustainably certified share of consumption was not available for all countries when the EUrObserv’ER survey was conducted. In addition there are still uncertainties about European Commission acceptance of certification systems implemented in some countries. However, the organization estimates that the 82 percent, or 11.7 Mtoe, of the biofuel consumed in 2012 was certified as sustainable, up from 61 percent or 8.5 Mtoe the previous year. On energy content basis, the report shows that biodiesel accounted for 79 percent of European biofuel consumption in 2012, with ethanol accounting for 20.1 percent. Pure vegetable oil and biogas accounted for less than 1 percent of consumption.
Algae- the biofuel of the future
Published on 25 March 2014 Source: Incyprus.com.cy
Academics representing 12 organisations from six countries, including Cyprus, are researching the production of liquid biofuel from microalgae in the Mediterranean.
Renewed interest has been encouraged by the commercial value of algae as a fuel solution alternative to oil.Research organisations, academic institutions, energy agencies, private organisations from Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Lebanon and Egypt are working together on the new technology through the MED ALGAE project.
EU biofuel stakeholders urge transport fuel target for 2030
Published on 19 March 2014 Source: Agra Europe
New scientific evidence has reinforced the need to add specific transport targets to a wider EU climate and energy package for 2030, argue the European Biodiesel Board (EBB), the European Oilseed Association (EOA) and EU farm lobby Copa-Cogeca.
The call comes ahead of an EU summit tomorrow and Friday (March 20-21), where heads of government will discuss proposals on a set of targets for 2030, based on European Commission proposals from January.
Europe needs a better biofuels policy
Published on 03 March 2014 Source: Euractiv
Private sector biofuels investment has been killed off by the Renewable Energy Directive, and only a clear, stable policy offering certainty up until 2030 will revive it, argues Eric Sievers. Eric Sievers is the CEO of Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd.
Ministers to clash over biofuel
Published on 27 February 2014 Source: European Voice
Energy ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (4 March) are likely to have tense discussions on the future of biofuel following the European Commission's suggestion last month that the EU should scrap targets for transport fuel from renewables after 2020.
The Commission on 22 January recommended that binding national targets for renewable energy should be scrapped after 2020 and two sub-targets should also be dropped: 10% of transport fuel coming from renewables, and an obligation on fuel suppliers to reduce their emissions by 6% by 2020.
RPT-EU policy gap choking off next generation green fuel-industry
Published on 26 February 2014 Source: Reuters
Projects to deliver a next generation of green transport fuel, which new research says could cut EU oil consumption by millions of tonnes per year, are on hold because of an EU policy vacuum, representatives of the industry say.Specific EU targets for low carbon transport fuel expire in 2020 and suggested EU climate and energy policy for 2030, to be discussed by EU ministers in Brussels next week, includes only an overall carbon-cutting goal for all energy.
Research, published on Wednesday, by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and the NNFCC, a British consultancy, found the next generation of sustainable biofuels made from household, agricultural and forestry waste could create 300,000 jobs and cut EU consumption of oil by 37 million tonnes of oil annually by 2030.
Biofuels made from rubbish 'could power 16% of EU road transport'
Published on 26 February 2014 Source: The Guardian
Fuel made from waste could replace 16% of all the fuel used on European roads by 2030, cutting spending on oil imports and boosting the rural economy by up to €15bn, according to a joint report by industry and NGOs.The paper, whose backers include BA, Novozymes, WWF, and Virgin Airways, says there is significant untapped potential for sustainable waste from farms, forests, households, and industry to be turned into transport fuel, rejecting concerns that there are insufficient quantities of waste organic material to make a meaningful or cost-effective contribution to meeting transport fuel demand.
Waste-based biofuels sector needs smarter EU2030 package to realize its high potential
Published on 26 February 2014 Source: UPM
UPM participated together with a coalition of technology innovators and green NGOs to a project which results were published today. Europe has a significant untapped potential for converting wastes from farming, forestry, industry and households to advanced low-carbon biofuels, but only if it sets a strong sustainability framework and ambitious decarbonisation targets for transport fuels in 2030, finds a new report entitled “Wasted: Europe’s Untapped Resource.”
Advanced biofuels project blames EC for failure
Published on 25 February 2014 Source: ENDS Europe
An advanced biofuels project that was awarded €88.5m in EU funding has been scrapped. The developers blamed the European Commission's decision not to propose a renewable energy target for transport fuels beyond 2020.The Kemi project by Finnish company Vapo would have produced second-generation biodiesel from logging waste. It was one of five advanced biofuel projects awarded funding under the NER300 first round in December 2012.
UK biofuels sector seeks firmer EU policy target guidelines
Published on 17 February 2014 Source: Agra Europe
The UK is way off course to achieve its 2020 EU renewable transport target of 10%, as the biofuels sector lags behind its neighbours due to continuing policy instability.
Renewable Energy Association spokesman Clare Wenner has emphasised that unless the UK government sets out a clear trajectory for achieving binding 2020 renewable transport target of 10% before the next general election in May 2015, it risks missing out on jobs, investment and cost-effective carbon savings as companies shift their biofuel projects elsewhere in Europe.
Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) of biofuels, Parliamentary Question by MEP Julie Girling
Published on 17 February 2014 Source: Julie Girling MEP
On 9th September, 2 days prior to the plenary vote on the Parliament's report on the Indirect Land Use Change Report (ILUC - the Biofuels dossier), an email was sent to MEPs and advisors in the ENVI and ITRE Committees by a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Hedegaard, co-signed by a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Oettinger.
The email contained several unpublished ILUC studies by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). The email was claimed to have been sent "given the interest" from MEPs involved in the ILUC file negotiations. Based on the content of that email, I wish to ask the following:
- Given that the email sent by the Cabinet of Commissioner Hedegaard clearly states that "changes to the text (of the studies) might still occur", and given that the studies were not agreed within the Commission, does the Commission agree that providing such unfinished reports to MEPs is inappropriate?
- Following on from this as the unfinished JRC studies, "do not represent the official views of the Commission", does the Commission believe it is appropriate to send emails to MEPs with information that does not represent the official views of the Commission? Also, do you believe that the leaking of such unfinished studies, to aid the political objectives of Commission services, damages the reputation of the JRC and undermines the independence of the Parliament?
- Has the Commission undertaken an investigation into these actions and/or any disciplinary procedures action against those staff members in JRC who were found to have deliberately leaked these unfinished studies to the various Commission services, including those in the Cabinet of Commissioner Hedegaard?
New website launched, new documents published (ILUC quantification study of EU biofuels)
Published on 13 February 2014 Source: Globium ILUC
Ecofys, IIASA and E4tech are glad to announce the launch of this Transparency Platform with information on the ILUC modeling we perform for the European Commission. The website contains documents describing the GLOBIOM model used in the project.