16 Juli 2015

EU Council formally approves new biofuel rules

EU Ministers have today officially rubber-stamped new rules to address indirect land use change (ILUC) impacts associated with biofuels

Brussels, 13 July 2015 – The new rules, which have been discussed by the EU institutions for 3 years, must now be transposed and implemented quickly to ensure Europe meets its climate and energy targets for transport, says the European renewable ethanol association (ePURE).

Background

The formal agreement adopted today by the Agriculture Council introduces a 7% limit on the contribution of conventional biofuels towards the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) target. The new rules enables Member States to introduce national sub-targets for advanced biofuels and obligate the European Commission to provide a methodological basis for identifying low-ILUC risk biofuels. The package also introduces a range of multiple counting factors for advanced biofuels and renewable electricity use. Member States have 24 months to transpose the new rules.

Quick implementation now needed

The agreement comes 2 weeks after the European Commission estimated that the share of renewable energy in Europe’s transport sector was 5.7% in 2014. The Commission warned that many Member States are at risk of not reaching the target because they have not sufficiently developed their biofuels markets. The Commission concludes that an increase in biofuels consumption to meet the 2020 targets will not detrimentally impact on food prices or availability or land use.

Higher biofuel blends will help ethanol industry

Last year the JEC Biofuels Programme, an initiative of the European Commission, found that the most favourable scenarios to meet the RED and FQD targets is when the use of ethanol is maximised through higher ethanol-petrol blends such as E10. E10 requires no major technological adjustments in the fuel infrastructure or vehicle fleet because today’s vehicle fleet is almost fully compatible. Europe currently has enough ethanol production capacity (8.7 billion litres) to provide 83% of the ethanol needed (10.6 billion litres) for full penetration of the petrol market by E10. With E10 fuel only currently available in France, Germany and Finland, other Member States should prioritise its roll out.

“Today’s political conclusion to the ILUC debate is long overdue. With only 5 years left to meet the climate and energy targets for transport, urgent action is now needed at national evel to transpose and apply these new biofuel rules. Increasing the amount of sustainable IUK Supreme Court ruling on air quality – reaction from the European renewable biofuels on the EU market through the roll out of higher biofuel blends, such as E10, is the ethanol industry only realistic, cost-effective way for Member States to meet these targets.” – Mr. Robert Wright, Secretary General of ePURE.

 

Source: ePURE, press release, 2015-07-13.

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