Biofuels Mandates Around the World – Who Is Moving the Targets?
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) … United States Concerns over the price impacts of a devastating US drought have led to call for a waiver in the US Renewable Fuel Standard volumetric targets. Proposed waivers have ranged from small, symbolic down-shifting of the targets to a zeroing out of mandates for 2013. …What may decide the fate of the RFS – ultimately, the occupant of the White House, who appoints the EPA Administrator, who in turns oversees the RFS annual targets.
…In the EU, a devastating reduction in biofuels targets Over in the EU, the European Commission has now proposed to reduce biofuel targets from 10 percent to 5 percent, introduce indirect land use change into calculations on acceptable feedstocks, phase out the use of certain arable crops altogether, and provide “multiple counting” benefits that they say will accelerate advanced biofuels adoption by providing huge incentives for their development.
…On the way up In Vietnam this month, the government is developing a plan to promote biofuels production and consumption. Submitted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the plan will include 5% mandatory biofuel use in some big cities. The plan includes increased production of ethanol and biodiesel to 1.8 million tons through 2015 with a vision to expand the plan to 2025.
In South Africa this month, recent blending mandates that require minimum blending of 2% bioethanol have prompted a prominent law firm, Norton Rose, to release a warning that the requirements could lead to further price increases. According to the government, the policies aim to develop the local biofuels industry in an attempt to attract investment in rural areas and promote agricultural development.
In the Philippines this month, a government-owned corporation supporting more than 3 million Filipino coconut farmers, CIIF Oils Mills Group, has again asked the Department of Energy to increase the 2.0 percent minimum mandated biodiesel blend to 5.0 percent.
In Zimbabwe, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries is pushing for mandatory E10 blendingno later than December in line with the mandate put in place by South Africa on Aug. 23.
…At the same time and also in Brazil, the biodiesel industry is pushing for an intermediate blending rate of 7% for 2013 before the expected implementation of B10 in 2014 to help boost local demand for biodiesel.
…Back in May in New Zealand, the Labour Party began pushing for the government to reinstate the biofuel obligation that the party had introduced in 2008 when it was in power that the National party later replaced with a biofuel subsidy—a policy that has allegedly failed—when it came into power.
…Last winter in Uruguay, the government said it was hoping to implement a B5 policy this year but it will depend on the ability to boost domestic biodiesel production.
…On the way down Last month in Argentina, the national government reduced the biodiesel blending mandate to 7 percent, without giving a reason for the change.