Draft EU Proposals Would Devastate UK Biofuels Industry
(Renewable Energy Magazine) The Renewable Energy Association (REA) has warned that the speed and scale of EU proposals are likely to destroy UK biofuels sector innovations rather than building on them.
The UK biofuels industry stands to be devastated by draft proposals being developed by the European Commission the REA has warned. If implemented, the proposals would shift the goalposts for the industry so dramatically that millions of pounds of investment could be wasted, including in the most advanced UK businesses. All significant investment in the sector would likely cease and dependency on oil will increase. Nearly £1 billion has been invested in the UK in the production of sustainable biofuels, but our industry remains small by EU standards.
The biofuels sector is the only fuels sector where mandatory sustainability standards are legally enforceable. Targets set under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) have ensured that Government and industry can robustly differentiate between sustainable and unsustainable biofuels. The UK industry has been particularly innovative in meeting these requirements, achieving average greenhouse gas (GHG) savings from UK-produced biofuels of 69% while increasing co-production of animal feeds. The Government’s ‘Bioenergy Strategy’ recognises the role of biofuels in meeting carbon targets over the next 20 years.
“The UK industry is particularly vulnerable to these proposals because it is small and because investment has been hindered by the lack of clear domestic policy” said Claire Wenner, Head of Renewable Transport at the REA. “The great irony is we have been repeatedly asking for a clear pathway to 2020, not least to secure investment in technological advancement. Nobody listened. Now Europe is planning a quantum leap which threatens to wipe us out. It is a double whammy and an absolutely galling prospect for companies that have invested millions in good faith.”