France Champions Bioethanol Industry in Europe
(Euractiv) The French bioethanol industry is leading the campaign to raise the proportion of biofuel in Europe’s transport fuel mix to 15%, while the European Commission continues to hold the sector on a short leash. EurActiv France reports.
Bioethanol is produced by fermenting the sugars contained in sugar beet, cereals or sugar cane, before being mixed with petrol and used for transport fuel.
At the fourth bioethanol conference in Paris, Hans Langeveld, of Biomass Reasearch, said that their latest study of data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) proved that urbanisation played a greater role than the biofuels industry in deforestation and the rise of food prices.
European Commission restrains the bioethanol sector
In October 2012, the European Commission proposed to limit the share of food-crop biofuels, also known as first generation biofuels, to 5% of the fuel mix. The target had initially been set at 10% under the 2009 Renewable Energies Directive. This proposal has not yet been adopted, but is due for a second reading in the European Parliament in January 2015.
France has found support for its position within the EU, and over ten member states have signed a declaration on the modification of the Renewable Energy Directive, stating that a limit below 7% would be unacceptable. READ MORE