UFOP: Making the Case for First-Gen Biofuels in EU Policy Future
(UFOP (Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e. V. )/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.
Political bodies must recognize, outside the media spotlight and sometimes highly emotionally laden discussions, what success has meanwhile been achieved in EU climate protection policies with first-generation biofuels. … Continued subsidies are essential to keep the momentum going in the entire biofuel sector, instead of choking off a successfully introduced and established development.
-In contrast to fossil fuels, biofuels must satisfy increasing requirements for greenhouse gas reduction over the entire origination chain, from the field through to arrival at the biofuel production plant. The introduction of greenhouse gas quotas in Germany from Jan. 1, 2015, will boost this competition further—greenhouse gas and cost efficiency will determine the competition in future.
There is still considerable need for research and development when it comes to second- and third-generation biofuels. In terms of equal treatment, their market launch must occur in unison with the first generation. A potential gradual replacement would be based on competition open to technology, taking EU fuel requirements into account. It makes little sense when there is still an abundance of petrol to produce bioethanol from straw with energy intensive processes, if there is a lack of primarily fuels substituting diesel in the EU.
The relevant political institutions must ask themselves what instruments they will be losing in respect to subsidies, the environment and resources if first-generation biofuels disappear from the market after 2020.
Without continuing a balanced biofuel strategy after 2020, the relevant economic sector in the European Union, but also particularly the economic sector of the nonmember states in focus (Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Malaysia) will sell its products to other markets in which sustainability requirements do not play a role for market access.
In particular the question of iLUC makes it clear that a new political approach is needed for effective international biotope and resource protection. The introduction of iLUC factors would considerably exacerbate the pressure to look for means of circumvention. The experts agree, iLUC factors will not rescue a single hectare of rainforest. READ MORE and MORE