Under the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive a 10% share of energy used in the transport sector is targeted to be renewable by 2020 and the Fuel Quality Directive set a target of a 6% greenhouse gas reduction for fuels used in the transport sector by 2020.
For the first time, the estimated global land conversion impacts - Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) - will be considered when assessing the greenhouse gas performance of biofuels, the Commission claimed.
"This proposal will give new incentives for best-performing biofuels. In the future, biofuels will be saving more substantial greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our fuel import bill," explained Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger.
''For biofuels to help us combat climate change, we must use truly sustainable biofuels. We must invest in biofuels that achieve real emission cuts and do not compete with food," commented Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard.
"We are of course not closing down first generation biofuels, but we are sending a clear signal that future increases in biofuels must come from advanced biofuels. Everything else will be unsustainable,"
The plan underlines the importance of new second generation processes that can utilise the latent energy potential of inedible feedstocks and non-agricultural waste materials. What this means for the residue-to-biofuels industry only time will tell. Certainly new cellulosic processes and municipal solid waste-based processes will come to the forefront. What it means for the burgeoning used cooking oil-to-diesel sector remains to be seen.
These topics will be debated at length at World Biofuels Markets in Rotterdam. The world’s largest biofuels conference and exhibition will once again feature a day long, dedicated wastes and residues stream that will look at MSW and used cooking oil as well as a number of other emerging non-agricultural feedstocks.
World Biofuels Markets, organised by Green Power Conferences, will be held on March 12-14 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The dedicated Waste and Residue Feedstocks day will take place on March 14.