Biofuel’s “Death Sentence”: EU Plan to Cut Crop-Based Fuel Slammed

Written by | Thursday, December 1st, 2016

European biofuel producers said that a proposal by Brussels to decrease the level of crop-based biofuel used in the European Union by 2030 by almost 50 percent was a major shift in policy that would jeopardize jobs and boost animal feed and crude oil imports. The European Commission proposed to cap crop-based biofuels’ share of fuels used in transport to 3.8 percent in 2030 from 7 percent in 2021 in a draft law designed to reform the EU energy market.

“The biofuel sector feels betrayed by the Commission because of its complete disregard for the investments made in good faith on the basis of EU policy,” Robert Wright, Secretary-General of European ethanol producers group ePURE, said in a statement. ePure estimates that 16 billion euros have been invested in EU’s biofuel production facilities since 2003 when Brussels established its biofuels support policy. The EU’s policy was mostly targeted at cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the transport sector and reliance on fossil fuels. However, this has been criticized on the grounds of biofuels having a negative effect on land use as they are made from products like grains or sugar cane that could instead be used for human consumption.

The exclusion of crop-based biofuels would also probably lead to a rise in fossil fuels in transport due to the shortage of available advanced biofuels, Raffaello Garofalo, Secretary General of the European Biodiesel Board said in a statement. French biodiesel producers collectively called the proposal a “death sentence”. Biofuels are liquid or gaseous transport fuels such as biodiesel and bioethanol, which are made from biomass. They serve as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels in the EU’s transport sector, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the EU’s security of supply. In 2014, biofuels accounted for almost 5 percent of market share in 2014.

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