UK RTFO good for Europe biofuels industry - trader

15 April 2008 11:58  [Source: ICIS news]

By Lucy Craymer


UKLONDON (ICIS news)--The UK's renewable transport fuels obligation (RTFO), which came into effect on Tuesday, will be good for the European industry as it will increase biofuels demand, a trader told ICIS news.


He added that demand was going to be such that it was likely biofuels would have to be sourced out of the US for the industry to keep up.


A UK broker agreed that the new initiative, which requires 2.5% biofuel content in all road fuels sold, would be positive for the industry but highlighted the need to continue research into the product.


“You have to ask yourself if we are promoting biofuels long term [and] if we are, we should make it as easy as possible for them to be developed,” he said.


The required biofuel ratio is set to rise to 5% by 2010 under the initiative and suppliers are required to produce sustainability reports including information on where their biofuel crops come from and the level of carbon savings they will achieve.


Motorists will fill their vehicles as normal, but the change is expected to save 2.5m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2010, the Department of Transport said in a statement.


“Making it easier for motorist to use greener fuel is an important step towards reducing carbon emissions from transport,” said Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick.


“But we must do all we can to ensure biofuels are produced sustainably. We know people are concerned about the environmental risks associated with expanding biofuel production and we take those concerns very seriously,” he added.


The UK's Environmental Industries Commission (EIC) has welcomed the launch of the RTFO but wants to see sustainable biofuels used, the group said.


“The EIC and its members have worked hard to help develop world leading standards in the RTFO and is now lobbying for these in the EU renewable energy directive,” the group said in a statement.


Fiona Bond contributed to this story


Bookmark Simon Robinson's Big Biofuels Blog for some independent thinking on biofuels

By: Lucy Craymer
+44 20 8652 3214

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