Britain exceeds 2.5% biofuels use target

07 October 2008 16:24  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Britain has beaten its 2.5% target for the use of biofuels in motor fuel, but fell short of targets for environmental sustainability, a government agency said on Tuesday.


Biofuels accounted for 2.61% of UK motor fuel in the first quarter, 84% in the form of biodiesel and 16% supplied as bioethanol, the Renewable Fuels Agency (RFA) said in a statement.


“These early figures demonstrate that some companies have risen to the challenge of sourcing biofuels that meet good sustainability standards,” said the RFA’s chief executive Nick Goodall.


However, only 20% of the biofuels in use met the government’s qualifying environmental sustainability standard, failing to hit the target of 30%.


Out of the UK’s major fuel suppliers, only Harvest Energy and Mabanaft exceeded the current sustainability target, while BP, ExxonMobil’s Esso, Murco, Prax and Topaz all failed to report any biofuels meeting the qualifying environmental standard.


Carbon reduction achieved by the use of biofuels was 44% in the first three months, beating the government’s target of 40%, the RFA said.


While Harvest Energy, Greenergy, Mabanaft and Shell exceeded the carbon offsetting target, ConocoPhillips reported a negative carbon saving and Chevron had "very low carbon savings", added the agency.


The targets for biofuels use came into effect on 15 April under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), which applies to all companies importing more than 450,000 litres/year of fossil-based road transport fuel to the UK market.


RFA said the feedstock was known for 95% of the biofuels, and the country of origin reported for 72%.


Esso, Petroplus, Prax and Topaz failed to meet any of the targets on sustainability, carbon saving or for sourcing information, RFA added.


Britain does not currently require that environmental standards are met.


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

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By: Mark Watts
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