A Polish view on biofuels

Robert Gmyrek of PKN Orlen said that one of the keys to biofuel deployment is the cost vs energy balance.

In my opinion we should take the global point of view rather than look at transport and other uses separately.

We can find in many cases that using biofuel for heat or electricity gives much better effect than using in cars.

He went on to say a

Big, big investment is needed to produce 11m tonne biodiesel 9.7m tonne ethanol in 2010 and 11m tonne biodiesel if the EU is going to meet its biofuel targets. This could mean up to 15% of the 103.6m hectares of land covered by the 25 EU states would need to be devoted to growing crops for biofuels.

Turning to the crops used to make biofuels, he said of rapeseed grown in Europe in 2004 38% used for fuel purposes in 2006 60% will be used in fuel production. This change in use could affect the food industry and prices consumers pay.

Gmyrek raised the difficulty of promoting biofuels using taxation.

There are as many tax rates for biofuels as there are countries in the European Union, he said. Speaking in the Q&A session following the first session this morning, Gmyreck said this is the biggest barrier to trade in biofuels within the European Union and tax rates across the union could be harmonised, but it is hard to see this happening quickly.

He was talking at the 2006 European Biofuels Forum organised by the World Refining Association, in Warsaw, Poland.

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