An interesting morning here, immersed in the world of Biofuels. For me some of the highlights came in the paper by Alexandra Langenheld, from the European Commission, which has admitted that it will miss its own target of ensuring 5.75% of all motor fuel sold in the European Union is biofuel by 2010.
Langenheld, seconded national expert regulatory policy and Promotion of renewable energy said in her presentation that by “2005 biofuels accounted for about 1% of motor fuel.”
Germany led the way, with around 3.8% of its fuel mixture coming from renewable resources, but in six of the 25 member states biofuels accounted for under 0.1% of the fuel mix in these countries.
“The European Union projects that if the current rate of adoption continues, then by 2010 only 4.2% of fuel will be from renewables,” she said.
There's a bit of talk in the corridors about whether there should be some sort of mandatory appraoch to biofuels, or whether it is better to have an obligation... the kind of regulation your teacher enforced by looking over the top of their glasses at you... The arguments for that are along the lines of if you let individual member states of the EU devise their own approaches then the best approach will emerge. Not sure. If you had a minimum level, and a standard for each type of biofuel then you'd be on a level (ish) playing field.
Langenheld also said the European Commission is about to start an internal consultation on certificates for biofuels and their feedstocks that will tell consumers their green credentials.
This looks like a winner to me, if it doesn't either get watered down to a homeopathic prescription or burried altogether.
Langenheld, said consultations with other directorates general in the European Commission on the proposal would start on Friday 25 November and would last for two weeks.
If adopted, the proposal, which calls for certificates to show the green credentials of biofuels could become part of the overarching review of biofuels and the Commissions’ Energy policy which is expected to be adopted on 10 January 2007.
Langenheld, said the proposal is for certificates to cover how producing the biofuel feedstock affects biodiversity, the green house gas emission profile of the biofuel and the type of land which had been used to grow the biofuel feedstock.
It will not discriminate between imports and domestic EU producers and will have to fit into the framework of the WTO, she said.
The 2006 European Biofuels Forum, organised by the World Refining Association, is being held in Warsaw, Poland from 21 to 22 November.