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Euro Parliament Maintains Target of 10% Renewables in Road Transport Fuel by 2020; 40% of That From Non-Food Biofuels, Electricity or H2

The European Parliament’s Industry Committee has approved a co-decision report that maintains a 10% renewables component in transportation fuels by 2020, but specifies that at least 40% of this overall share must be met by non-food second-generation biofuels, electricity or hydrogen.

The decision came in the context of growing pressure to reduce the biofuels obligation given concerns of rising food prices and sustainability.

Members of Parliament (MEPs) want the overall 10% target and the 40% advanced biofuels share for 2020 to be reviewed by 2014. This review should “focus on consequences for food security, biodiversity and the availability of electricity or hydrogen from renewable sources, biogas or transport fuels from ligno-cellulosic biomass and algae”, says the text as amended by the committee.

To count towards the transport fuel targets, biofuels must save at least 45% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to fossil fuels—the Commission had earlier proposed a saving of 35%. From 2015 onwards, the greenhouse gas emission saving must be at least 60%.

The committee also inserted social sustainability criteria, including respect for the land rights of local communities or the fair remuneration of all workers.

The committee established an interim 5% renewables target by 2015. Four of the 5% total can consist of traditional first-generation biofuels, but at least 1% should come from second-generation biofuels, electricity or hydrogen.

A modification of the 2020 targets for transport should not affect the EU’s overall target of a 20% share of renewables in total energy consumption by 2020.

Furthermore, by 2020, energy efficiency in transport must improve by at least 20% compared to 2005, says another provision adopted by the Industry Committee.

The new directive will require Member States to adopt national renewable energy action plans setting out their national targets for the shares of renewables in transport, electricity, heating and cooling, but Industry Committee MEPs also introduced flexibility mechanisms into the draft directive making it possible for Member States to achieve their renewables targets jointly.

For example, it would be possible for Member States to run joint projects using renewables, or to transfer renewable energy “statistically” to each other. Member States may also combine their targets and establish joint support schemes to achieve them.

Another provision adopted by the Industry Committee calls on the Commission to impose direct penalties on Member States which fall short of the mandatory interim and 2020 targets.

The directive as amended also requires Member States to take all the necessary steps to develop transmission and distribution grid infrastructure, intelligent networks, storage facilities and electricity systems that can be operated safely while accommodating renewable energies.

A plenary vote on the directive is scheduled for October.



John Baldwin

Biomethane can provide all of this, no problem. The new Passat TSI Turbo and the Zafira Turbo - both launched i Q1 2009 - are fantastic.

John Baldwin

Biomethane can provide all of this, no problem. The new Passat TSI Turbo and the Zafira Turbo - both launched in Q1 2009 - are fantastic.


They would be better off mandating higher fuel efficiency or lower CO2 levels and letting the market figure out how to do it.
It might be much easier to get a 5% increase in efficiency than swapping in 5% biofuels.

What we want is low CO2, low fossil input transport - how we get it is not the business of the Euro Parliment.


I remember the U.S. Congress mandating an oxygenate, but not specifying what kind. The oil industry came up with MTBE, which polluted ground water. Maybe more specific legislation is not always a bad thing.


It took legislation to get seatbelts, airbags (in the USA), catalytic converters and low emissions. Otherwise the manufacturers just wouldn't have bothered.


It took legislation to get all these things - fine, but the legislation did not say what to make the seat belts out of. It said you had to have them.

That is what I am saying - they should legislate for the end goal, not the method.


History has taught us that it is unwise to rely solely on manufacturers to produce safe, highly relyable, long lasting, efficient, light weight, clean, low GHG cars (and many other products).

Over 50% of the oversized gas guzzlers on USA's roads for the last 10+ years are opposite to what would be most beneficial to the users.

The Big Three will continue producing gas guzzler dinosaurs as long as they can convince us to buy them.

Unfortunately, one of the best way to convince us to switch to more common sense HEVs, PHEVs and/or BEVs would be with a manus-bonus system coupled with higher fuel taxes to get the roads fully repaired. It seems to be effective in France and where it has been applied.


Sounds like a reasonable compromise. It should push Euro-dollars into production of cellulosic from a variety of technologies. Good way to make progress.



This is not about fuel economy. Fuel economy is good and must be strived for. In Europe, fuel economy has been the norm for as long as motorized vehicles are in use as there are few natural hydrocarbon sources.
This is more about building a sustainable fuel industry that uses local raw materials, about energy independence.
Going more cellulosic from bioethanol/diesel simply means being more efficient, getting more fuel from a unit of land area, more fuel energy from energy invested in collection/processing.


Folks! See our WO 2008096187 patent application. We transesterify (or rather: interesterify) triglycerides with alkyl-esters of short-chain fatty acids (preferably with 100% bio-derived ethyl-acetate), BUT only partially, whereby we get a mixture of modified triglicerides (with 50-70% newly introduced short chains), with reduced molecular masses, that is, with greatly reduced viscosities, and alkyl (ethyl) esters of displaced long chain fatty acids (that is, traditional biodiesel). There is no glycerol formation, but each and every atom of the biomass TG is turned into fuel, yielding 15-20% more combustible out of a given amount of feedstock! (In other words: you need 15-20% LESS arable land to produce a given volume of biofuel. Most important issue these days.). No washings, no sewage, but 30% greater internal oxygen content, better emission profile, less soot, greater torque, lowered iodine number, better cold-properties, etc. And all this with lower production costs. To date ours is the ONLY really 100% renewable petrodiesel substitute (as the methanolic part of BD comes from methane, that is, a fossil). Well?

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