At the international conference on renewable mobility, the German biofuel industry criticizes the proposal of the European Commission for a new Renewable Energy Directive and calls for adjustments. From the perspective of the biofuel industry, the transport sector will have to do much more for climate protection than provided in the Commission proposal. According to the industry, the 27 % renewable energy target adopted by the European Council for the year 2030 will be missed. It will also take a clear energy turnaround in order to achieve a reduction of GHG emissions by 30 %. To realize this target, a share of 7 % of the energy in the fuel sector will have to be contributed by biofuels from cultivated biomass.
Artur Auernhammer, Member of the German Bundestag and Chairman of the Board of the German Bioenergy Association (BBE), comments on the Commission’s proposal according to which the share of biofuels from cultivated biomass will be gradually reduced from 7 % in 2020 to 3.8 % in 2030: “Since 2003, the Commission has proposed four fundamental changes to biofuel policy. In other words, there has been a change of direction every three years and no planning security for a new sector. The compromise of 7 % biofuels from cultivated biomass adopted only in 2015 must be maintained beyond 2020. Investments and jobs within the industry need to be protected.”
Bioenergy and biofuel industry associations stress that market established solutions can make a significant and long term contribution to increasing climate protection in transport. Certified sustainable fuels produced in Germany from local raw materials such as biodiesel and bioethanol already reduce GHG emissions by an average of 70 % when compared to fossil fuels.
Artur Auernhammer: “The promotion of advanced biofuels from residues and waste proposed by the Commission is correct. These fuels, however, cannot substitute biofuels from cultivated biomass; they must make an additional contribution to reducing fossil fuels.” While it is planned to gradually increase the share of these new fuels from 1.5 % in 2021 to 6.8 % in 2030, it is not clear whether these shares can be realized at all. Currently, these fuels are produced only in small quantities.
“The Commission should propose an EU-wide continuation of the Directive for the GHG emission reduction obligation for all fuels beyond 2020. Germany has adopted this GHG emission reduction obligation in 2015 and proven that the resulting competition for higher efficiencies led to a cost-efficient way of lowering CO2 emissions in road transport,” Auernhammer says.
On top of that, the European biofuel industry can serve as a role model for the further development of other bioeconomic uses, given that biofuels must be certified as sustainable in Europe. “Because of the existing infrastructure, biofuels are currently the solution that can be immediately realized, has a considerable potential for increasing climate protection in transport and for which a mandatory certification of sustainable biomass use is in place”, Artur Auernhammer points out.
At the beginning of the conference on 23 January 2017, speakers from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), from international organizations and the industry will introduce their concepts for a renewable mobility of the future:
Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary, BMVI, will speak on measures planned in the scope of the mobility and fuel strategy of the German Government. Olivier Dubois, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), will present the perspective of the international organization on sustainable biofuel production in the context of a global bioeconomy. Jeffrey Skeer, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), will introduce research findings showing that the potential for sustainable bioenergy is there and that technological innovations are important for the future of fuels produced from biomass. Dr. Thomas Schlick, Roland Berger GmbH, will talk about the opportunities for an integrated fuel and vehicle strategy until 2030 and beyond.
During the panel discussion taking place in the afternoon of the first conference day, these concepts will be further explored. Sonja van Renssen, editor of “Energy Post”, will chair the talk with Pekka Pesonen (COPA-COGECA), Bernd Kuepker (European Commission), Norbert Schindler (Member of the German Bundestag), Stefan Schreiber (Cargill Holding GmbH / President of the Association of the German Biofuel Industry) and Christian Hochfeld (Agora Verkehrwende) on the framework conditions for CO2-reduced fuels and alternative drives for realizing the climate protection targets.
More than 500 participants from over 30 countries have followed the invitation of five associations of the German biofuel industry to find out more about market developments, technological innovations and the future of renewable mobility during the international conference “Fuels of the Future” held on 23/24 January 2017 in Berlin.
Bundesverband Bioenergie e.V.