2016 EBTP Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA)
In 2016, the EBTP published its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA). A stakeholder consultation on the SRIA enabling stakeholders and the interested public to give feedback on the draft SRIA was carried out between 24 March 2016 to 24 April 2016. The final version of the SRIA was released at the 7th EBTP Stakeholder Plenary Meeting in Brussels on 21 June 2016.
The aim of this update is to present most significant recent evolutions of relevance to biofuels and to highlight corresponding R&D&D priorities.
- European biofuels policy from 2012-2014 was characterized by the discussion about the Revision to the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) and Renewable Energy Directive (RED) to address iLUC (indirect Land Use Change)
- In April 2015, the European Parliament and Council found a compromise and approved the new legislation, the so called the "iLUC Directive", which limits the way Member States can meet the target of 10% for renewables in transport fuels by 2020
- The European Commission has published the Communication on the 2030 Climate and Energy Goals in January 2014 which doesn’t foresee a specific target for biofuels after 2020
- Sustainability and public awareness, already identified in 2010 SRA/SDD as critical, have growing importance
- Several industrial units for advanced biofuels have been built and started up in 2014-15 much more in America than in the EU, whose technology leadership on this topic is increasingly being challenged
- Biofuels in the concept of circular economy has gained importance
- New alternative fuels including electric vehicles are available
Observations and recommendations
The fundamentals for biofuels have not changed. As highlighted in the 2010 SRA, the winning options will be the pathways (combination of feedstock, conversion and end products) best addressing combined strategic and sustainability targets: environmental performances (green house gas reduction, biodiversity, water, local emissions); security and diversification of energy supply; economic competitiveness and public awareness.
Currently commercially deployed feedstocks and conversion technologies should provide a significant contribution to the EU 2020 targets but will probably not be sufficient. It is necessary to enlarge the feedstock basis and enhance conversion efficiency. These broad objectives were at the core of the last SRA/SDD findings and remain fully valid.
- Establish a clear, stable and policy framework for the long term (post-2020) starting with simple, meaningful, quantifiable objectives and measures
- Develop a policy framework towards 2030 that stimulates sustainable biomass strategies e.g. encouraging integrated biomass applications, taking into account the overall goals defined at the political level.
- Relevant, transparent and science based data and tools for practical implementation of sustainability requirements in the legislation and market place should be further developed
- Support resource efficient supply following a system approach (including legal and financial mechanisms and measures)
- The key priorities for commercial biofuel technologies are to improve environmental (GHG, energy balance, water, inputs…) and economic performance and bring flexibility as integrated biorefinery
- Conversion technologies targeting fuels for heavy duty road, air, and marine transport deserve priority attention because of lack of alternatives and their increasing demand
- Work to ensure a fair appreciation of CO2 emissions of vehicles running on biofuels (well-to-wheel approach, electric vehicles and vehicles running on renewable fuel should be treated using equal criteria)
European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP)