Report on the Hearing of the European Biofuels Technology Platform
Technological developments are currently driven by the needs to ensure cost-competitiveness, to have access to a wider array of feedstock and to increase the GHG reduction potential of biofuels from 50% to 90%. Interests and efforts on 2nd generation biofuels (ligno-cellulosic ethanol, Biomass to liquid) are growing with demonstration and industrial projects being undertaken across the EU. These developments imply large investments both for proof-of-concept demonstration project (overcome technical barriers) and pre-commercialisation demonstrators (verify economies of scale). From one stage to the other, a change by a factor ten of the process scale is necessary. As a reference, investments for a 10 MW technical demonstrators are of the order of €40m. Hence, financial support that link benefits and risk is mandatory to attract investors. Until then, the shift from 1st generation to 2nd generation biofuels will be slow. Accounting for these dilemma and the medium term challenges, continuation of efforts on 1st generation processes should be guaranteed.