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Mission Statement

The mission of the European Biofuels Technology Platform (Biofuels TP) is to contribute to the development of sustainable, cost-competitive, world-class biofuels technologies, to the creation of a healthy biofuels industry and to accelerate the deployment of sustainable biofuels in the European Union through a process of guidance, prioritisation and promotion of research, development and demonstration.

1. Editorial

Véronique Hervouet
Chair, Steering Committee, European Biofuels Technology Platform

The Renewable Energies Directive and the updated Fuel Quality Directive recently adopted by Council and the European Parliament are setting the framework conditions and resulting challenges to be overcome by economic actors of current and future biofuel value chains.

At the 2nd Stakeholder Plenary Meeting (SPM2) in Brussels on 22nd January, the European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) brought together 200 actors from across Europe to discuss promising innovative routes that could bring significant contributions towards achieving the 2020 EU objectives for biofuels. Particular focus was given to the challenges involved in moving from pilot to demonstration, en route to full commercial deployment.

“The European Industrial Initiatives (EIIs) are a central instrument within the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) for accelerating innovation and technology deployment,” said Raffaele Liberali, Director for Energy Research at the European Commission. While acknowledging the specific challenges faced by bioenergy stakeholders (sectoral fragmentation and competition to access feedstocks already or potentially used by other market sectors), he stressed the necessity to come up quickly with a proposal for objectives, activities and commitment from industry, so that the budgetary discussion with Member States can start as soon as possible.

A European Industrial Initiative on Bio-Energy (EII-B) could play an important role to boost the industrial deployment of the most risky and expensive innovative biofuel and bioenergy technologies. The EBTP is committed to contribute to the shaping of this initiative, and is actively preparing a proposal to be presented in the spring of 2009.

We thank all the participants and speakers at SPM2 whose expertise and contributions have been extremely valuable in helping to develop this proposal, and we welcome the continuing input of all biofuels stakeholders in the year ahead.

Stakeholders are invited to apply for membership of the EBTP Working Groups, which are currently undergoing a comprehensive review.

2. 15th Steering Committee Meeting Summary

The 15th Steering Committee (SC) meeting of the EBTP was held in Brussels on 21 January 2009. Birger Kerckow, FNR and EBTP Secretariat, summarised key points from the Renewable Energy Directive and the amendment to Directive 98/70/EC on environmental quality standards for fuel - Fuel Quality Directive.

There was a discussion on several initiatives on sustainability criteria, including those in Germany and Brazil among others. DG Research made a short presentation on the “Common view on bio-feedstock initiative”. Working Group 1 was thanked for its contribution to the initiative.

An update was given on the EBTP contribution to the European Industry Initiative on Bioenergy and work plan for 2009. Details were also provided of recent meetings and projects with related ETPs.

A presentation on biofuel related activities, with a focus on demonstration, of DG TREN of the European Commission and the strategy for the forthcoming years was given by Kyriakos Maniatis, DG TREN. Preparations were made for the Second Stakeholder Plenary Meeting on the 22nd January.

3. Changes in EBTP Members

Following the retirement of Alexandre Rojey from IFP, the EBTP welcomes Kai Sipilä, VTT, as the new Chair of Working Group 2 on Conversion, while Pierre Porot, IFP, becomes Vice Chair. Heinz Hass has resigned as Vice Chair of WG5 on Markets, due to a change of responsiblities within a new company. At the 15th SC meeting, Béatrice Perrier-Maurer, PSA Peugeot Citroen Intelligence technico-économique de l'énergie, was appointed as his replacement.

The EBTP thanks Heinz for his contributions to WG5, and looks forward to drawing upon the experience and expertise of the new Vice Chairs in 2009. Full details of Steering Committee Members are online.
A comprehensive review of Working Group membership is also ongoing. The updated composition of all WGs can be viewed on the website. New applications for WG membership are welcomed by the EBTP. Please send your CV and a short e-mail summarising your motivation for joining a particular WG to Your details will be passed on to the relevant WG Chair.

4. 2nd Stakeholder Plenary Meeting, 22 January 2009

SPM2 Speakers

The Second Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of EBTP was a one day conference with a focus on demonstration of advanced biofuels technologies and innovative value chains for biofuels and bioenergy. It was attended by 200 stakeholders from across Europe. An overview of the conference is provided by the Press Release. PDFs of all presentations and posters can be viewed (subject to disclaimer) via the links below, along with a selection of photographs from the event. CVs and Abstracts for all the speakers and abstracts for the poster sessions are also available as PDFs.

An update on the key issues related to the availability of sustainable biomass feedstocks for biofuels was presented by Calliope Panoutsou (Imperial College). Three new databases on ongoing R&D activities in Europe, on biofuels pilots and demonstration units in Europe, and on the ongoing debates on biofuels (sustainability, food versus fuels, etc), were presented by Birger Kerckow (FNR), from the EBTP secretariat.

Markku Karlsson (UPM), presented the EBTP approach to identify and analyse innovative and sustainable biofuel and bioenergy value chains, in addition to existing bioenergy and biofuel pathways.

Nine case study presentations of ongoing biofuel pilot and demonstration projects, focusing on agricultural and forestry feedstocks, residues and biowastes as well as biochemical and thermochemical conversion routes to be applied on different scales, showed the challenges to be met and ways to overcome them. It became clear that the diversity of European framework conditions will also require a number of technologies to be upscaled. The final presentation of this session provided a very useful comparison with pilot and demonstration activities in the USA.

Financing demonstrations – another key issue – was addressed both from a Member State and a private equity perspective. Thomas Kaberger (Swedish Energy Agency), clearly explained that the least costly way for the public sector to contribute to the financing of the expensive and risky industrial demonstrations of innovative biofuel value chains was to reduce the risk of regulatory changes that could adversely impact them. Harry Boyle (New Energy Finance) presented data on the private equity financing of next generation biofuels, pointing out a clear imbalance between the different sides of the Atlantic, to the benefit of North American actors.

All SPM2 speaker and poster presentations and abstracts are available on the EBTP website.

5. EU Directives on Renewable Energy & Fuel Quality

The Renewable Energy Directive (COM (2008) 19) was approved by the European Parliament on 17th December 2008. This specifies a 10% target for RES in transport in each Member State, with no biofuels permitted from carbon rich or biodiverse land, and minimum GHG reductions in comparison to fossil fuels (35% rising to 60%). To encourage implementation of innovative value chains, biofuels from waste, residues, non-food cellulosic material, and lignocellulosic material will count twice towards the transport target. The publication of the Renewable Energy Directive in the Official Journal is expected for April 2009.

The Renewable Energy Directive will be implemented in a harmonised approach with the updated Fuel Quality Directive - the amendment to Directive 98/70/EC on environmental quality standards for fuel. This aims to further tighten environmental quality standards for a number of fuel parameters, while encouraging greater use of ethanol in petrol, and a mechanism for reporting and reduction of life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fuel. The directive also allows for biodiesel to be added to diesel up to 7% (B7) by volume (or more, if customer information is provided).

Biofuels are also covered by new legislation on the Emission performance standards for new passenger cars.

More details on the Renewable Energy and Fuel Quality directives >>

6. Liaison with related ETPs

On 1st December 2008 a workshop  to discuss key factors in a forward-looking energy and transport scenario was organised by  the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC). It was attended by Harri Turpeinen, SC Member and Chair of WG3 / Co-Chair WG6, on behalf of EBTP.  The workshop was part of a long term activity of ERTRAC  to develop a common vision and multi-stakeholder perspective on future R&D needs for European road transport.

The BeCoTeps project is currently in its start up phase and the probable project start is scheduled for 1st March 2009. All project partners recently met in Brussels to start detailed planning of the activities and tasks.

On 18th February 2009 the European Commission invites all KBBE relevant ERA-NETs and ETPs for a joint Meeting to discuss the results from the evaluation study on ETPs during 2008, the future role of ETPs and future cooperation between the ERA-nets and ETPs to strengthen and create synergies. The BeCoTeps project - as a joint project between the ETPs - will also be introduced and discussed in more detail in this context. EBTP will also attend this meeting - further info to follow.

BEcoTePs participants (in addition to the EBTP)

EATIP - European Aquaculture Technology and Innovation Programme

Plants for the Future - European Plant Science Organisation - EPSO

Food for Life

SusChem - The European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry

FABRE - Farm Animal Breeding and Reporduction Technology Platform

Forest-Based Sector Technology Platform

AET - Agricultural and Technology Engineering (within Manufacture Technology Platforms)

7. EBTP Participation in Biofuels events

Members of the Biofuels TP Steering Committee, Working Groups and Secretariat have been involved in (or will be speaking at) various biofuels events across Europe. A selection of these is listed below.

04 December 2008
Present and Future of Industrial Biotechnology in Hungary; Conference and roundtable on industrial biotechnology in Hungary

This event was organised by the Hungarian Biotechnology Association. An Introduction to the EBTP was presented by Steering COmmittee member Dirk Carrez, EuropaBio/Suschem.

11 December 2008
Lead Market Initiative Biobased products ad hoc Advisory Group

This event focused on analysing all the issues related to facilitating the market entry of bio-based products and providing recommendations to the EC. Biofuels/bioenergy were covered only indirectly only, as bioenergy promotion measures impact also on industrial uses of biomass. Biorefineries cover both energy and industry applications. The event was organised by European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, and was attended by Birger Kerckow, FNR & Secretariat, on behalf of the EBTP.


18 February 2009, Brussels
Joint meeting of Eranets and Technology Platforms in the Area of the Knowledge Based Bioeconomy (KBBE)

This even is organised by the European Commission, DG Research and will be attended by Birger Kerckow, FNR & Secretariat.

16-18 March 2009, Brussels
World Biofuels Markets
Brussels, Belgium

Véronique Hervouet, Chair of the Steering Committee, will moderate he session on "Renewable Diesel, BtL & Synfuels", and contribute in the closing Plenary Session on "Towards a Sustainable Bio Future".

Links to other biofuels events are shown below.

8. Other Biofuels Events - Spring 2009

The following events are covered in more detail on the events page of the EBTP website.

17 February 2009
Ensure sustainability through certification
Berlin, Germany

19 March 2009
Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels Consultation (Version Zero): Europe stakeholder outreach meeting
Brussels, Belgium

23-25 March 2009
Algae Biofuels World Summit
San Francisco, US

30 March 2009
BioreFuture 2009: Concepts and strategies for biorefineries in Europe

Committee of the Regions, Brussels, Belgium

8-9 April 2009
Biogas 2009 Conference

České Budějovice, Czech Republic

6-7 May 2009
Biomass to Liquids Conference

London, UK

29 June - 3 July 2009
17th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition
From Research to Industry and Markets

CCH - Congress Centre Hamburg, Germany

9. Recent Biofuels Reports

From 1st- to 2nd-Generation Biofuel Technologies - Full Report  
An Overview of Current Industry and RD&D Activities

The current debate over biofuels produced from food crops has pinned a lot of hope on “2nd-generation biofuels” produced from crop and forest residues and from non-food energy crops. This report, produced jointly by the IEA with IEA Bioenergy, examines the current state-of-the-art and the challenges for 2nd-generation biofuel technologies. It evaluates their costs and considers policies to support their development and deployment.

icon 2.7 Mb Download


Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels: Global Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Biofuels Production Version Zero

In June 2007, the Steering Board of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) published draft principles for sustainable biofuels production, as the basis for a global stakeholder discussion around requirements for sustainable biofuels. A period of global consultation followed, and this document (Version Zero) presents the resulting draft standard – principles and criteria, along with key elements of the guidance for implementation.

icon 8.9 Mb Download


EC Bioenergy Contractors' meeting 15-16 Oct 2008

The objectives of this Conference were to discuss the technological progress achieved by the implementation of the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes of the European Commission and identify interesting topics for the remaining calls of FP7. The Conference had 3 introductory sessions addressing the European Union’s Programmes on Bioenergy, International cooperation and International activities on bioenergy and biofuels as well as 6 technical sessions on Promotion and horizontal issues for biofuels; Gasification technologies; Combustion, cofiring and CHP technologies; Biogas technologies; Biorefinery technologies and Biofuels technologies. Each of the technical session had research projects and demonstration projects managed respectively by DG RTD and DG TREN and was followed by a Discussion and Concluding remarks by a Rapporteur.

View links to presentations