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Mission Statement

The mission of the European Biofuels Technology Platform (Biofuels TP) is to contribute to the development of 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, technology development and industrial demonstration.

1. Editorial

Boosting Bioenergy’s contribution to the European Union climate and energy ambitions: the European Biofuels Technology Platform highlights promising routes and discusses how the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) should support the demonstration and early industrial deployment of innovative & sustainable value chains

At the recent Stockholm conference on EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) held on 21 and 22 October 2009, the European Biofuels Technology Platform was invited to present its proposal for a European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI). The purpose of the EIBI is to boost the contribution of sustainable Bioenergy1 to EU climate and energy objectives, with a focused approach leveraging public-private partnership to manage risks and share financing.

The scope of EIBI is focused on innovative bioenergy value chains2 that are not yet commercially available and could capture a significant market share either via a small number of large units or a larger number of smaller units. Seven such innovative bioenergy value chains, have been identified.

Within each of them different paths based on significantly different type of feedstocks (including fossil co-processing) technological and/or industrial options are possible. Combinations of thermochemical and biological processes are also possible. They all correspond to different types of energy-driven biorefineries3.

The core activity of EIBI should be to manage the selection and funding of Demonstration4 and/or Reference plants5 projects. Over 10 years, 15 to 20 demonstration and/or reference plants could be funded, with total costs between 6 and 8 billion €.

Sustainable and reliable supply of feedstocks will be a critical success factor for the long-term perspective of all biomass-based technologies on a large scale. These challenges which are not specific to innovative bioenergy use of biomass should be addressed in a coherent effort shared with the relevant stakeholders and initiatives. Close liaison with EIBI should be ensured.

EIBI includes also important R&D challenges for European research actors. Applied R&D will play a key role in directly supporting selected demonstration and reference projects; strategic R&D will be needed for the long term development of sustainable bioenergies.

The earliest industry actors are ready to move to a demonstration and/or commercial reference plant, provided a relevant framework ensures sharing risks and financing via public/private partnership.

Following up the lively debate initiated at the Stockholm conference, and the supportive feedback observed, EBTP is pursuing an active dialogue with the European Commission and relevant stakeholders to further elaborate the EIBI around shared objectives and targets, coherent and selective criteria, clearly identified funding sources and mechanisms, transparent governance and efficient management.

Véronique Hervouet
Chair, Steering Committee, European Biofuels Technology Platform

1 Bioenergy: Heat and/or electricity and/or fuels produced at industrial scale from bioresources (dedicated crops, agricultural and forestry residues, municipal and industrial wastes)

2 Value Chain: A specific combination of feedstock, processing technologies and marketable end products

3 Biorefinery: Biorefining is the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of bio-based products (food, feed, chemicals, materials) and bioenergy (biofuels, power and/or heat) [IEA Bioenergy Task 42 on Biorefineries]

4 Demonstration: Demonstrate the performance and reliability of all critical steps of the value chain so that the first commercial unit can be designed and performance guaranteed from the outcome of the Demo unit.

5 Reference Plant: First commercial scale unit.

2. Steps towards a European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative

On 22 Nov 2007, the European Commission proposed a plan to accelerate energy technologies for a low-carbon future, the SET Plan. To put the plan into action, European Industrial Initatives on several energy technologies including bioenergy were proposed, with the aim to strengthen energy research and innovation by bringing together appropriate resources and actors in a particular industrial sector. These initatives are to be focused on technologies for which the barriers, scale of investment and risk can best be tackled collectively by the EU, Member States and industry. The initiatives must also demonstrate measurable objectives in terms of cost reduction or improved performance.

The aims of the SET Plan are in line with many of the proposals made in the EBTP Strategic Research Agenda and Strategy Deployment Document, launched in January 2008, which identified demonstration of innovative technologies as a critical step in achieving the EU's ambitious goals for biofuels. During 2008, a newly established EBTP Working Group on Prioritisation (WG6) developed a pragmatic approach to identify and analyse those innovative biofuels and bioenergy technologies that could bring a significant contribution to the ambitious EU objectives for renewables and sustainable biofuels, in addition to existing bioenergy and biofuels pathways.

The outcome of the work clearly indicated that a focus on conversion technologies is not enough. The value chain approach developed by EBTP WG6 stressed that biomass resources and product markets are an integral parts of this analysis. As illustrated at the EBTP 2nd Stakeholder Plenary Meeting held in Brussels on 22 January 2009, industry players already active in the development of these pathways and technologies are willing to pursue demonstration and commercial implementation, provided an adequate framework can be developed around public/private partnership to share financing and manage the main risks (feedstock, technology, market, regulatory, financial …).

In 2009, the value chain approach was integrated by WG6 into a broader contribution to the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI) within the EU SET Plan. EIBI was extensively discussed within EBTP, its stakeholders and the EC. The EIBI proposal was also a key item of two workshops organised by the European Commission and a conference organised by the EC and the Swedish Council Presidency:

Workshop 1, 26 June 2009: Proposal presented to the European Community Steering Group for Strategic Energy Technologies, the European Energy Research Alliance and other relevant stakeholders. See stakeholder section of EBTP website for a summary.

Technical Workshop 2, 25th September 2009: Focused on “Eligibility and Project Selection Criteria”. Around 40 technical experts, European Commission staff and representatives of EBTP discussed eligibility and robust selection criteria for projects of the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative, which are likely to be closer to deployment and larger than the classical Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) projects.

SET Plan Conference, 21-22 October 2009, Stockholm: The 6 European Industrial Initiatives (wind power, solar energy, bioenergy, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power and smart grids) were a major focus of the SET Plan conference, where the EIBI proposal was presented by EBTP Chair, Véronique Hervouet within the parallel session on Bioenergy. The EBTP presentation was complemented by interventions of Hans-Harald Jahn, European Investment Bank, and Ed de Jong, IEA Bioenergy, Task 42 “Biorefineries: Co-production of Fuels, Chemicals, Power and Materials from Biomass”.

View SET Plan Conference Speech by Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs

On 7 October 2009, the European Commission adopted the Communication Investing in the development of low carbon technologies (SET-Plan), calling for an additional €50bn public and private investments in low carbon technologies over the next decade and detailing the technology roadmaps for the Industrial Initiatives. The next steps for all Industrial Initiatives will be discussions between the European Commission and Member States on different political levels during the forthcoming months. Further information will be published on the EBTP website and the SET Plan web page.

3. Liaison with related ETPs and KBBE initiatives

The EBTP participated in the Renewable Heating and Cooling Platform's 2nd Biomass Panel on 1 October 2009, in preparation for the platform's Vision and Strategic Research Agenda, which takes into account all renewable heating sources (including biomass, solar thermal and geothermal). The website of the Heating and Cooling Platform is currently under development, but further information in meantime can be found at the AEBIOM website

The first BECOTEPS workshop on "Opportunities for new business concepts with the combined non food biomass chains under the KBBE umbrella” took place in Brussels from 6-8th October 2009. The workshop brought together experts from ETPs covering different aspects of the non-food chain to define development opportunities and cross sector research needs. Topics covered included 'Biomass availability and mobilisation', 'Logistics of biomass and integration of wood / agricultural value chain', and also on 'Biorefineries and creation of new value chains”. The workshop also introduced the 'White Paper' , which will take into account the outcomes of this workshop and 2 further workshops on: 'Competitiveness and Innovation in the food and feed supply chains', 26-27th October in Brussels, and 'A Sustainable Knowledge Bio-Based Economy – Opportunities for Europe and beyond', 24-25t November 2009 in Brussels.
More information

On 13th October 2009, Véronique Hervouet (SC Chair) and Birger Kerckow (Secretariat) participated in the ETP Conference "Gearing R&I to address societal challenges" in Brussels. This involved discussions on the future role of ETPs and EU initiatives (such as ERA, Joint Programming, etc) and parallel workshops addressing societal challenges on: 1. Climate change and clean energy; 2. Sustainable transport; 3. Sustainable consumption and production; 4. Public health; with the aim to identify specific areas which need large scale cooperation in Research & Investment at the EU level.
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On 20th October 2009 in Brussels, the EBTP also attended the Zero Emissions Platform ZEP Annual General Assembly. Main issues discussed included EU CCS Demonstration Programme, CCS R&D and the challenge of raising efficiency, lowering costs and maximising safety, sharing of experiences of existing and planned CCS demonstration projects, and also public awareness and perception.
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4. EBTP Participation in Biofuels events June-Oct 2009

9-11 June 2009 – European Future Energy Forum, Bilbao, Spain
Véronique Hervouet (Chair, Steering Commitee, EBTP): Presentation on EBTP in the panel "Innovation in sustainable transport"
More info...

17 June 2009 – 7th KBBE Net Meeting, Brussels
Birger Kerckow (Secretariat): Represented EBTP
More info...

26 June 2009 – EIBI Workshop, Brussels
Véronique Hervouet (SC Chair), Harri Turpeinen (WG3 Chair, SC), Kai Sipilä (WG2 Chair), Markku Karlsson (SC Vice-Chair, WG1 Chair): Presentation of EIBI proposal

29 June – 3 July 2009 - 17th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition / Hamburg (Germany)
Véronique Hervouet (SC Chair): Presentation on EBTP
More info...

8-9 September 2009 – Lead Markets Initiative – Bio-based products advisory group meeting, Lestrem, France
Birger Kerckow (Secretariat): Participated on behalf of EBTP
More info...

23 September 2009 - The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), Energy Working Group (EWG) Meeting, Paris, France
Pierre Porot (WG2 Vice-Chair): Presentation on behalf of EBTP
More info...

25 September 2009 – EIBI Technical Workshop on “Eligibility and Project Selection Criteria”, Brussels
Harri Turpeinen (WG3 Chair, SC), Kai Sipilä (WG2 Chair), Markku Karlsson (SC Vice-Chair, WG1 Chair) Landälv (WG2 Vice-Chair), Pierre Porot (WG2 Vice-Chair), Birger Kerckow (Secretariat): Participated on behalf of EBTP

1 October 2009 – 2nd Meeting of the Biomass Panel of the Renewable Heating and Cooling Platform, Brussels
Birger Kerckow (Secretariat): Presentation on the EBTP and EIBI
More info...

7-8 October 2009 - BECOTEPS workshop "Opportunities for new business concepts with the combined non food biomass chains under the KBBE umbrella”, Brussels
Melvyn Askew (WG1), Rene van Ree (SC Vice-Chair): Represented their respective organisations.
Karen Görner (EBTP Secretariat): Attended on behalf of Secretariat..
More info...

13 October 2009 – ETP Conference "Gearing R&I to address societal challenges", Brussels
Véronique Hervouet (SC Chair) and Birger Kerckow (Secretariat): Represented EBTP
More info...

20 October 2009 - ZEP General Assembly, Brussels
Birger Kerckow: Participated on behalf of EBTP, with Martha Heitzmann (SC) and Frederic Hauge (SC) being involved both in ZEP and EBTP
More info:

21–22 October 2009 – SET Plan Conference, Stockholm, Sweden
Véronique Hervouet (SC Chair): Presented the EIBI proposal
Birger Kerckow (secretariat), Anders Röj (SC Vice-Chair), Harri Turpeinen (Chair WG3), Ingvar Landälv (WG2 Vice-Chair) and Kai Sipilä (WG2 Vice-Chair): Participated on behalf of the EBTP
More info...

23 October 2009 - French-Swedish Workshop on Low Carbon Energies, Stockholm, Sweden
Pierre Porot (WG2 Vice Chair): Presentation on EBTP.
More info...

26-27 October 2009 - Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) 2nd Stakeholders General Assembl, Brussels
Ingvar Landälv (WG2 Vice-Chair): Presentation on EBTP
More info...

27 October 2009 – SymBio & BioRefine Annual Seminar – Helsinki, Finland
Markku Karlsson (SC Vice-Chair): Presented EIBI on behalf of the EBTP.
More info...

Links to other biofuels events are shown below.

5. 3rd Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of the EBTP

We are pleased to announce, that the next, 3rd Stakeholder Plenary Meeting (SPM3) of the EBTP will take place on 14th April 2010 in Brussels. Topics to be covered include:

The programme for SPM3 is currently under preparation and further information (Agenda, Location, Registration, etc) will be provided in early 2010 on the EBTP website.

6. EBTP Developments

18th Steering Committee Meeting

The 18th Steering Committee meeting was hosted by Europabio in Brussels on 14th October 2009, and attended by 27 Steering Committee members and representatives of the European Commission. The EIBI and SRA update were the key topics on the agenda. View summary minutes

New Steering Committee Members

The following people have been elected to join the EBTP Steering Committee:

Eduardo Romero Palazón, REPSOL
Frank Seyfried, VW
Christian Dumas, AIRBUS
Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Prince of Wales Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change – CLG
Frederic Hauge, Bellona Foundation
Edgard Gnansonou, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Biofuels TP Secretariat

The EBTP is pleased to announce that the Secretariat of the European Biofuels Technology Platform will continue to be partly funded by the European Commission (FP7, Grant Agreement Number 241269) for a further 3 years period (1 April 2009 - 31 March 2012). The EBTP Secretariat is coordinated by Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V (FNR, Gülzow, Germany) and the website and communication activities are provided by CPL Press (CPL, Newbury, UK).

Redevelopment of EBTP Website

The website has been redeveloped with updates on EBTP activities such as the EIBI, SRA/SDD, consultations, liaison with related ETPs and KBBE activites, as well as a wide range of general information and links on biofuels R&D&D feedstocks, conversion, end use, sustainability, legislation, markets, global biofuels, reports, links, news, events and new EU-funded projects. Pages can be accessed quickly via the tabbed panels on the home page.

7. Biofuels Events - Autumn 2009/Spring 2010

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

2-5 November 2009
World Ethanol 2009 - 12th Annual Conference
Paris, France

12 November 2009
BioMotion Congress (at Agritechnica)
Hannover, Germany

13 November 2009
FP7 Biofuels from Algae Call - Information Day
Brussels, Belgium

15-17 November 2009
2nd International Congress on Biodiesel: The Science and The Technologies
Munich, Germany

30 November - 1 December 2009
Fuels of the Future 2009: 7th BBE/UFOP International Congress on Biofuels
Berlin, Germany

16 - 17 December 2009
7th European Motor Biofuels Forum
Paris, France

4-7 February 2010
BioEnergy Expo
Verona, Italy

9-10 March 2010
International Advanced Mobility Forum
during Geneva International Motor Show
Geneva, Swizerland

10 March 2010
European Fuels Conference - Alternative Fuels Symposium
Paris, France

10-12 March 2010
3rd Nordic Biogas Conference
Oslo Kongressenter, Oslo, Norway

15-17 March 2010
World Biofuels Markets
Amsterdam, Netherlands

14 April 2010
Third Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of the EBTP (SPM3)
Brussels, Belgium

28-29 April 2010
AEBIOM European Bioenergy Conference
at RENEXPO® Bioenergy EUROPE
Brussels, Belgium

3-7 May
18th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition
Lyon, France

25-27 May 2010
World Bioenergy 2010
Jönköping, Sweden

8. Recent Biofuels Reports

A number of new reports on sustainability and availability of feedstocks, biofuels in aviation (2 new reports), algal biofuels (7 new reports) and other topics have recently been added to the new EBTP Reports Database

The database is currently in development and further reports are being added covering feedstocks, technology, sustainability, end use, policy and markets, and global biofuels.