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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

Leveraging on recent successful achievements to prepare for the next challenges

Bioenergy plays a critical role in the EU energy mix covering already more than 60 % of EU renewables. Bioenergy is also unique in its versatility allowing it to serve all major types of energy use: heating & cooling, electricity and liquid fuels. It will continue to play a key role in the EU long- term energy strategy for all applications, particularly transport, contributing up to 14 % of the EU energy mix and up to 10 % of energy demand in transport in 2020. For certain market segments of the transport sector, biofuels are recongnised as the only renewable fuels able to serve the fast growing need for middle distillates used in road, aviation and marine transport. The bright opportunities for biofuels, however, come with significant challenges, such as sustainability and availability of resources.

Sustainability presents a serious challenge for bioenergy, as biofuels are pioneering public and private efforts to define and apply sustainability standards. It also provides a great opportunity to focus on the essentials – to optimise the value chain to deliver maximum economic and social value with minimal impact on overall natural resources, identifying the best performing options, and giving them a productive and sustainable future!

The feedstocks and bioenergy production technologies that are currently deployed are already providing a significant contribution, but will not be sufficient to reach the 2020 EU volume and quality targets. This is why the EBTP has been actively shaping the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI), a new programme aiming at the selection and funding of the latest stages of development for innovative technologies deployed in value chains able to contribute significant volumes to EU bioenergy markets by 2020.

The launch of EIBI on 15 November 2010 at the SET-Plan Conference under the Belgian Council Presidency is sending a strong message on the readiness of industry actors to move forward with ambitious projects to supply EU markets with advanced bioenergy. As EU Member States are preparing their roadmap to fulfil the 2020 Climate & Energy ambitions, EIBI offers a timely breadth of options, which are able to adjust to different local conditions. Public-private partnerships to back this ambitious programme will be critical to ensure its success!

Another successful milestone for EBTP this year was the publication of the 2010 update of its Strategic Research Agenda. It presents a synthetic view of the most significant recent developments (technical and non-technical) of relevance to biofuels, and highlights corresponding R&D&D priorities, stressing in particular sustainability, resources and the need for funding of the latest development stages of innovative technologies. It is based on the broad basis of collective expertise of EBTP working groups, gathering actors across the entire biofuels value chains. EBTP was pleased to receive positive feedback from DG Research on the SRA.

The 3rd Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of the EBTP also generated a positive response. A survey amongst the participants showed that 80 % of the attendees considered the presentations to be useful or very useful for their work and the event was viewed as valuable for making contacts.

In line with its mission to serve the development of innovative biofuels technologies and of a healthy supply of sustainable biofuels on the EU market, EBTP is also preparing for its own future to ensure its activities and services keep addressing the most relevant issues for stakeholders. The Secretariat of the EBTP is partly financed by the European Commission until Spring 2012. As EBTP is based on the commitment of its stakeholders and dedicated to serve them, I would like to kindly invite you to participate in a short survey concerning the current work of the EBTP and possible future goals and objectives. Your feedback is essential, as your views on which activities should be dropped, maintained and/or initiated will help update the mission and scope of the EBTP and shape the organisation.

Looking forward to further fruitful outcomes of EBTP activities, to the benefit of biofuels stakeholders in the EU!

Véronique Hervouet
Chair, Steering Committee, European Biofuels Technology Platform

2. European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative

Over the last two years the EBTP has made an active contribution to shaping the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI). EIBI is one of six Industrial Initiatives based on the SET-Plan proposal in 2007.

Initital proposals for EIBI were prepared by an ad hoc Working Group of the EBTP, consisting of Chairs and Vice–chairs of EBTP’s five initial working groups, which was originally known as WG6 Prioritisation. WG6 has now been renamed as the EIBI Working Group, and is currently co-chaired by Markku Karlsson (UPM-Kymmene) and Henrik Erämetsä (Neste Oil). After successful presentation of this proposal at the Stockholm SET Plan conference in October 2009, work in 2010 has focused on preparing the EIBI Implementation Plan, along guidelines suggested by the European Commission. The EIBI WG also liaises with the SET Plan EIBI Team and EIBI Criteria Task Force.

The SET Plan EIBI team consists of representatives from industry, Member States and the European Commission. Following meetings in September and October 2010, the EIBI Team has finalised the EIBI Implementation Plan, and the initiative was formally launched at the SET Plan Conference, under the Belgian Council Presidency, on 15th-16th November 2010.

Lars Peter Lindfors, Senior Vice President Technology and Strategy of Neste Oil, delivered a message of industrial support for EIBI (1.9 Mb PDF). Véronique Hervouet, EBTP SC Chair, made a presentation on the EIBI Implementation Plan (1.7 Mb PDF).

Under the guidance and authority of the EIBI team, a Task Force on Selection Criteria, consisting of representatives from EC and Industry, was set up to define eligibility and selection criteria for the EIBI. The Task Force is co-chaired by the EBTP and the EC. A first draft of eligibility and selection criteria has been agreed in October 2010, but may require further refinement before being finalised.

The scope of the EIBI is focused on innovative bioenergy value chains which are not yet commercially available, and which could bring significant contribution to the bioenergy markets by large-scale deployment (large-scale single units or larger number of smaller scale units), whilst complying with the sustainability requirements of the RES Directive (2009/28/EC).

The specific objectives of the EIBI are:

1. to enable commercial availability of advanced bioenergy at large scale by 2020, aiming at production costs allowing competitiveness with fossil fuels at the prevailing economic and regulatory market conditions, and advanced biofuels covering up to 4 % of EU transportation energy needs by 2020.

2. to strengthen EU technology leadership for renewable transport fuels, serving the fastest growing area of transport fuels in the world.

Because of the scale of investment needed and the risks involved (technology, feedstock & end product prices, regulatory framework evolution), financing the latest stages of development of innovative bioenergy technologies is a major obstacle for large-scale industrial deployment of these technologies. The main challenge of the EIBI is to tackle this issue by leveraging on public-private partnerships based on efficient governance and relevant funding sources and mechanisms.

The core activities of the EIBI aim to support the building and operating of demonstration projects and/or flagship plants for innovative bioenergy value chains with large market potential.

The EIBI is proposing a pragmatic approach to select the most promising options, based on transparent criteria reflecting a set of key economic, environmental and social performance indicators. Its flexibility will allow the programme to be adjusted to the priorities of the EU and of Member States willing to join forces to boost the development of innovative bioenergy in Europe, encouraging industry and technology champions to team up with the relevant European partners and reach the capability and scale to bring a significant contribution to EU ambitions and compete in world markets.

3. EBTP Developments

The 20th Steering Committee meeting was held on 17th June 2010. The SRA Update 2010, and the associated public consultation, was one of the main topics. The draft of the SRA update was downloaded over 600 times for consultation demonstrating the considerable interest generated. The EIBI was also discussed. It was decided to rename the former WG 6 “Prioritisation” “EBTP EIBI team’, reflecting the focus of this WG on EIBI issues.

At the meeting, Heike Frühwirth, BDI - Bioenergy International AG, was elected as Vice–chair for the recently established Algae Task Force, which is chaired by Raffaelle Garofalo, EBI. Since March 2010, Mona-Maria Brinker has joined the EBTP Secretariat team.

View summary minutes for SC20

The 21st Steering Committee meeting took place on 19th October. The main topics were the update on the EIBI, especially outcome of the EIBI team Meeting on 18th October and the preparation of Official launch on 15 november 2010. A presentation on the FP7 'Biofuels from Algae' call was made by Kyriakos Maniatis (DG ENER). Options for a self-sustaining Secretariat, after the end of the current contract with the EC, were introduced.

Summary minutes for SC21 will be available shortly on the EBTP website.


4. Strategic Research Agenda

The The EBTP Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) Update 2010 was published this summer.

The original Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) from 2008 identified the 3 critical areas in which technology development should play a key role (feedstocks, conversion processes, end-use technologies) and highlighted clearly that the winning options would 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.

The SRA Update 2010 is strongly rooted in these core findings, which remain fully valid. In view of the EU 2020 Climate &Energy targets, the purpose of the update is to present a synthetic view of the most significant recent developments (technical and non-technical) of relevance to biofuels and to highlight corresponding R&D&D priorities.It is calling to strengthen on going efforts, with enhanced attention to:

  • sustainability related tools & data
  • development of sustainable supply of feedstocks
  • financing of the latest stages of development for most promising advanced biofuels technologies, to accelerate their large-scale deployment

The format was deliberately concise, aiming at presenting a simple view of this complex area and not claiming an exhaustive coverage. It is based on the broad basis of collective expertise of EBTP working groups, gathering actors across the biofuels value chains. The SRA Update 2010 has been described by EC DG Research as a valuable input for EU R&D framework programme priorities.

5. EBTP Liaison with ZEP

A joint taskforce of EBTP with the Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP) is under discussion, as an initiative of Frederic Hauge, Bellona, who sits on both Steering Committees. EBTP SC has nominated Kai Sippila (VTT) as co-chair of the proposed Task Force. The first step is to define the scope and objective and propose relevant activities, means and timeline.

6. EBTP involvement in recent Biofuels Events

15 November – SET-Plan Conference under Belgian Council Presidency, Brussels, Belgium
Véronique Hervouet (SC Chair): Presentation of EIBI in section “Launching of the next European Industrial Initiatives”, European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative: Proposal for an Implementation Plan 2010-2012

19-21 October – European Future Energy Forum, London, Great Britain
Véronique Hervouet (SC Chair): Presentation of EBTP an EIBI in section “Renewable Stream: Biomass”, Boosting the contribution of sustainable bioenergy to the EU 2020 climate & energy targets: The European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative

5 October – MOVE Fuels meeting, Brussels, Belgium
Birger Kerckow (SEC) represented EBTP

14-18 September – 14th International Biotechnology Symposium, Rimini, Italy
Anders Lau Tuxen (SC): Presentation of EBTP and EIBI in “Biotechnology for bioenergy”, Boosting the contribution of sustainable bioenergy to the EU 2020 climate & energy targets: The European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative

15-16 September – IEA Biofuel Roadmap Workshop, Paris, France
Birger Kerckow (SEC) represented EBTP

13-14 September – KBBE Workshop, Brussels, Belgium
Rene van Ree (SC Vice-Chair) represented EBTP

30 June – Biomass Future Workshop, Brussels, Belgium
Birger Kerckow (SEC): Presentation of EBTP and EIBI, Demand for biomass: How likely is it to be met? Demand from the Industry.

29 June – Dinner Debate “FP7/FP8: Setting the Right Priorities for Future Innovation”, Brussels, Belgium
Birger Kerckow (SEC) represented EBTP

29 June – Second meeting of Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels, Brussels, Belgium
Birger Kerckow (SEC) represented EBTP

23-24 June – New Biofuels 2010, Berlin, Germany
Véronique Hervouet (SC Chair): Presentation on EBTP, SRA 2010 update and EIBI in “Session 1: Strategies and Options”.

3-4 June – SET Plan Summit Conference, Madrid, Spain
Markku Karlsson (SC-Vice Chair, Chair of WG 1) and Anders Lau Tuxen (SC): Presentation of EIBI in Session “State of play for EIIs to be launched at later stage”.

11-12 May – 2010 ETP Conference: Working together on societal changes, Brussels, Belgium.
Markku Karlsson (SC-Vice Chair, Chair of WG 1) represented EBTP.

3-7 May – 18th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition, Lyon, France
Véronique Hervouet (SC Chair): Presentation of EIBI in Session “Debate on the European Industrial Initiatives in the frame of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan)”.

26 April – first meeting of Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels, Brussels, Belgium
Jean-Francois Gruson, represented EBTP

7. Biofuels Events Autumn/Winter 2010/11

Links and details for the following events are included on the events page of the EBTP website.

15-16 November
SET-Plan Conference under Belgian Council Presidency
Brussels, Belgium

15 November 2010
BioGrace policy makers’ workshops on implementing Renewable Energy Directive
Athens, Greece

29-30 November
Sustainable Biomass for European Energy
Brussels, Belgium

30 November – 2 December
NextGenFuels 2010-11-03
New Delhi, India

1-2 December
4th International BtL Congress
Berlin, Germany

24-25 January
Fuels for the Future 2011
Berlin, Germany

26-27 January
Global Biofuels Summit 2011
Barcelona, Spain

27-28 January
Biodiesel Industry Forum
London, United Kingdom

8-11 March
The European Fuels Conference
Paris, France

8. Recent Biofuels Reports & EC Communications

Please note: A number of important new communications relating to bioenergy, biofuels, and sustainability/transparency have been recently added to the Renewables pages on Europa.

A wide range of new biofuels reports have been added to the EBTP Reports Database including:


A Realistic Technology and Engineering Assessment of Algae Biofuel Production
Energy Biosciences Institute EBI

Current Status and Potential for Algal Biofuels Production - A Report to IEA Bioenergy Task 39
Al Darzins (NREL), Philip Pienkos (NREL), Les Edye (BioIndustry Partners)

Real potential for changes in growth and use of EU forests
Mantau, U. et al., Euwood project

Indirect Land Use Change from increased biofuels demand - Comparison of models and results for marginal biofuels production from different feedstocks

Workshop "Common View on Biomass Feedstock Availability for the SET-Plan European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative" - Proceedings and Issues Paper
EC Directorate-General for Research

Biomass for heat and power: Opportunity and economics
European Climate Foundation


EBTP Strategic Research Agenda Update 2010
European Biofuels Technology Platform

Status of 2nd Generation Biofuels Demonstration Facilities in June 2010
IEA Bioenergy Task 39

The Future of Industrial Biorefineries
Sir David King et al, Oxford University, and contributors from the World Economic Forum

End use

Towards the decarbonisation of the EU's transport sector by 2050
Skinner, I., Van Essen, H., Smokers, R. & Hill, N., EU Transport GHG: Routes to 2050?

Reducing Transport Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Trends and data 2010
International Transport Forum OECD

Biodiversity and Sustainability

Anticipated Indirect Land Use Change Associated with Expanded Use of Biofuels and Bioliquids in the EU - An Analysis of the National Renewable Energy Action Plans
Institute for European Environmental Policy IEEP

The Impact of Land Use Change on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Biofuels and Bioliquids
EC Directorate-General for Energy

Impacts of the EU biofuel target on agricultural markets and land use: a comparative modelling assessment

Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO 3)
Convention on Biological Diversity

Wood-Based Bioenergy – The Green Lie
Global Forest Coalition

Policy & Markets

EurObserv'ER Biofuels Barometer (2010)

Biofuels : markets, targets and impacts
World Bank

A USDA Regional Roadmap to Meeting the Biofuels Goals of the Renewable Fuels Standard by 2022

ETP 2010: Working Together on Societal Challenges - Conference Report
EC - Directorate-General Research

Next-Generation Biofuels: Near-Term Challenges and Implications for Agriculture
William T. Coyle, USDA

A USDA Regional Roadmap to Meeting the Biofuels Goal of the Renewable Fuels Standard by 2022

Global Biofuels

Global Trade and Environmental Impact Study of the EU Biofuels Mandate