EBTP Newsletter 23

December 2015

Mission Statement

The mission of the European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) 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

What Business wants from Paris (COP21)

Sandrine Dixson-Declève, EBTP Vice-Chair and Director, Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG)

At the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, negotiators from nearly 200 countries have had two weeks to strike a new global agreement on climate change – one that for the first time ever will include specific commitments to act from almost all nations, not just the developed world.

Countries have been asked to submit their national contributions to tackle climate change, which will now sit alongside a global climate deal. Over 180 such country pledges – known as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) – have been received, covering well over 80% of global emissions. This excellent result was not expected even one year ago and should be welcomed. Even more importantly, the text in its current form is now owned by the Parties and has both structure and the authority for all countries to work with it.

Unfortunately, an analysis of the collective impact of these proposed commitments indicates that, we’re not yet under the 2°C target. For a number of years governments have agreed 2°C as a global ‘guard rail’ of global warming that should not be stepped beyond. Transportation accounts for 25% of energy-related carbon dioxide and needs to significantly reduce its emissions within this sector to remain below the 2°C climate warming. According to the International Energy Agency, 10% of fuels must be low carbon by 2030 if we are to satisfy economic growth while staying below 2°C.

Today, only 3% of transportation fuels are low carbon. Sustainable low carbon fuels, such as biofuels, are an essential tool in the global fight against climate change because they can easily be used in the existing vehicle fleet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport. The EBTP calls for world leaders to sign a climate deal in Paris at COP21 that acknowledges the role of biofuels in the transport sector.

Even if it is clear that a successful Paris conference can deliver a real and significant step forward in tackling climate change, it is not enough that Paris has catalysed new “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDC’s) from around the world – it also needs to put the world on a path to iteratively set and strengthen climate action and to ensure that national commitments are implemented effectively and efficiently.

For this reason, the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG), working together with ten other business organisations (BSR, CEBDS, Ceres, CDP, EPC, Japan Climate Leaders Partnership, South Africa’s National Business Initiative, The B Team, The Climate Group, WBCSD, and the We Mean Business coalition) has written to finance ministers from key countries across the G20 group and the EU urging for their support for a deal in Paris.
However, most of the messages communicated to finance ministers by these organisations hold true for all Ministers. These organisations and their member companies, believe that continued pressure on on all government leaders is essential as we enter the last 30 days before Paris. That is why, from a business perspective, we are calling for three fundamental outcomes from Paris:

1. A clear long-term goal for emissions, so the global direction of travel is unequivocally established

2. A regular five year cycle to update and extend national commitments to ensure the direction of travel is credible

3. Clear rules to provide the transparency and accountability required.

Support to this agenda is not purely a matter of government alignment. To unlock and deliver such an agreement requires real engagement from government’s and needs to be supported across different departments from environment and energy to finance and economics.

Another key call from our business leaders is the need to ensure that all high carbon externalities are properly costed and that high carbon energy is no longer the investment of choice. The CLG has been a consistent advocate of effectively pricing carbon to drive markets to decarbonise and we are actively involved in the World Banks Carbon Pricing coalition which catalyses more government and business action in this area. In addition, we believe that the missing piece of the costing puzzle is the reform of fossil fuel subsidies, which represent annually twice as much as investments in clean energy. The elimination of fossil fuel subsidies is an essential way to ensure a level playing field for renewables including biofuels and biomass.

This last contribution is essential, because no matter how big a step forward a new climate deal represents, there will be a huge amount to do to translate the high-level political agreement into real changes in policy structures, investment and business practice. As UN climate chief Christiana Figueres put it: “An agreement in Paris is not a destination in itself. It’s a departing station.”


2. EU Legislation & Activities

On 28 April 2015, the European Parliament and the Council finally agreed on the ILUC Directive, a legislative text that limits the way Member States can meet the target of 10% for renewables in transport fuels by 2020, bringing to an end a debate which had been ongoing since October 2012. The Directive 2015/1513/EU was adopted by the EU Council on 13 July this year to amend these directives. The amending directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ L239 p. 1 to 29) on 15 September 2015. The updated versions of the two directives contain the extensive amendments. The new requirements must be transposed into national law by the Member States by 2017.

The IEA World Energy Outlook 2015 estimates biofuels will only account for about 5% transport fuel consumption in 2040 under its New Policies Scenario, which expects that blending mandates will more or less still exist by then. Despite remaining a minor part of the energy mix, the total volume is three times more than consumed now, at an estimated 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 1.5 million boe currently. It expects the mix to be 70% ethanol and the remaining biodiesel. To achieve that demand, the IEA expects investments to average about $15 billion annually.

EC Public Consultation on Post-2020 EU Regulatory Frameworks

The European Commission is seeking views of all stakeholders and citizens on what an EU regulatory framework on renewable energy should look like for the post-2020 period. A new renewable energy directive (REDII) for the period 2020-2030 is foreseen before the end of 2016. The bioenergy sustainability policy, which will form part as well of the new renewable energy package, will be covered by a separate public consultation.

Background: Current EU renewable energy rules are contained in the Renewable Energy Directive, which is designed to ensure that all EU countries meet their renewable energy target by 2020 and therefore contribute to EU's target of 20% share of renewable energy in overall energy consumption by 2020.

In October 2014 EU countries agreed to a new target of at least 27% renewables by 2030. In order to reach this target, and as part of the EU's plans for Energy Union, a new Renewable Energy Directive, including a post-2020 framework, will be needed.

In its Public Consultation Document on a New Renewable Energy Directive post-2020, the Commission states that several areas in particular will need attention. These include: a new governance to ensure target is achieved at EU-level, measures to empower consumers on renewable energy solutions, cutting emissions in the heating and cooling sector, removing market entry barriers for renewables and boosting the use of renewables in the transport sector.

The consultation is open until 10 February 2016.

3. EBTP Activities and launch of SMP7, April 2016

The 36nd Steering Committee Meeting of the EBTP was held in Brussels on 20th October 2015 and was attended by SC Members, the EBTP Secretariat and EC representatives. The Steering Committee welcomes Eriv Sievers, Ethanol Europe Renewables Ltd, as a new member.

SPM7 to take place in Brussels, April 2015

All stakeholders are invited to join the 7th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of the EBTP, which will take place in Brussels in April 2016.

Entrance to SPM7 will be free for European biofuels stakeholders from industry, academia, research organisations, common interest groups or other associations with an interest in biofuels production and use. The conference capacity is limited to 200 participants and attendance is subject to successful registration. All EBTP contacts will be notified by email, when online registration opens within the next weeks.

The draft agenda is currently under preparation and a full list of speakers and presentations will be made available within the next few weeks. If you have suggestions for topics and presentations, please contact the EBTP secretariat.

The SPM will be preceded by a high level event to be organised by the European Commission, DG R&I.

4. EBTP Transport Vision Group Position Paper

The EBTP Transport Vision Group has released its draft position paper on Biofuels towards 2030: An essential decarbonisation option requiring a clear EU policy framework.

For a healthy development of the biofuels sector after 2020, a clear and stimulating EU policy framework for advanced biofuels and the decarbonisation of transport towards 2030 is essential. On the basis of a review of current national thinking on the future of the transport sector, the EU Biofuels Technology platform concludes that clear direction at EU level is needed so that member states can establish well-elaborated and coherent national decarbonisation strategies for the transport sector.

Such EU direction must aim at providing a sufficiently stable and predictable climate for the development and introduction of advanced biofuels, as they are an essential element for decarbonising transport. A clear EU obligation for advanced biofuels, which can be defined in several ways, is the most effective policy option for this.

The EU needs to provide clear rules and regulations to ensure a healthy R&D climate, as innovation will be essential, creating new economic opportunities, job creation and other co-benefits.

A fully working EU internal fuel market will need to be maintained, also for biofuels.
Finally, accounting rules should be kept simple and straightforward, and sustainability should be dealt with in a responsible manner.


5. ERA Calls Launched

10th Joint Call ERA-Net Bioenergy

The 10th Joint Call in the framework of ERA-NET Bioenergy was launched on October 12th 2015 for proposals on the topic “Biobased Economy”. Proposals may focus on different bioenergy value chains or energy uses (heating/cooling, electricity, transport biofuels), but in all cases, the question of economic, environmental and social sustainability of the concept/value chain must be addressed in the proposal. Ideally, concepts enable full or improved usage of the raw material and/or put the focus on residues, by-products and other forms of raw material that minimise competition with food production. Concepts that integrate the production of a range of different products/intermediates (chemicals, compound materials, bioenergy incl. transport biofuels) may also be addressed, but projects relevant to this call are expected to focus on added value of energetic uses (bioenergy incl. transport biofuels).

7th transnational ERA-IB joint call

ERA-IB-2 launches, in cooperation with ERASynBio and ERA-MBT, a seventh international joint call for multilateral research projects using Industrial Biotechnology (IB). The main purpose of this call is to generate joint European research and development activities and to stimulate and unify researchers and academics who specialise in the area of Industrial Biotechnology to work closely together and share funding and research projects. Through the collaboration between these three ERA-nets more funding will be available and the geographical coverage is expanded.

6. Update on Advanced Biofuels Demonstrations

UPM BioVerno

UPM has started field tests of its novel wood-based diesel fuel, UPM BioVerno, in urban buses together with Helsinki Region Transport and the VTT Technical Research Centre. The field tests are also supported by St1, Volvo and Transdev Finland. UPM BioVerno–diesel is a ready-to-use solution that helps cut down traffic emissions significantly.

Neste and Boeing to accelerate commercialization of renewable aviation fuel

Neste, producer of renewable diesel, and Boeing will work together to promote and accelerate the commercialization of renewable aviation fuel. The companies will work toward American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) fuel standard approval allowing the commercial use of high freezing point renewable aviation fuel by airlines. The goal is also to gain widespread market acceptance for renewable aviation fuels, and to progress sustainability accreditation efforts.

The aviation industry has to achieve its greenhouse gas saving targets: carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and a net reduction in carbon emissions of 50% by 2050 compared to 2005. Neste anticipates that its high-quality renewable aviation fuel could help. In 2014, Boeing already tested Neste's renewable aviation fuel in a 15% blend with petroleum jet fuel in the Boeing ecoDemonstrator 787, a test airplane that assesses technologies that can reduce aviation's environmental footprint. The 787 made an initial flight with this biofuel blend in one engine, followed by several flights with the biofuel blend in both engines. Based on its test flights, Boeing reported that "the airplane performed as designed with the renewable jet blend, just as it does with conventional jet fuel". 

7. Latest Biofuels Events

5th International Conference for Lignocellulosic Ethanol (ICLE5)

Key players in the biofuels sector gathered at the 5th International Conference for Lignocellulosic Ethanol (ICLE5), held in Brussels (Sept 15-17, 2015), and developed a manifesto as a call to action in support for advanced biofuels at EU level.

The following policy actions were emphasised as critical steps to enable European commercialization of cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels :

- A European market mandate, starting in 2020 at 0.5% - and ramping up by 2030

- Development of a high octane E20 Standard by 2020, to prepare the fuels value chain for further decarbonization

View the Manifesto for Advanced Biofuels

All presentations from the event are now available online

IEA Bioenergy Conference 2015 - Realising the world's sustainable bioenergy potential

The IEA Bioenergy Conference 2015 provided more than 300 stakeholders from industry, academia and policy with an insight into recent research and market developments in bioenergy. All topics covered by IEA Bioenergy and by partner organisations, such as FAO, GBEP and UNDP, were addressed. A special section was dedicated to progress in the development and use of advanced liquid biofuels.

Presentations from the IEA BIoenergy Conference 2015 are available online

Focus on Climate Protection in Transport: International Biofuel Conference, 18-19 January 2016 in Berlin

Within the framework of climate change policy, special attention is paid to road transport. Given the uptrend in registration figures for passenger cars and commercial vehicles, especially heavy goods vehicle traffic has to be seen as a cause for the increase in GHG emissions.

By contrast, Germany’s government has set itself the target to reduce GHG emissions by a total of 40% until 2020 and by 90 % until 2050. As the respective legal and regulatory measures are coming into effect, sufficient forward planning will be needed for their implementation. But also the fleet change over time has to be taken into account, given that the service life of vehicles licensed today and in the future is rather increasing.

These and other key issues will be the focus at the close of the 13th International Conference for Biofuels, which will be held from 18 - 19 January 2016 in Berlin. Under the heading “Climate protection targets and the implementation in the transport sector”, the needs and strategies for climate protection in transport will be addressed in the light of the results of the G7 summit in Elmau and the UN climate summit in Paris. As another option for advancing climate protection in a timely manner, there will also be a focus on the introduction of emissions trading in the transport sector as well as on the potentials for reducing CO2 emissions by lowering so-called “upstream emissions” in crude oil processing.

In view of the ongoing discussion on the real fuel consumption of vehicles, the debate on the compliance with the maximum emission levels of 95 grams CO2 per kilometer for newly registered vehicles by 2020 is gaining futher relevance. The conference will shed light on the contribution climate protection in transport can make from the perspective of the automotive industry and examine instruments and fiscal frameworks from the point of view of an NGO.

The special forums will be offered on biomethane in the transport sector. The full programme with 14 different sessions and more than 60 speakers, including a presentation from EBTP, is available at www.fuels-of-the-future.com

Biofuels Events for 2016

Details of events and courses related to biofuels may be sent to secretariat@biofuelstp.eu to be listed on the website and included in EBTP newsletters. Further details and links to agendas and registration for the following events can be found on the EBTP Events Listing Page:

20 - 21 January 2016
Lignofuels 2016
Munich, Germany

18-19 January 2016
Fuels of the Future - 13th International Biofuel Conference
Berlin, Germany

April 2016 (Dates and full details to follow soon)
SPM7 Seventh Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of EBTP in conjunction with high level EC DG Reseach & Innovation Event
Brussels, Belgium

18-21 April 2016
Transport Research Arena - TRA2016
Warsaw, Poland

8. Reports & Presentations on Advanced Biofuels and Related Topics

Links to a number of new biofuels reports have been added to the EBTP Reports DatabaseLinks to biofuels presentations are also included on relevant pages of the EBTP website. Recent examples include:

Post-2020 Visions and National Plans for Sustainable Transport
ECN on behalf of EBTP

This report is intended to satisfy the queries of the European Biofuels Technology Platform with regards to the sustainable transport policies among Member States for the timeframe 2020 - 2030. Special attention is paid to the main policies for: Alternative Fuels, Means of Transport, Greenhouse Gases (GHG), and Sectorial Objectives related to transport. To do so, this research study reviews, analyses, assesses, and reports the data gathered from National Plans in the field of sustainable transport beyond 2020 of each Member State analysed. To structure the data gathering, an analytical framework was defined, which is also based on the transport-related policy documents issued by the European Commission. Furthermore, this research aims to provide an overview on differences in visions and discourses by Member States regarding sustainable transport beyond 2020. This research also aims to provide a background to explore what policies may be better addressed at national level or European Union level.

Presentation from Aerodays 2015: Aviation in Europe - Innovating for Growth
EC, Aerospace Technology Institute, UK DBIS

Aerodays 2015 took place on 20-23 October 2015 in London. Aerodays is the European flagship event in aviation research and innovation which takes place once, during each EU Research Framework Programme. The programme included session 1b on alternative aviation jet fuels.

The Future of Low-Carbon Road Transport: What Role for Second-Generation Biofuels?
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The promise, prospects, and public policy trade-offs related to second-generation biofuels in road transport were addressed in a workshop in Dearborn, Michigan, USA, on April 7 and 8, 2015. The workshop brought together twenty-eight of the world's leading experts from the fields of policy, science, and business for an intensive two-day session. The report is a summary of the main points and issues raised over the two days:

ExCo74 - Bioenergy: land use and mitigating iLUC - Summary and Conclusions
IEA Bioenergy

This publication provides the summary and conclusions from the workshop ‘Bioenergy: Land use and mitigating iLUC ’ organised by IEA Bioenergy in Brussels, Belgium on 23 October 2014.

The Automobile Industry Pocket Guide 2015-2016

The ACEA Pocket Guide contains the most commonly sought after figures, tables and statistics pertaining to the European and global automobile industries. The latest 2015-2016 edition contains new and expanded data on auto industry innovation and environmental performance, showing how European vehicle manufacturers have continued to develop new and better solutions to ensure their products meet the highest standards. The guide also contains information about international trade flows, world and EU vehicle production and registrations, as well as data on R&D expenditure in the automobile industry

Study on Actual GHG Data for Diesel, Petrol, Kerosene and Natural Gas
EXERGIA S.A, in collaboration with E3M-Lab, NTU Athens and COWI A/S on behalf of EC DG ENER

The extensive final report of a study commissioned by DG Energy of the European Commission. The objective of this study was to determine actual greenhouse gas (GHG) data for diesel, petrol and natural gas. In order to have a transparent comparison between biofuels and fossil fuels it is necessary to determine the actual GHG emission from diesel and petrol by comparing the GHG from oil and gas originating from various geographical areas and different types of operations taking into account other environmental concerns wherever appropriate.

See also Presentations from workshop on 8 July 2015

State of the Art on Alternative Fuels Transport Systems in the European Union

The aim of the study is to gather information of the development of alternative fuels for transport in the EU and to give a broad overview. The report encompasses the positions of the Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels (EGFTF) on the measures (policy and research) to be taken to ensure the proper development of alternative fuels in the EU.

9. Recent Newsletters from other biofuels and bioenergy organisations, and the EC

The latest Newsletter (#40) from IEA Bioenergy Task 39 features a Focus on Biofuels in New Zealand and a summary of other relevant news.

AMFI Newsletter October 2015

Horizon Magazine - The EU Research and Innovation Magazine

DG Mobility and Transport Newsletters

The latest monthly newsletters from the European Biogas Association are available online.

EBTP-SABS would be pleased to help disseminate links to newsletters from relevant biofuels and advanced bioenergy organisations in Europe. Please forward details to secretariat@biofuelstp.eu



This newsletter is produced on behalf of the EBTP by the EBTP-SABS project team, funded under FP7. The broad aim of EBTP-SABS is to enhance communciations and networking among Advanced Biofuels Stakeholders from research, industry, government, NGOs, feedstocks production, end use and related areas in all European countries.

The contents of this newsletter are copyright © EBTP-SABS 2015

Important Disclaimer
The content of this newsletter cannot be considered as the European Commission’s official position and neither the European Commission, EBTP-SABS, EBTP nor any person acting on
behalf of these organisation is responsible for the use which might be made of it. Although EBTP-SABS endeavours to deliver a high level of service, no guarantee can be given on the correctness or completeness of the content of this newsletter and neither the European Commission, EBTP nor EBTP-SABS are responsible or may be held accountable for any loss suffered as a result of reliance upon the content of this newsletter.