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

Conflict in the Ukraine has again turned attention to European dependance on energy imports. While some opportunistic voices run to conclusions as if this was the only relevant factor of energy development, we may be proud to see that the European institutions remember there are more. Energy choices must also be based on economic competitiveness and should be compatible with manageable climate change scenarios. We see this in the Conclusions of the Energy Council in June 2014.

The European Biofuel Technology Platform does not have the same powers as the Commission or Council. Still, we have the ability to contribute to the long-term, consistent and persistent visions that may succeed in building biofuel industries that can provide sustainable supply of automotive fuels - visions of fuels from indigenous sources that really reduce greenhouse gases at costs competitive with imported fossil fuels.

Among our members, progress is reported. Sustainable fuel production has been successfully demonstrated. There is some progress with new technologies, some progress by clever systems solutions combining different known technologies. But, generally, industrial development has not yet reached the scale where performance is proven.

Research is vital for this development, and for the ability of Europe to meet global industrial competition in other sectors. But while the support for research funding is now strong in most of Europe, it is not sufficient. The biofuel process industries know well that while research may prove synthesis is possible in laboratories, this does not necessarily demonstrate efficiency nor competitiveness at industrial scale.

The need for a coherent strategy - covering research, demonstration and early deployment, supported by predictable economic policy conditions - is obvious to the technology and project developers. However, this first-hand awareness is not always fully shared by policy makers.

The NER300 scheme aims to result in a significant number of demonstrations of energy technology solutions of commercial scale. EBTP welcomes the announcement this week of support for six new advanced bioenergy / biofuel demonstrations (covering cellulosic ethanol, pyrolysis and gasification) under the second wave of NER300 project co-funding. However there are also concerns about the viability of such demonstrations without long-term policies to allow profitable operation.

Several of the first NER300 projects were in the area of advanced biofuels. Now it seems few, if any, will ever be realized. The majority of the funding was supposed to be private, but the conditions for private investors are discouraging in Europe. Unpredictable market and taxation regulations create an unnecessary level of risk. State aid rules, which force potential biofuels investors to absorb all risks but remove all profit opportunities, make them turn to other markets with better prospects of a long-term return.

Some European technology companies now seek to deploy biofuel technologies under US defense research projects unlimited by European or international state aid rules. Others form cooperation agreements in China where risks remain, but potential rewards appear generous.

The European Union Institutions need to manage both multiple targets and coordination of several policy areas to reach these targets. If not, Europe may not only end up dependent on imported energy, but even more dependent on importing sustainable energy technologies.

The EBTP continues to work with the EC and stakeholders to overcome these challenges and accelerate deployment of renewable transport fuels in Europe. The EBTP Stakeholder Meeting in October will focus on the positive role that biofuels play in contributing to energy security and low carbon transport. I look forward to meeting many of you in Brussels.

Tomas Kåberger
Chair of the Steering Committee
European Biofuels Technology Platform


2. EBTP Developments

The 32nd Steering Committee Meeting of th EBTP was held in Brussels on 18th June 2014 and was attended by SC Members, the EBTP Secretariat and EC representatives.

SC Members Update

Carmen Millan, Abengoa was elected as a new EBTP Steering Committee (SC) Member, replacing Thomas Gameson, Abengoa.

The EBTP vice chairs Sandrine Dixson-Declève, University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Markku Karlsson, Finnish Forestry Industries Federation, and Ingvar Landälv, Chemrec/TU Lulea were re-elected for a period of 2 years.

Working Group Activity

EBTP Working Group 1 'Biomass' continues to work together with the Renewable Heat and Cooling European Technology Platform on common strategic themes such as biomass mobilisation and logistics, availability, sustainability, flexibility of use (fuel /heating), storage, intermediates (torrefied wood, pyrolysis oil), and recovered fuels from waste.

The EBTP search for experienced stakeholders from the aviation and marine transport sectors for Working Group 3 ‘End use and product distribution’ continues. Both sectors will play a key role in future market developments for biofuels and are currently under-represented in the work of EBTP. In the Working Group you will have the opportunity to actively influence the outcomes of the EBTP - your expert knowledge and expertise will shape key aspects of the research, development & innovation recommendations provided to the European Commission.

Please send a brief C.V. to secretariat@biofuelstp.eu by the end of July, together with a short outline of your motivation to join the platform. 

The 9th meeting of the DG Expert Group on Future Transport Fuels (EGFTF) took place on 6 May 2014. EBTP was represented by Jean-François Gruson, IFP Energies nouvelles and EBTP WG3.


3. EC Developments

Two important updates on EC legislation have emerged in recent weeks with a profound impact on the development of the biofuels industry in EU Member States:

1. Political agreement by the EU Energy Council on the draft amendment to the FQD and RED on 13 June 2014;

2. New rules on state aid for renewable energy 2014-2020 (including new restrictions on support for biofuels from "food crops").

Proposed revision to the Fuel Quality Directive and Renewable Energy Directive

In June 2014, The EU Energy Council reached political agreement on the draft amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive and the Fuel Quality Directive, to reflect concerns over the sustainability and GHG-reduction benefits of some biofuels.

See: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council
amending Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from
renewable sources (first reading) - Political agreement

See also: Correction to the above document (this affects a single sentence).

Key points from the political agreement are as follows:

  • The agreement acknowledges and addresses the ILUC phenomenon, starts a transition to biofuels with lower ILUC risks and provides a clearer investment perspective while protecting investments made. It comprises, in particular:
  • Mitigation of indirect land-use change emissions through a threshold of 7 % of the final consumption of energy in transport in 2020 for conventional biofuels to count towards the renewable energy directive target;
  • Encouragement of the transition to second and third generation ("advanced") biofuels, through incentives for advanced biofuels by inviting member states to promote the consumption of such biofuels and requiring them to set national targets for advanced biofuels based on a reference value of 0.5 percentage points of the 10 % target for renewable energy in transport of the renewable energy directive. Member States can set a lower target, based on three categories of objective reasons. However, they have to justify any setting of a lower target than 0.5 percentage points and to report any reasons for non-achievement of their national target. The Commission is to publish a synthesis report on Member States' achievements towards their national advanced biofuels targets;
  • New Annex IX of the renewable energy directive contains feedstocks for advanced biofuels that count double towards the targets. In addition, advanced biofuels not listed in Annex IX and used in existing installations prior to the adoption of this directive, can be counted towards the national target;
  • Additional incentives for advanced biofuels by extending the tool of statistical transfers of the renewables directive to cover such advanced biofuels, the double counting of the contribution of these biofuels is extended to the overall renewables energy targets;
  • Provision of incentives to generate electricity from renewable sources in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in transport. In this regard, a multiplication factor of 5 for electricity from renewable sources in electric road vehicles and of 2.5 for electrified rail transport were introduced;
  • ILUC reporting on greenhouse gas emission savings from the use of biofuels will be carried out by the Commission on the basis of data reported by member states; for that purpose, provisional estimated ILUC factors are included in new Annexes to the renewables and fuel quality directives;
  • A review clause that includes the possibility of introducing adjusted estimated ILUC factors into the sustainability criteria.

New rules on state aid for biofuels 2014-2020

In April 2014, the EC introduced new guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy, including renewable energy and biofuels.

See Press Release summarising main points: Commission adopts new rules on public support for environmental protection and energy

Full guidelines: Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020

Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy, Joaquín Almunia, said, "The new guidelines provide a framework for designing more efficient public support measures that reflect market conditions, in a gradual and pragmatic way. Europe should meet its ambitious energy and climate targets at the least possible cost for taxpayers and without undue distortions of competition in the Single Market."

In relation to biofuels, the draft guidelines state:

(112) In view of the overcapacity in the food-based biofuel market, the Commission will consider that investment aid in new and existing capacity for food-based biofuel is not justified. However, investment aid to convert food-based biofuel plants into advanced biofuel plants is allowed to cover the costs of such conversion. Other than in this particular case, investment aid to biofuels can only be granted in favour of advanced biofuels.

(113) Whilst investment aid to support food-based biofuel will cease with the entry into force of these Guidelines, operating aid to food-based biofuels can only be granted until 2020. Therefore such aid can only be granted to plants that started operation before 31 December 2013 until the plant is fully depreciated but in any event no later than 2020.

(114) In addition, the Commission will consider that the aid does not increase the level of environmental protection and can therefore not be found compatible with the internal market if the aid is granted for biofuels which are subject to a supply or blending obligation, unless a Member State can demonstrate that the aid is limited to sustainable biofuels that are too expensive to come on the market with a supply or blending obligation only.

'sustainable biofuel' means a biofuel fulfilling the sustainability criteria set out in Article 17 of Directive (EC) 2009/28 of the European Parliament and the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and any amendment thereof.


4. Six new advanced bioenergy / biofuel projects to be supported by the 2nd phase of NER300

On 8 July 2104, the European Commission awarded €1 billion funding to 19 projects to fight climate change under the second call of the so-called NER 300 funding programme. The projects will be funded with revenues from the sale of emission allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System.

View press release


Project Name



Bioenergy (MSW-to-ethanol)




Bioenergy (cellulosic ethanol)




Bioenergy (fast pyrolysis)

Fast Pyrolysis



Bioenergy (gasification/torrefaction)




Bioenergy (pyrolysis/CHP)

CHP Biomass Pyrolysis



Bioenergy (Bio-SNG)




MET, Denmark

The project targets commercial-scale production of second generation ethanol from plant dry matter in Holstebro, Denmark. The plant will produce 64.4 Ml of ethanol, 77,000 t of lignin pellets, 1.51 MNm3 of methane and 75,000 t of liquid waste annually which will be transformed into biogas and injected into the national gas grid after its upgrade into methane. The process will use 250,000 t/year of locally sourced straw.

Fast pyrolysis, Estonia

Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen to produce gas and liquid products. The project concerns fast pyrolysis technology for conversion of woody biomass to pyrolysis oil, the liquid product of this technology. Annual feedstock needs are 130,000 t of woodchips. The plant in Pärnu, Estonia, will also receive energy inputs from a combined heat and power (CHP) plant and deliver by-products as inputs to the CHP plant. Annual output of pyrolysis oil is expected to be 50,000 t which will be exported to Sweden and Finland to replace heavy fuel oil in power plants.

TORR, Estonia

Torrefaction of biomass is a mild form of pyrolysis (see fast pyrolysis project above) at low temperatures typically ranging between 200 and 320°C. The project concerns a torrefaction plant in Rakke, Estonia, for the production of 100 kt/year of bio-coal from 260 kt/year of local woody biomass. The project includes a biomass gasification CHP unit that will provide heat and power to the plant. The technology has been developed in order to use cheaper feedstock (low quality biomass) to produce an intermediate product with a high calorific value.

CHP Biomass pyrolysis, Latvia

The project concerns fast pyrolysis technology for conversion of woody biomass to pyrolysis oil in Jelgava, Latvia. The project plant will receive energy inputs from a CHP plant and deliver by-products of the pyrolysis as inputs to the CHP plant. Annual output of pyrolysis oil is expected to be 40,000 tonnes. Feedstock needs are 100,000 t of woodchips/year. The bio-oil will be exported to Sweden and Finland to replace heavy fuel oil use in energy installations.

W2B, Spain

This Waste-to-Biofuels (W2B) project concerns a municipal solid waste (MSW) to bio-ethanol plant with a capacity of 28 Ml/y. It is envisaged that the plant will be built in Seville, Spain. A total of 500 kt/year of MSW will be processed to recover the organic matter and cellulosic fibres. These will be converted into second generation bio-ethanol via enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation.

Bio2G, Sweden

The project aims to demonstrate the large-scale production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) from woody biomass. The capacity of the plant is 200 MWth of SNG. Pressurised SNG will be fed into an existing natural gas pipeline. The process will use some 1 Mt/year of woody biomass, mainly composed of forest residue. Two project locations are under consideration within the environmental permitting process: Landskrona or Malmö, Sweden.


5. 6th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting SPM6, Brussels, 14-15 October

All stakeholders are invited to join the 6th EBTP Stakeholder Plenary Meeting SPM6, which will take place at the Diamant Conference Centre, Brussels, on 14-15 October 2014. The meeting will start around midday on the 14th and conclude in the early afternoon on the 15th, with the aim of maximizing opportunities for networking and discussion.

Entrance to SPM6 is 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 few days.

The draft agenda is now available and a full list of speakers and presentations will be made available within the next few weeks. Speakers include experts from leading organisations involved in developing sustainable advanced biofuels in Europe. In addition, updates on policy and R&D&D will be made by EC representatives, Chairs of the EBTP Working Groups and members of the Steering Committee.


6. BII Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking Launch and Call for Proposals

On 9 July 2014, the European Commission and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) oficially marked the launch of the €3.7 Billion Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI) and its first Call for Proposals. 

View BBI Work Plan for 2014

The BBI is a new public-private partnership dedicated to breaking Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels by converting biomass and wastes into greener everyday products. Innovative technologies and advanced biorefineries are at the heart of this initiative which is focused on deployment and the creation of new markets for bio-based products such as food, feed, chemicals, materials and fuels.

Biofuels are specifically mentioned under (BBI VC1.D2) : ‘to address the realisation of new wood-based value chains for the production of chemical building blocks, materials and biofuels (other than ethanol) in a cascading approach, by a combination of biotechnology and chemical processes’.

7. BRISK funding for research on thermal conversion of biomass: deadline 31 July 2014

If you are involved in thermal conversion of biomass, the BRISK project - Biofuels Research Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge - invites you to apply for funding to use the experimental facilities of leading European laboratories.

BRISK has developed a European Research Infrastructure for Thermochemical Biomass Conversion, supporting R&D on innovative processes to convert sustainable feedstocks (agricultural/forestry wastes and energy crops) into liquid, gaseous or solid fuels.

The deadline for the latest round of funding applications is 31 July 2014. Further information on the project, the 26 partners offering R&D facilities, and how to apply is available from www.briskeu.com.

8. New Look for the EBTP Website

The EBTP website was first launched in 2007 and was updated in 2009/2010 to add more information on advanced technologies and sustainability. In 2014, EBTP-SABS started a further redevelopment and expansion of the EBTP website and databases. As a first step, a new responsive design has been introduced:

  • to make the navigation and pages clearer to view;
  • to enable easier viewing on smart phones and mobile devices.

Stage 2 will involve further updating of content, introduction of new pages, and addition of more interactive features. A particular focus in coming weeks will be:

  • Production of Country Profiles looking at advanced biofuels R&D&D and deployment from a national perspective;
  • Updating the databases on R&D&D mapping; Deployment and support measures; and Stakeholder organisations.

All public data will be freely available, with the aim of making the EBTP website an accessible portal where all stakeholders can quickly share and search for the latest information on reports, events, organisations, R&D&D, legislation, standards, funding information, etc, at national, EU and global level.

Hundreds of items have been added to the website over the previous 7 years, so the updating of archive pages and data entries is taking a few weeks to complete. Some pages and data searches may be offline temporarily during the summer.

EBTP relies on stakeholders to provide updates, so please do keep us informed of any project news, publications, and other advanced biofuels activities in your organisation or country. Please use the feedback form on the website or simply email details to info@ebtp-sabs.eu.

We welcome any feedback on the new website design and suggestions for any further content.


9. Biofuels Events and Training Courses for 2014

A new Events Page has been launched on the website, which now enables you to search for events, workshops and training courses via keywords or by month. 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 Events Page:

Conferences and other Events

15-16 July 2014
International VDI Conference - Biofuels 2014, Rotterdam, Netherlands

26-28 August 2014
2014 China Guangzhou International Biomass Energy Exhibition, Guangzhou, China

27-29 August 2014
Nordic Biogas Conference, NBC 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland

2-5 September 2014
Symposium on Thermal and Catalytic Sciences for Biofuels and Biobased Products 2014, Denver, Colorado , United States

15-18 September 2014
Bioenergy from Forest Conference, Helsinki, Finland

23-25 September 2014
Fourth International Conference on Lignocellulosic Ethanol (4ICLE), Landshut-Munich, Germany

24-25 September 2014
Biofuels International 2014, Ghent, Belgium

30 September - 2 October 2014
Conference of the European Biogas Association, Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands

8-9 October 2014
EBEC European Bioenergy Expo and Conference, Stoneleigh, United Kingdom

14-15 October 2014
EBTP SPM6 - 6th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of the European Biofuels Technology Platform, Brussels, Belgium

15-16 October 2014
8th SGC International Seminar on Gasification, Malmo, Sweden

20-22 October 2014
Sustainable Aviation Fuels Forum, Madrid, Spain
Covering the projects: CORE-JetFuel, FORUM-AE, ITAKA

26-29 October 2014
Lignobiotech III Symposium, Concepción, Chile

6-7 November 2014
7th International AGQM Conference: FAME - Renewable Fuel and Chemical Building Blocks, Berlin, Germany

19-20 November 2014
Lignofuels 2014, Madrid, Spain

19-20 November 2014
Russian Forum for Industrial Biotechnology & the Biobased Economy: Graintek-2014, Moscow, Russia

2-5 December 2014
European Electric Vehicle Congress
Brussels, Belgium

Workshops and Training Courses

7-10 July 2014
3rd European Biorefining Training School, Budapest, Hungary

17 July 2014
Workshop on Sustainability Assessment of Integrated Biorefineries, Rotterdam, Netherlands

30 September - 1 October 2014
Understanding Biofuels Policy, London, United Kingdom


10. New Reports on Advanced Biofuels and Related Topics

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

Feedstock supply, demand and sustainability

Setting up international biobased commodity trade chains
Netherlands Enterprise Agency

Sustainable Biomass Production and Use - Lessons Learned from the Netherlands Programe on Sustainable Biomass (NPSB) 2009-2013
Netherlands Enterprise Agency

Space for Energy Crops - Assessing the potential contribution to Europe's energy future
Produced by IEEP for European Environmental Bureau, Birdlife International and Transport & Environment

Forest biomass for energy in the EU: current trends, carbon balance and sustainable potential
Produced by IINAS, European Forest Institute and Joanneum Research for Birdlife Europe, EEB and Transport & Environment

Progress in Estimates of ILUC with Mirage Model

Research for Sustainable Bioenergy: Linking Genomic and Ecosystem Sciences
US Department of Energy

Advanced Conversion Technologies and End Use of Biofuels

Energy Carriers for Powertrains - for a clean and efficient mobility

BIO-TIC Draft Roadmaps on Industrial Biotechnology

Renewable Diesel for Marine Application

Global Marine Fuel Trends 2030
Lloyd's Register Marine and UCL Energy Institute

Market development, investment and deployment

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2014-2023 (Chapter 3: Biofuels)

Renewable ethanol: driving jobs, growth and innovation throughout Europe: State of the Industry Report 2014

The State of Renewable Energies in Europe 2013
EurObserv'ER barometer

ESBF Report on European Biofuels Statistics
European Sustainable Biofuels Forum

The Outlook for Renewable Energy in America

EU renewable energy targets in 2020: Revised analysis of scenarios for transport fuels
JEC Biofuels Programme

11. News from other Organisations

IEA Task 39 Newsletter April 2014 - Focus on Biofuels in the US

IEA Implementing Agreement for Advanced Motor Fuels AMFI Newsletter July 2014

IEA Task 34 Pyrolysis (PyNe) Newsletter July 2014

SETIS Newsletter June 2014

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 2014

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.