The Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels (LSB), a group composed by the Chief Executive Officers of seven Leading European biofuel producers and European airlines, met the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels last week. The meeting was hosted by the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee, chaired by Mrs Amalia Sartori, to discuss the positions of the EP ITRE Committee on the European Commission revision of the Renewable Energy Directive – RED. The positions expressed by Mr Alejo Vidal Quadras, the Rapporteur of the ITRE Committee, and reported in his draft ITRE Draft Opinion, were supported by the Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels.
The Leaders, whose chairman is Guido Ghisolfi, President of Mossi & Ghisolfi Group, headquartered in Tortona (Piedmont, Italy), sent a clear message to the Parliament members: “Second Generation Advanced Biofuel technologies are ready to compete with conventional biofuels, with companies keen to invest in commercial projects given appropriate conditions”.
Such conditions include a long-term stable legislative framework and specific targets for the use of Second Generation Advanced Biofuels. The European Advanced Biofuel Industry is the most technologically advanced in the world, leading the development and commercialization of biofuels in an innovative and competitive field. This is possible thanks to significant investment from the members of the LSB, and considerable support from the European Commission and the Member States.
These technologies and the associated sustainable biofuel chains are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonise transport and improve air quality. Furthermore, large-scale production of Advanced Biofuels would create thousands of permanent direct and indirect jobs.
“Now is the time to bring advanced second-generation biofuels to the market”, the chairman of LSB said.
“The industry is committed to delivering on its promise but we need the stable long-term investment conditions which encourage investment while at the same time promoting true advanced biofuels. This will have a positive economic as well as ecological impact on the EU.”
Today the competition in this sector is on the rise and to promote investment in advanced biofuels in the EU requires immediate action by creating a stable and reliable long term framework. The risk for the EU is that investments will occur anyway but elsewhere, where more favorable policies and investment conditions exist, as in the US, South America, and Asia.
A minimum two per cent mandate for Advanced Biofuels should be set as a sub-target of the RED, with a well defined and growing pathway to 2025-2030, aligning policies with market realities, securing long term perspectives and mobilising resources into commercial activities. Sustainability should be maintained as the reference criteria to evaluate any biofuel production. Certification schemes should also be further developed, harmonised and adapted to respond to the specific characteristics of lignocellulosic fuel chains, particularly when produced from agricultural and forestry residues and wastes (no land consuming feedstocks). “These actions are essential if the EU wants to meet the Climate and Energy Policy targets”, the Leaders said.