Forecourt boost for biofuels

Consultation is underway on green fuel plans the government says will be the equivalent of taking a million cars of the road by 2010.

Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman launched a consultation on the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) this month.

The obligation means that by 2010 five percent of all the fuel sold on UK forecourts will come from sustainable renewable sources.

The measure is predicted to save 1million tonnes of carbon a year by 2010.

Mr Ladyman said: “The obligation will play a key role in making road transport fuels greener.

“In carbon terms, it’s expected to be the equivalent of taking a million cars off the road by 2010.

“By consulting on the details now we are paving the way for the obligation to start in 2008.

“In particular, we want to encourage the supply of biofuels from sustainable sources which save as much carbon as possible. I look forward to hearing people’s views.”

The consultation will focus on the design of the scheme and which suppliers will be affected.

It will also examine how suppliers of renewable fuel would report on the carbon savings and wider impact of those fuels as well looking at how the obligation might develop after 2010/2011.

The obligation was originally announced in November 2005 when biofuel, which comes from crops and animal wastes, made up around 0.25 percent of overall road fuel sales.

Estimates suggest meeting the obligation will cut annual carbon emissions in the transport sector by between two and three percent.

It will also help bring the UK into line with the European Union biofuels directive, which sets a target for all members of 5.75 percent by 2010.

In future the government estimate up to a third of fuel could come from home-grown biofuels.

To view the consultation documents visit the Department for Transport’s website.

A summary of responses will be published on the website after consultation ends on Thursday, May 17.

David Gibbs

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