Policymakers urged to accelerate shift to bio-based economy

The European Renewable Ethanol Industry Association (ePURE) has advised European policymakers to establish a long-term framework to expand Europe's network of biorefineries by 2030.

The suggested framework would include targets for EU transport to encourage the ongoing use of renewable ethanol ‘E10’ as a transport fuel. It follows a report by the HETFA Research Institute which suggests that the substitution of 10% of all petrol with E10 in Europe would result in a reduction of 14.6 million tonnes of carbon each year.

The advice from ePURE came during a high-level policy conference in Brussels, which explored the role of biorefineries in the development of a new bio-based economic system in Europe.

Speaking at the conference, ePURE president Jérôme Bignon said: “Biorefineries and renewable ethanol are more important to Europe’s future than ever, and realising their potential is an opportunity that Europe must seize.”

Meeting objectives

According to the HETFA report, fuel ethanol is the most cost-effective way to decarbonise transport and would go a long way towards helping the EU meet its renewable energy integration and decarbonisation objectives.

The report uses Hungary as a case study; citing that E10 could abate 382,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum, which was the equivalent of 3% of the country’s total transport GHG emissions in 2011.

“The review of the Renewable Energy Directive is an opportunity for policymakers to ensure the introduction of E10 across all EU Member States by setting a target for the minimum incorporation of renewables in petrol,” said ePURE secretary general Robert Wright. “There is absolutely no reason why this should not be done.”

In June this year, a separate report was released assessing how the UK Government can best achieve its 2020 target of 10% transport energy from renewable sources, as defined in the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive.

Lois Vallely

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