Inside this issue

1. Latest Biofuel News

    -  eBio presents bioethanol production data for 2007

    -  UK report on indirect effects of biofuels: Call for Evidence

    -  New research alliance to advance biofuels research

    -  New Finnish plant to produce tons of ethanol from waste

2. Policies Update

3. Projects and Activities

4. New Publications and Resources

5. Event Highlights

6. Editorial and Legal Information

1. Latest Biofuel News

31.04.08  Modest increase in bioethanol production in 2007

According to eBio, the European Bioethanol Fuel association, the growth in European bioethanol production increased moderately in 2007, after two years of growth rates over 70%. The main  reasons for this were high feedstock prices and low prices of third country originating ethanol. Total EU production was around 1.77 billion litres, a modest increase of 13.5% compared to the previous 2 years. The highest production was achieved in France, Germany and Spain. In 7 out of 13 Member States the production went down compared to 2006 with most important decline in Sweden, which halved its production to 70 million litres.

In 2007 production capacity went on-stream for the first time in Slovakia and the United Kingdom. No bioethanol fuel was produced in Finland, however. The total number of countries producing fuel ethanol has now increased to 13.  >>more

09.04.08  UK report on indirect effects of biofuels: Call for Evidence

The Renewable Fuels Agency in the UK was recently asked by Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Transport, to lead a report on the indirect effects of biofuel. This report, due to be published in Summer 2008, will be informed by a number of studies, but the Agency is also looking for evidence, submitted by individuals or organisations, that may be relevant to the studies.  Evidence relating to the following would be particularly valuable:

- What are the key drivers of land use change and food insecurity and to what extent will increasing demand for biofuels affect these to 2020? What evidence is available of impacts upon areas of high conservation value and/or carbon stocks?

- How are GHG-savings of different biofuels affected by displaced agricultural activity and resulting land-use change? How may this be affected in the future by the introduction of advanced technologies, use of marginal land and other improvements in production?

- What are the relationships between demand for biofuel feedstock, commodity prices, land conversion and food insecurity? How might these be affected in the future by yield improvements and other factors?

- What economic benefits arise from production of biofuels or feedstock in the South?


02.04.08  New alliance to advance biofuels researchs

The USA's Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory and ConocoPhillips (the third largest integrated energy company in the USA) have formed a strategic research alliance with Iowa State University to identify promising cellulosic biomass conversion technologies. The collaboration will bring three independently established programmes together to help identify the most efficient and cost-effective methods for making liquid transportation fuels from plants.  >>more

01.04.08  New Finnish plant to produce ethanol from waste

In Finland, an ethanol plant producing an estimated 44 million litres of ethanol per year is scheduled to open in Hamina. The ethanol will replace up to 2 percent of Finland's conventional petrol usage, with waste products from sweet factories and bakeries among its feedstocks. The system used by the Energy Company, St1, will produce ethanol at a concentration of 85 percent, however this will be concentrated further to nearly 100 percent purity. The location of the plant in the harbour of Hamina means that the end product can be easily transported by ship to the Neste oil refinery in Porvoo, where it can be subsequently blended into motor petrol.  >>more

2. Policies Update

21.04.08  Calls grow for EU to 'suspend' biofuels push

The EU must suspend its target of raising the share of biofuels in transport to 10% until a more comprehensive scientific study on their environmental risks is carried out, the European Environment Agency has said. The warning came as the World Bank joined the chorus of criticism against increased biofuel production.

In an opinion made public on 10 April, the Agency's Scientific Committee stressed that the EU's mandatory biofuel quota of 10% is an "overambitious [...] experiment, whose unintended effects are difficult to predict and difficult to control".  >>more

3. Projects and Activities

Highlights of the new projects and activities added to the Biofuel Cities Project Database at

Jatropha plantation

Dutch and Indonesian partners are initiating a Jatropha plantation in Indonesia. To come up with best practices it is the intention to involve research on large scale Jatropha cultivation carried out by Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), a Dutch renowned research institute on agriculture.

The project foresees a plantation for the cultivation of Jatropha Curcas for the production of sustainable and renewable biomass that can be used for second generation biofuels and the production of bioenergy.  

(Source: Biofuel Cities Project Database)

4. New Publications and Resources

New resources that arrived at the editor's desk this month range from a list of fact sheets from the European Association of Bioindustries to a Presentation on a 'Practical approach towards sustainability'.

All resources can be accessed through the Biofuel Cities Resource Database. Access to the Resources Database is for Biofuel Cities European Partnership participants only.

5. Event Highlights

29.04.08  Biofuels Spring Conference 2008, London, UK

The Biofuels Spring Conference aims to address and debate some of the key challenges facing the industry today. Key industry and government representatives will join the conference and give their vision and view on the challenges facing the industry.  >>more

6. Editorial and Legal Information

The Biofuel Cities Update is a monthly e-newsletter that aims to keep you informed of developments in the field of biofuels and in the Biofuel Cities European Partnership.

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Published by the ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH

Editors: Stefanie Lay (responsible) / Amalia Ochoa

Copyright © 2008 ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH, Freiburg, Germany

We welcome you to reproduce and / or translate any part of Biofuel Cities Update for further dissemination purposes, providing source is acknowledged.


This publication is part of the activities of the Co-ordination Action Biofuel Cities European Partnerships Consortium. The Coordination Action is funded by the Sixth Research Framework Programme of the European Union, under the Activity "Alternative Motor Fuels: Biofuels Cities".

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The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the source/author specified and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission nor the Co-ordination Action Biofuel Cities European Partnerships Consortium.
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