February 2009 news

26.02.09 European Commission considers sanctions against biodiesel from the US

The European Commission plans to propose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of biodiesel from the US.

According to CNN, the decision comes in response to complaints from the European Biodiesel Board, which represents the main producers in the EU, that a subsidy the US government gives to its biodiesel companies is unfairly harming the EU biodiesel market.


(source: GAVE-news / CNN Money)

24.02.09 Technical challenges facing 2nd generation biofuels, outlined by IEA

Although significant progress continues to be made to overcome the technical and economic challenges, second generation biofuels still face major constraints to their commercial deployment. This is one of the main outcomes of the report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) entitled "From 1st- to 2nd-Generation Biofuel Technologies: An overview of current industry and RD&D activities," published at the end of last year.

Link to report

(source: International Energy Agency)

19.02.09 Importing palm oil from Thailand to produce biodiesel in Ireland - what is environmentally preferable?

Is it better to import palm oil from Thailand to produce biodiesel in Ireland than to produce biodiesel from indigenous Irish rape seed?

A study carried out by the University College Cork in Ireland has examined exactly this question and calculated the greenhouse gas reductions of the two approaches.

18.02.09 Visit Biofuel Cities at the World Biofuels Markets 2009

The World Biofuels Market 2009, to be held on 16-18 March in Brussels (Belgium), is Europe's largest biofuels congress and exhibition.

The event will bring together more than 200 high-level speakers in 46 sessions. Keynote speakers include Sir Bob Geldof, Activist, Businessman and Musician; Lord Browne, Managing Director of Riverstone Holdings and former Chief Executive Officer, BP; and Dr Hermann Scheer, International Parliamentary Forum on Renewable Energies and Member of German Parliament.

A specific Biofuel Cities session will take place on Wednesday, 18 March. The session offers a chance to learn what the Biofuel Cities European Partnership has achieved so far, and to investigate in further detail new Biofuel Cities publications and guidance on biofuels policies and sustainable procurement.

The Biofuel Cities European Partnership can also be visited at the exhibition space, stand number 3. If you cannot visit us there, be sure to check our website www.biofuel-cities.eu to keep up to date on biofuels news, exchange views and opinions on our discussion forum or to see if you feature in our ‘Who’s who and where in the Biofuels Field’ report.

Biofuel Cities session - download programme [pdf]

For more information and to register to World Biofuels Markets 2009, visit www.worldbiofuelsmarkets.com

11.02.09 European workshop on the needs for standardisation of biofuels

European standards are needed for future market development of biofuels and their applications, according to experts working in the field of biofuels. Within the context of the EU-funded Biofuel Cities project, the Dutch Standardisation Institute (NEN) - organises a workshop on the needs for standardisation of biofuels. This workshop will take place at the CEN Management Centre in Brussels on Thursday 19 March 2009, adjacent to the World Biofuels Market.

The aim of the workshop is to check for possibilities for standardisation on a European level of pure oils, residue fuels and biomass derivates, like:

- CWA High content and alternative biodiesel blends for city transport fleets, and
- CWA Biogas for transportation purposes

CWA stands for CEN Workshop Agreement, a consensus based agreement usable in the entire market on specific solutions and widely available from the 30 member bodies of CEN, the European Committee for Standardisation.

For more information, download the programme [pdf]

To register and for more information on the event, please send an e-mail to energy@nen.nl or call +31-15-2690323.

(source: Biofuel Cities)

10.02.09 European Commission takes action on German biofuel law

The European Commission has recently disallowed Germany to implement legislation (proposed in October 2008) that excludes palm oil and soja oil used for fuels from subsidy schemes and mandates. Germany wanted to subsidise these raw materials only if they met certain sustainability criteria.


(source: GAVE-news / Green Car Congress)

05.02.09 Former Dutch Prime Minister supports handbook for local implementation of cleaner fuel policies in Europe

In order to provide support to the local implementation of clean(er) fuel policies in Europe, Biofuel Cities has developed a handbook containing guidelines and key success factors for the local implementation of clean(er) fuels and vehicles policies.

The near to final handbook contains a foreword by Mr Ruud Lubbers, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands and United Nations Commissioner for Refugees from 2001-2005.

The handbook will be launched on 19-20 February 2009 in Rotterdam at a workshop dedicated to the topic, where opportunities for discussion and comments will be provided.

For more information on the workshop email f.mulder@senternovem.nl

(source: Biofuel Cities)

04.02.09 Huge investments in biofuels in Britain

The UK plans to invest a record amount of funds in biofuels. Together with 15 companies and organisations, the British Government has allocated 29 million euro for research into biofuels from non-food crops. Energy companies such as Shell and BP are also involved in these projects. The funds will be used, among other things, for six national research centres, which have been instructed to develop an alternative to petrol from willows and reeds, using new production methods for 2nd generation ethanol. Researchers will also study other potential raw materials, such as industrial and agricultural waste.


(source: GAVE-news / BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre)

02.02.09 Sustainable bioethanol with the right label

The debate on bioethanol's sustainability calls for a global certification system. We are not there yet, but several national certification schemes were launched during 2008.

Experts from the BEST project (Bioethanol for Sustainable Transport) asked an expert what is going on, and discussed the opportunities and challenges from the three systems for ecolabelled bioethanol already in operation.


(source: BEST Newsletter Number 3)