Inside this issue

1. Latest Biofuels News

    - Used ground coffee for producing biodiesel

    - Rotterdam subsidises filling-station owners to improve the supply of biofuels

    - First European bioethanol plant with CO2 capture

    - US states commit to low carbon fuel standard

    - Biofuel Cities European Partnerhsip: looking forward at 2009

2. Policies update

    - Switch from oil to bioenergy not risk free, says EU Environment Agency

    - EU Parliament approves climate deal including sustainability criteria for biofuels

    - EU agrees on a compromise deal for 'green' fuel

3. New Publications and Resources

4. Event Highlights

5. Editorial and Legal Information

1. Latest Biofuel News

28.01.09  Used ground coffee for producing biodiesel

Scientists from the University of Nevada (United States) have shown that biodiesel need not be produced from cultivated bioenergy crops, but also from waste raw materials, such as spend coffee grounds. Scientists have found that used coffee grounds contain 11 to 20 percent recoverable oil by weight, which is about as much as traditional biodiesel feedstocks such as rapeseed, palm, and soybean oil.

Scientists at the university estimate that spent coffee grounds can potentially add 340 million gallons of biodiesel to the world's fuel supply.>> more

23.01.09  Rotterdam subsidises filling-station owners to improve the supply of biofuels

The City of Rotterdam (the Netherlands) aims to encourage its private citizens and business community to start running their cars on high blend biofuels (E85 and biogas). The City Council wants to ensure that motorists who tank their cars on high-blend biofuels can obtain that fuel at several filling stations in the town. In order to achieve this the City Council has allocated an investment subsidy for filling-station owners.

In addition to improving the supply of biofuels, Rotterdam also aims to improve the incentive to switch to biofuels. The City plans to provide more information to companies located around (potential) biofuel refuelling points, as well as organising workshops and implementing 'fleet scans' to highlight to use of biofuels. >>more

09.01.09  First European bioethanol plant with CO2 capture

A new innovative bioethanol plant is being built on the Broeklanden industrial estate at Hardenberg (the Netherlands). This will be the first European plant to convert biomass into fuel, while also capturing and recycling the CO2 emitted from this process.

The plant will use the patented American GeneSyst process to convert the biomass waste into bioethanol. This production process converts cellulosic biomass into sugars, via a high-pressure cylinder (gravity pressure vessel) that is installed up to 700 metres below ground. The sugars obtained are then used to produce bioethanol.>> more

07.01.09  US states commit to low carbon fuel standard

The regional Low Carbon Fuel Standard initiative, signed by eleven US states on 31 December, envisages the creation of a market-based, technologically neutral policy to address the carbon content of fuels.

In the transportation sector, such a standard could potentially encourage the use of electric-powered and hydrogen fuel cells-powered vehicles, as well as the use of advanced biofuels made from non-food plant materials. The effort will discourage the use of biofuels that are likely to cause negative impacts such as crop diversion and land-use changes.>> more

08.12.08  Biofuel Cities European Partnerhsip: looking forward at 2009

Last year was a challenging and profitable year for the Biofuel Cities European Partnership. The number of organisations participating in the initiative increased every month, interesting workshops and study tours have been organised and several informative reports have been published.

Numerous events and activities are in the pipeline for 2009. Products such as a Technical Guidance on the application of biofuels, a guide on how to purchase sustainable biofuel, a policy handbook and an online project monitoring tool are the key products currently nearing publication. What's more, we invite you to not miss the opportunity to visit Biofuel Cities at the World Biofuels Market - Europe's largest biofuels congress and exhibition - taking place in Brussels in March 2009.

If you would like to learn more about the 'biofuel world', have a read of the latest issue of the Biofuel Cities Quarterly, now available online (see link below). The focus of this edition (available in English and Polish) is on sustainable procurement of biofuels for transport purposes.>>more

2. Policies Update

13.01.09  Switch from oil to bioenergy not risk free, says EU Environment Agency

According to the European Environment Agency (EEA) report "Signals 2009. Key environmental issues facing Europe" published in early January, a move towards large scale bioenergy production in Europe bears considerable environmental risks. Even though the risks could be lessened with the right choice of crops and management, the EEA's Scientific Committee has warned that increasing the share of biofuels used in transport to 10 percent by 2020 is overambitious and should be suspended. Based on the analysis of Europe's biomass potential, the EEA recommends to prioritise bioenergy for electricity and heat generation using CHP (Combined Heat and Power) plants rather than focus on fuel for transport, regarding this solution as more effective in terms of costs and climate mitigation.>>more

19.12.08  EU Parliament approves climate deal including sustainability criteria for biofuels

The vote by EU MEPs (on the 17 December) on the climate and energy package proposed by the European Commission has now set in place legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The main targets that are to be met are: a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency and a 20 percent share for renewables in the EU's energy mix.

The vote confirms the 10 percent target for renewable energy for fuels in transport and fixes biofuels sustainability criteria to ensure that support for biofuels does not have a negative environmental impact.>>more

09.12.08  EU agrees on a compromise deal for 'green' fuel

On the 3 December, the European Union agreed on a deal to satisfy 10 percent of its transport fuel needs from renewable sources, including biofuels, hydrogen and green electricity, as part of ongoing negotiations on its energy and climate package. The move represents a step back from the original aim of sourcing 10 percent of the EU's transport fuels from biofuels alone.

However, how the fundamental issue of indirect land use change will be dealt with was postponed with no legally binding guarantee of it being accounted for in the future. This aspect, in particular, has angered many European NGOs who say that the deal has been made at the expense of "the world's poor, biodiversity and efforts to fight climate change".

Read more on the same article:

Issue of indirect land use and greenhouse and greenhouse gas savings (from Transport & Environment). >>more

More positions from Europe (from EurActiv). >>more

3. New Publications and Resources

Some of the new resources that arrived at the editor's desk this month are a number of websites, publications and press releases which include:

  • Report on: "Regional markets for solid recovered fuels", an assessment of the opportunities, economics and supply chain requirements for energy recovery for waste disposal authorities producing solid recovered fuels;
  • Position paper on: "Biofuels in Germany, Austria and Switzerland" (in German), published by Forschungsnetzwerk Biogene Kraftstoffe;
  • Press release on: "No-harm list of oxidation stabilizers for biodiesel"; and
  • Publication on: "Biofuel Plantations on Forested Lands: Double Jeopardy for Biodiversity and Climate".

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

4. Event Highlights

Workshop on the Local Implementation of Clean(er) Fuel Policies in Europe
19-20 February 2009, Rotterdam, Netherlands

European local authorities, industrial and commercial end-users, and public transport organisations are invited to the workshop on the Handbook with Guidelines for the Local Implementation of Clean(er) Fuel Policies in Europe, which is taking place on 19-20 February in Rotterdam.

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the Handbook with guidelines for best practice in implementing biofuel policies, which serves as a practical guidance on the local implementation of local clean(er) fuel and vehicles policies. The comments received will be used to finalise and improve the Handbook.

For more information, download the leaflet [pdf] and the programme [pdf] of the workshop, or contact Floris Mulder at to register to the workshop.

18th Annual Conference of the German Biogas Association with Biogas Trade Fair
3-5 February 2009, Hannover, Germany

The conference is 'the meeting-place' for operators, manufacturers and planners of biogas plants and representatives from science and research from all over Germany. The numerous plenary sessions and workshops on offer will deal with issues such as feeding biogas into the natural gas grid and sustainable cultivation of energy crops, and the implications of the new legislative framework.

The conference will take into account the increased demand for biogas technology from local authorities, and will offer a parallel event on "b
iogas for local authorities" specifically tailored to this interest group. The event on 3-4 February will deal with important points in the implementation of a waste fermentation plant and feeding biogas into the grid, and present international projects and the principles of approval in selected countries.



Developing and Commercialising Next Generation Biofuels
11-12 February 2009, Munich, Germany

The conference will offer delegates the very latest technological developments in this fast-moving industry and examine the prospects for bringing next generation biofuels onto market.

Stefan Tostmann, responsible for Energy Innovation and Technology at the European Commission will outline the Commission's vision of the role next generation and advanced biofuels will play and leading industry experts will provide an insight into the oil industry's attitude towards advancements in the industry.


BioPower Generation. Sustainable large scale power generation from biomass
12-13 February 2009, Brussels, Belgium

Focusing on the latest developments in international policy frameworks for bio power generation, the conference will identify the main opportunities, challenges and barriers faced by companies in the bio power industry. It will present which feedstocks are available and how a sustainable, secure biomass supply chain can be developed. Delegates will learn about transport logistics solutions and the business relationship between suppliers and power stations. The conference will also highlight investment opportunities and explain how biomass can be integrated into the energy portfolio.

Website: http


All events can be accessed through the Biofuel Cities Events database at

Would you like your event promoted through the Biofuel Cities Events database? Send details on the event to

5. Editiorial 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.

The Biofuel Cities European Partnership is a forum for the application of biofuels. Open to all stakeholders in the area of biofuels for vehicles, it offers access to the information and exchange portal; workshops and study tours; news, publications and tools. The Partnership is supported by the European-Commission funded Biofuel Cities project. Participation in the Biofuel Cities European Partnership is free. To join more than 850 peers or to find out more, visit or write to

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Published by the ICLEI European Secretariat GmbH

Editors: Stefanie Lay (responsible) / Amalia Ochoa

Copyright © 2009 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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Neither the European Commission nor the Co-ordination Action Biofuel Cities European Partnerships Consortium nor any person acting on behalf of these is responsible for the use which might be made of this publication.

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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