No. 17 | February 2009
Welcome to the 17th issue of the Biofuel Cities Update, your monthly electronic newsletter providing information on developments in the field and from the Biofuel Cities European Partnership, the multistakeholder forum for the application of biofuels.
Read this newsletter at: http://www.biofuel-cities.eu/index.php?id=6926
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
- 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.
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:
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
All events can be accessed through the Biofuel Cities Events database at http://www.biofuel-cities.eu/index.php?id=4023
Would you like your event promoted through the Biofuel Cities Events database? Send details on the event to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Please send your news and comments to: email@example.com
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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