Inside this issue

1. Latest Biofuels News

- Sustainable mobility - one of the pillars of a fossil fuel free city

- RES BOAT Conference series sets sail later this month

- Biodiesel produced by seaweed fuels a partnership between Indonesia and
  South Korea

- Ups and downs in Somerset bioethanol project

- Reducing the carbon debt of biofuels through crop management

- Tequila plant's worth a shot in biofuel research in Australia

- 35% less pollution expected in Calcutta due to biodiesel switch

2. Policies update

3. Projects and Activities

4. New Publications and Resources

5. Event Highlights

6. Editorial and Legal Information

1. Latest Biofuel News

18.03.09  Sustainable mobility - one of the pillars of a fossil fuel free city

It seems ambitious, yet fitting that the main aim of the City of Växjö (Sweden) in relation to energy is to stop using fossil fuels. The City set itself this goal back in 1996, to be reached by 2050.

Along with ambitious actions regarding biomass-based district heating and power generation and energy-efficient buildings - to highlight a couple of examples - Växjö's strategy is also exemplary when it comes to environmentally-friendly fuelled transport. The City currently has eleven ethanol filling stations and a biogas fuel station. Getting politicians at the EU level to accept a higher blend of biofuels into gasoline and diesel is also on their wish list. >> more

17.03.09  RES BOAT Conference series sets sail later this month

The RES Boat Conference will run from 23-27 of March 2009, taking place in Vienna (Austria), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary), Vukovar (Croatia) and Belgrade (Serbia). The conference provides an excellent opportunity to be updated on current renewable energy sources (RES) policies and their implementation, create network with potential RES business partners and disseminate your project results.

Biofuels and Alternative Motor Fuels is the topic of the fourth day of the conference, taking place in Vukovar (Croatia) on 26 March. Topics addressed on the other days are: renewable electricity technologies, poly-generation, eco-buildings, and renewable heating and cooling technologies.

Participation is free of charge. To register or for more information, please visit

17.03.09  Biodiesel produced by seaweed fuels a partnership between Indonesia and South Korea

Indonesia announced plans to work with South Korean researchers to develop biofuel from seaweed. Indonesia's Ministry of Fishery and Marine Resources seeks to capitalise on the country's ample seaweed supply but lacks the technology to do so. >>more

12.03.09  Ups and downs in Somerset bioethanol project

An initially modest bioethanol project in British Somerset, began to flourish when it joined the EU-funded BEST initiative - BioEthanol for Sustainable Transport. Minds in Motion (an international on-line community) reports on how the tide is turning for the project after surviving the international controversy regarding biofuel crops. >>more

11.03.09  Reducing the carbon debt of biofuels through crop management

A recently published study carried out by researchers from the Michigan State University (US) has looked at the effects of sustainable crop management as means of reducing the negative impacts of land use change (LUC).
The study has highlighted the important need to incorporate the effects of LUC when carrying out life-cycle analyses of biofuels. >>more
>>link to study

10.03.09  Tequila plant's worth a shot in biofuel research in Australia

It's most well known for being the main ingredient in the production of the Mexican spirit tequila, but a drought-resistant succulent plant is being touted as the next generation in biofuels, according to an article published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. >>more

03.03.09  35% less pollution expected in Calcutta due to biodiesel switch

Indian Railways – the national Indian railways - has already been running some of its trains on biodiesel. Now the Calcutta Tramways Corporation recently announced that it will be running its buses partly on biodiesel.
According to Biofuels Digest, while Indian Railways initially adopted biodiesel to reduce operating costs, Calcutta Tramways is making the switch primarily for environmental reasons. >>more

2. Policies Update

16.03.09  European Commission comments on decision to impose duties on US biodiesel

The European Commission has publicly commented on the decision to impose duties on US biodiesel. This decision was taken on the basis of clear evidence that unfair subsidisation and dumping of US biodiesel has taken place, according to the European Commission (in EU Trade News).
The investigation into US biodiesel was launched on 13 June 2008, following complaints received from EU industry.  >>more 

18.03.09  Troubled times for biodiesel in Belgium

Belgian biofuel manufacturers are having a difficult time - this was confirmed recently by the sector in a letter to the Belgian government demanding a binding commitment to sell biodiesel in Belgium. The letter followed the decisions from a couple of Belgian companies to cease biodiesel production.  >>more

05.03.09  Reduction in biofuel supply targets in the UK

The Department for Transport in the UK has announced its response to the consultation on reducing the rate of increase of targets for biofuel supply under the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO). Consultation came in response to the British Renewable Fuel Agency's 'Gallagher review', which highlighted the risks of indirect effects from biofuels and recommended a slowdown until these could be properly measured and controlled.  >>more

3. Projects and Activities

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

Biofuel production in Thessaly (Greece)

The aim of the project is to study the potential of biofuel production in the periphery of Thessaly directly for farmers and regional use. The project will cover all stages from the production of energy crops, the production of biofuels and end use. Different scenarios have been studied to analyse the implications on farmers, the local economy and the national commitments of meeting the international requirements for reducing CO2 emissions.

(Source: Biofuel Cities Project Database)

Adolescence for renewable energies in transport (ADORE-IT )

The ADORE IT project starts at a point where it can be concluded that EU-targets for biofuels will not be reached, given current policies and measures. The project managers assume the following barriers, that will be addressed by the project:

  • lack of regional availability of biofuels
  • absence of clear authorisation procedures for planning, building and operating systems
  • general lack of information at all levels including information for suppliers
  • lack of visibility and trust of consumers regarding sustainability and quality of biofuels
  • differences in standards and certification

(Source: Biofuel Cities Project Database)

4. 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:

  • Publication from the BEST project on 'Promoting clean cars - Case study of Stockholm and Sweden' – published by the City of Stockholm (2009)
  • Factsheet on 'Biofuels and Land-use Change' - published by Transport & Environment (Nov 2008)
  • Press release on the 'Global Renewable Fuels Alliance' - issues by eBio (Mar 2009)

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

The Events Calendar of the Biofuel Cities European Partnership holds information on over 35 different events (workshops, seminars and conferences), from across Europe and internationally.  To keep up to date, plan your attendance and contribute to the debate, visit the Events Calendar

Organising an event related to biofuels? Send us the details ( and connect to your audience

Highlights of some upcoming events:

BioPower Generation Asia 2009
25-26 March 2009, Singapore, Singapore

BioPower Generation Asia will serve as a platform for participants from across the value chain to discuss issues, network and learn more about market movements, policy frameworks, financial opportunities, sustainable feedstock, new technologies, supply chain solutions and CDM (clean development mechanism) opportunities in the field of sustainable power generation in Asia.



EnergyMed 2009. Conference Exhibition on Renewable Sources and Energy Efficiency
26-28 March 2009, Napoli, Italy

The event will present the state of the art in innovative sectors related to solar and wind energy, high-efficiency boilers and biomass and low-impact vehicles. The conference will provide an excellent opportunity for businesses, local bodies, research agencies, associations and technical professionals in the sector to exchange knowledge and know-how on the topics of renewable sources, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, building and recycling. This years event will also feature the Sustainable Mobility Show - 'MobilityMed'.



World Bioenergy - Clean Vehicles & Fuels 2009
14-18 September 2009, Stockholm, Sweden

World Bioenergy - Clean Vehicles & Fuels 2009 will be held in Stockholm as part of Sweden's EU-Presidency. The event will focus on the practical implementation of bioenergy systems and sustainable transport solutions. The conference will cover the whole chain, from policy making right through to technology roll-out and systems evaluation. Consisting of an integrated international conference, excursions and tradeshow programme, the event will feature several side-events, such as business brokerage, top-level energy round-table talks and European project partner meetings.



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

6. 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

Over 4000 people receive the Biofuels Cities Update.

>>To subscribe to the Biofuel Cities Update now

>>To unsubscribe to the Biofuel Cities Update now

Please send your news and comments to:

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".

Logo - EU Legal notice:

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.
Logo SenterNovem Logo EXERGIA Logo INEM Logo IPIEO Logo NEN Logo Vito Logo ICLEI Funded by
the European
Logo Europe
If you don't want to receive this newsletter in the future, email to: