Inside this issue

1. Latest Biofuels News

- International scientific-based consensus on environmental impacts of biofuels - new report

- Strong growth in EU's ethanol fuel production

- EU makes large investment into biofuel produced by algae

- Making 'sustainable' use of household waste

- Biofuel Cities hosts session at World Biofuels Market

- Biofuels Cities publication focuses on emissions of biofuel vehicles

- Biofuels impacting on water demand, warns UN report

- German vehicles fuelled by South African biodiesel

2. Policies update

3. New Publications and Resources

4. Event Highlights

5. Editorial and Legal Information

1. Latest Biofuel News

21.04.09  International scientific-based consensus on environmental impacts of biofuels - new report

More than 75 scientists from 21 countries, representing various disciplines, have prepared an assessment of the environmental consequences of biofuels, in the framework of the SCOPE (Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment) International Biofuels Project Rapid Assessment.

The findings have both positive and negative impacts on the use of biofuels for transport purposes, with a number of measures also recommended (by the authors) to improve certain situations >>more
>>link to executive summary

15.04.09  Strong growth in EU's ethanol fuel production

After a moderate growth in 2007 (11%), European fuel ethanol production increased considerably in 2008, according to the European Bioethanol Fuel Association (eBIO). The strong growth, of almost 60%, also came at a time where biofuels were under critique and the uncertainties for biofuels in the EU legal framework were significant.
Download the press release

14.04.09  EU makes large investment into biofuel produced by algae

The EU has recently allocated 4.87 million euro for research to study the possibilities of producing biofuel from algae. The research project, called BioMara, will focus on the feasibility of the use of microscopically tiny single-cell organisms and seaweed. Researchers will investigate if such organisms grow quickly, have a high yield, and do not compete with agricultural land for food crops. >>more

08.04.09  Biofuels Cities publication focuses on emissions of biofuel vehicles

The seventh issue of the Biofuel Cities quarterly newsletter has a special focus on the emissions of vehicles  running on biofuels.
As more attention is given to sustainability issues, discussions are intensifying about the origin of the feedstock and the associated greenhouse gas emissions from producing biofuels. The article found that there is "quite a lot of data available for older vehicle models, but the effect on new engine systems, with high pressure direct injection in combination with various emission control systems is not always clear". The issue is available in English and in Polish.

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07.04.09  Biofuels impacting on water demand, warns UN report

According to the United Nations World Water Development Report 3, presented ahead of the Fifth World Water Forum in Istanbul, production of ethanol stood at 77 billion litres in 2008 and should reach 127 billion litres by 2017.
The report highlights that one of the major problems with biofuels is the need for large quantities of water and fertilisers to grow the crops. >>more

01.04.09  German vehicles fuelled by South African biodiesel

South Africa signed a contract to export between 70 and 90 percent of output from a planned 400,000 tonnes a year biodiesel plant to Germany, according to a report from the South African Business Day newspaper. An environmental impact assessment is under way and production from the plant, located in the Elidz area (Eastern Cape), will start in 2010. >>more

24.03.09  Making 'sustainable' use of household waste

Using household waste to produce bioethanol can reduce landfill dramatically while producing heat and electricity, Mika Aho, Managing Director of leading Finnish bioethanol company St1 Biofuels, told EurActiv in an interview. >>more 

09.03.09  Biofuel Cities hosts session at World Biofuels Market

The Biofuel Cities European Partnership ran a vibrant session at the World Biofuel Markets Conference in Brussels (Belgium), on 17 March. The session focused on the adoption of biofuels on a local and regional scale, bringing together the objectives of the Biofuel Cities European Partnership and the increasing demand for up to date information about the use of biofuels in local fleets.
Representatives of several stakeholder groups attended the session which was moderated by Eric Van den Heuvel, initiator of the project and Senior Consultant at Ecofys International. The presentations were based on two recent publications by Biofuel Cities: the Policy Handbook and the Procurement Guide. The value of these publications was demonstrated by linking them to practical examples in presentations from the City of Stockholm and Graz.
"Think Globally Act Locally" was the key message delivered in the presentations and discussions about the Policy Handbook and policy measures.
Download the press release

2. Policies Update

22.04.09  European Commission speeds up work on biofuels' impact

The European Commission is planning to bring forward by nine months legislative proposals to quantify the impact of indirect land use change when calculating emissions from biofuels, according to the news source ENDS Europe.
The Commission is accelerating its work because under the new EU renewables directive, EU Member States must submit national renewables action plans by March 2010, and it is keen to table its proposals on indirect land use change before national plans are finalised.

(source: ENDS Europe)

16.04.09 Renewable transport fuel on target in the UK

The UK government's Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) is delivering on its promise to provide green, sustainable transport fuels despite a Government slowdown on targets one year after its introduction, the UK Renewable Fuels Agency says. >>more

06.04.09  European directive on clean and efficient vehicles

The EU Council of Ministers has adopted a new EU Directive promoting clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles that are in use by public authorities. The Directive aims to stimulate the market for clean and efficient vehicles and to prompt developments and investments by industry. Increased sales will help reduce costs through economies of scale and will result in progressive improvement in the energy and environmental performance of whole vehicle fleets. The new measures extend to all purchases of road transport vehicles made by public authorities and transport operators charged with public service obligations.  >>more

3. New Publications and Resources

The Biofuel Cities Resources Database has over 450 different kinds of resources available on-line through an easy to use system. Publications on the results of studies, projects and conferences; on-line information (e.g. websites), press releases, fact sheets and presentations are some of the many resources available on the application of liquid and gaseous biofuels.

Some of the new resources that arrived at the editor's desk this month are reports, newsletters and case studies, including:

  • U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production: Perspectives to 2030', published by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (2009)
  • 'Promoting clean cars - Case study of Stockholm and Sweden', published by the BEST project consortium (2009)
  • 'CO2 Neutral Transport for the Alpine Space' Newsletter 1 (March 2009), published by B.A.U.M

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

4. Event Highlights

To keep up to date, plan your attendance and contribute to the biofuels debate, visit the Biofuel Cities Events Calendar  

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

Highlights of some upcoming events:

Biomass to Liquids
6-7 May 2009, London, United Kingdom

Focusing on the biomass to liquids technologies and process, the conference will bring together policy makers, feedstock specialists and technology developers to present latest developments, project updates and policy and regulation issues. The conference will feature an associated event on life-cycle assessment of biofuels.



CEE Biofuels 2009
15 May 2009, Warsaw, Poland

The conference will examine the key challenges of the existing international structure of the biofuels market, and opportunities for SEE (South Eastern European) biofuel production and usage. Featuring international and local keynote speakers and leading experts, SEE Biofuels 2009 will include extensive presentations, country-specific case studies and thorough inspection of some of the key issues facing the industry, such as the latest technologies for biofuels production: jathropa, algae and myco-diesel, and the impact biofuels have on the SEE agricultural sector.



Second Annual Biofuels Summit
25-27 May 2009, Marina Mandarin, Singapore

The Summit will showcase successful strategies to generate biofuels from renewable sources. The event will provide attendees with the opportunity to hear from leading industry experts from all areas of the biofuels industry, including governments, agribusiness companies, biofuel producers, investment and project finance companies, and technology suppliers.


Biofuels International Expo & Conference
27-28 May 2009, Amsterdam, Netherlands

This multi-stream conference will address areas such as ever changing regulations, best practices, future growth and outlook trends, emerging feedstocks, second generation technology and production methods, storage and handling concerns and quality control. The event will bring together medium to large biofuels producers, investors, regulators, project owners and equipment/service providers to discuss how to fight the critics and drive the European market forward.



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".

 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.
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