Inside this issue

1. Latest Biofuels News

- EPA launches plans for renewable energy fuels in the U.S.

- Dutch biodiesel plants cease production

- Benefits of biofuels for the rural poor

- African nations join global renewable fuels alliance

- FedEx aims for 30 percent biofuels by 2030

2. Policies update

3. New Publications and Resources

4. Event Highlights

5. Editorial and Legal Information

1. Latest Biofuel News

 19.05.09  EPA launches plans for renewable energy fuels in the U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new strategy for improving the supply of non-fossil fuels on the American market. This concerns the supply of 36 billion gallons of renewable energy fuels, from 2022 onwards, as previously defined in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. The new categories proposed by the Act will be cellulosic biofuels, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuels and total renewable fuel.
>> more

18.05.09   Dutch biodiesel plants cease production

The seven biodiesel plants located in the Netherlands have been more or less idle since last year. The plants have a combined production capacity of 500,000 tons, but only 80,000 tons of this was actually used, according to Geert Eisink, secretary of the VNBI (Dutch association for the biodiesel industry). >> more

12.05.09   Benefits of biofuels for the rural poor

Bioenergy, when produced on a small-scale in local communities, can play a significant role in rural development in poor countries, according to a new report published by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the UK?s Department for International Development (DFID). The report presents the results of 15 international case studies in 12 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The benefits of producing fuels from bioenergy are also highlighted in the study. >> more

05.05.09   African nations join global renewable fuels alliance

The Southern African Biofuels Alliance, representing 14 southern African countries, has joined the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance to promote biofuels policies and investment. The alliance represents over 65 percent of global biofuels production from 43 countries. >> more

04.05.09   FedEx aims for 30 percent biofuels by 2030

The FedEx Corporation will attempt to get 30 percent of its fuel from petroleum alternatives by 2030 in order to slash the shipping giant's air-transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions. This is according to the press reports from the 29 April made by the company's chairman, president and CEO. >> more

2. Policies Update

12.05.09  Progress report on renewable energy in the EU

The European Commission (end of April) adopted a progress report on renewable energy, covering the electricity and transport sectors, highlighting the patchy progress made and the EU's likely failure to reach the 2010 indicative targets. The report explores the reason for this and explains that the new EU Directive on renewable energy, agreed as part of the energy and climate package, addresses all the concerns highlighted in the report and provides a solid basis for removing barriers and increasing the growth of renewable energy for the next ten years. >> more

30.04.09  Germany passes biofuels law

The German national government recently passed its biofuels law with revisions to tax and blending mandates. The German Parliament increased the energy tax on B100 by 3 cents to 18 cents per litre, and the biofuels blending mandate was decreased to 5.25 percent, from 6.25 percent in energy content. Sustainability provisions are also included. Passing of the law comes at a time where lower than expected biodiesel capacity figures have been released by the German biodiesel industry association, VDB. >> more

29.04.09  Californian law puts the brakes on unsustainable biofuels in transport

The State of California is set to deal a blow to producers of unsustainable biofuels by agreeing a law that promotes mainly those fuels that lead to genuine carbon savings. The agreement on California's 'Low Carbon Fuel Standard' requires producers, refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel to reduce the carbon footprint of their fuel by 10% over the next decade. >> 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:

  • 'If bioenergy goes boom - the switch from oil to bioenergy is not risk free', published by the European Environment Agency (2008)
  • 'Biofuels - At what cost? - Government support for ethanol and biodiesel in Canada', published by Global Subsidies Initiative of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) (2009)
  • 'Weed Risk Assessment System to Assess Invasive Potential of Bioenergy Crop Species', published by the University of Hawaii (2009)
  • 'Is biofuel policy harming biodiversity in Europe?', published by Eggers et al (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.

4. Event Highlights

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

Organising an event related to biofuels? Send us the details (

Highlights of some upcoming events:

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

Biofuels producers, policy makers, CEO's, directors, fuels traders and many more are invited to attend the second Biofuels International Expo and Conference from 27-28 May 2009, at the Beurs van Berlage, in central Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

The multi-stream conference will cover a wide spectrum of topics. On the opening day, topics such as the European biofuels policy and second generation technology and feedstocks will be addressed.

Ortwin Costenoble of NEN Energy Resources and a member of the Biofuel Cities European Partnership will give a presentation on European legislation and standards. Topics will include technical standards and regulations formation; international biodiesel standards and the status of CEN (European Committee for Standardisation) standards in relation to the Renewable Energy Directive. Day two will focus on current trends of sustainable biofuels in Europe and the future of the biofuels market.

A free exhibition will accompany the conference, allowing participants to meet representatives from companies and other organisations working both on the biodiesel and bioethanol sectors.

For more information and to register, visit:

World Biofuels 2009 - 8th Annual Conference
27-29 May 2009, Sevilla, Spain

The adoption of the Renewable Energy Directive in Europe and the early indications from President Obama's energy team show that ongoing political support for biofuels will be linked to improvements in production technology, which will deliver increased greenhouse gas savings.

World Biofuels 2009 will enable delegates to assess the key next generation technologies in bioethanol and biodiesel and a panel of environmental activists from around the world will tackle head-on sustainability issues and the negative perceptions which jeopardise consumer acceptance of biofuels.



3rd International Conference on the Introduction of Second Generation Automotive Biofuels and Hybrid Vehicles Synbios III
28-29 May 2009, Gothenburg, Sweden

The conference will provide an update on automotive biofuels and hybrid vehicles and create a forum for discussion and opportunities for mutually beneficial contacts.



Low CVP Conference
8 June, London, UK

The Changing Climate for Vehicles and Fuels is the theme for the sixth annual Low Carbon Vehicle Partnerhsip (LowCVP) Conference.

The event will focus on government and industry responses to both the opportunities and threats facing the auto industry. Several high profile speakers have confirmed their attendance, these include the British Transport Secretary, Geoff Hoon, London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and Doug Parr, Chief Scientist at Greenpeace. Co-ordinator of Biofuel Cities, Per Godfroij, will speak about lessons from local initiatives in a session on biofuels.

The event will feature a debate on the nature and justification of plans for supporting the motor industry through its current difficulties, as well as presentations on the most promising alternative fuel technologies. The morning sessions will focus on the climate issue and the imperative to reduce transport-related emissions and the perspective of business.

The conference is being held in association with the 'WhatCar?' Green Awards and with the Revolve London to Brighton Eco-Rally.


17th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition - from Research to Industry and Markets
29 June - 3 June, Hamburg, Germany

From 29 June to 3 July, experts and decision-makers in all areas of the biomass industry, researchers and politicians are invited to join the European Biomass Conference & Exhibition.

The event, endorsed by Biofuel Cities European Partnership, focuses on: biomass resources; biomass conversion to heat and electricity; fuels from Biomass; biomass markets; and policies and sustainability.

The conference will provide an inspiring platform for the whole biomass sector, and a professional environment for networking and the initiation of new technology projects and relationships within the biomass industry. In addition to plenary, oral and visual presentations, delegates will be able to attend policy reviews, workshops and the technical exhibition.

As Giovanni Federigo De Santi, Director of the Institute for Energy, Joint Research Centre (JRC) - European Commission and chairman of the conference states: "The 17th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition this year will be the most important event for all aspects of Biomass and a good opportunity to review the developments in policy, markets, industry, technology, research and education. We expect the results of this European Biomass Conference & Exhibition will support the European Union's specific targets for Renewable Energy for 2020 and the implementation of the corresponding actions".


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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