Inside this issue

1. Latest Biofuels News

- Study urged on water demands of next-generation biofuel feedstocks

- Biofuel Cities publishes 'Guide to Sustainable Biofuels Procurement for Transport'

- 'Not all biodiesels are the same', the City of Seattle looks for greener fuel alternatives

- Biofuels in Central and Eastern Europe under the spotlight

- New green commodity index targets biofuels

- Recommendations for successful biofuel policies

- Chinese cities begin using biodiesel blends

- Bioethanol powered vehicles and buses on the increase in Europe's cities

2. Policies Update

3. Projects and Activities

4. New Publications and Resources

5. Event Highlights

Editorial and Legal Information

1. Latest Biofuel News

21.07.09 Study urged on water demands of next-generation biofuel feedstocks

Extensive studies are needed to understand the water needs of biofuel production from cellulosic feedstocks or other next-generation sources, federal auditors said in a preliminary report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The effects of corn-based ethanol production on water quantity and quality are well understood, the GAO report says, but less is known about next-generation feedstocks that have not been grown on a commercial scale. >>more

16.07.09 Biofuel Cities publishes 'Guide to Sustainable Biofuels Procurement for Transport'

Considering the significant size of public sector purchases of vehicles, public sector demand is an important driver for increasing the number of cleaner vehicles on the market, thus making a positive contribution towards more sustainable communities.

The new Biofuel Cities guide takes into consideration the current discussion on sustainable biofuels and provides recommendations for overcoming other challenges related to implementing biofuelled transport. The recommendations provided for sustainable procurement have been inspired by the experiences from the pioneer cities in this field, such as Stockholm, Rotterdam, Lille and Graz. >>more

13.07.09 'Not all biodiesels are the same', the City of Seattle looks for greener fuel alternatives

The City of Seattle, U.S, recently put a temporary stop on buying biodiesel fuel for its fleet of vehicles because of concerns that the soy-based mix it was using was more harmful to the environment than regular diesel.

However, Brenda Bauer, Director of Seattle's Fleets and Facilities Department, said the City could start using a different type of biodiesel made from waste grease - a by-product of food production. >>more

08.07.09 Biofuels in Central and Eastern Europe under the spotlight

The production and use of biofuels in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has been given special attention in the 8th edition of the Biofuel Cities quarterly newsletter.

Five years after joining the EU, the writers of the newsletter reflect on the problems and achievements of introducing biofuels to the market in CEE countries. An interview with Dr. Krzysztof Biernat, Coordinator of the Polish Technology Platform for biofuels, also reveals the achievements of the Platform in Poland since it was created.

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07.07.09 New green commodity index targets biofuels

Bache Commodities Group has launched the Bache Commodity Green Index (BCGI) to offer investors a tool to invest in commodities with a focus on biofuels.

The BCGI comprises two components - the Bache Biofuel Composite and Bache Clear Air Composite. The Bache Biofuel Composite includes agricultural commodities such as corn and sugar used for ethanol production, along with oilseeds used for biodiesel production. >>more

06.07.09 Recommendations for successful biofuel policies

'Local implementation of clean(er) fuel policies in Europe' is the title of the new Handbook published by Biofuel Cities, which includes recommendations for a successful biofuels transport policy. The Handbook covers a number of important points relevant for developing local policies to encourage the use of biofuels for transport purposes. Some of these include, how to support local implementation, and what market elements are vital to achieve local implementation. These issues, among several others, are addressed by the authors of the Handbook in light of the real projects that have been successfully implemented in several European cities.

These include: creating local demand for biofuels, providing market security, and implementing a good communication strategy. >>more

29.06.09 Chinese cities begin using biodiesel blends

The cities of Peking, Shanghai, and Guangzhou will be China's first cities where drivers will soon be able to fuel their vehicles with a 5 percent biodiesel blend. Four state agencies (China National Petroleum Corporation, China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Corporation, Sinopec, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation) have been designated to commercialise and produce the biodiesel as part of a pilot project.

(source: World Energy Alternatives)

24.06.09 Bioethanol powered vehicles and buses on the increase in Europe's cities

The efforts of the last three years are bearing their fruit for the partners of the EU-supported demonstration project, BEST - bioethanol for sustainable transport. The ten European cities leading the project, among them, Madrid, Sommerset and Rotterdam,  have successfully introduced almost 70,000 E85 vehicles and almost 150 E95 buses onto their roads since the start of the project, reports the project coordinator, the City of Stockholm.

More about the project's achievements, as well as other news on local incentives to promote clean cars, are available in the latest issue of the project newsletter.

2. Policies Update

15.07.09 U.S EPA extends comment period on biofuel standard

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to extend the comment period on a draft rule that aims to cut greenhouse gases emitted by biofuels. The proposed changes to the 2007 U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) attempt to make production of corn-based ethanol more efficient and increase output of advanced biofuels.

The comment period on the rule has been extended by 60 days, until the 25 September. >>more

14.07.09 Penalties imposed to protect European biodiesel

The European Union (EU) plans to implement anti-dumping penalties in order to protect European biodiesel manufacturers against subsidised American imports. The decision was made by EU Finance Ministers at a recent meeting in Brussels. >>more

10.07.09 Committee to answer sustainability questions set up by Dutch government

In a recent decision taken by the Dutch government, Jacqueline Cramer, the Minister for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of the Netherlands has set up a Committee to take on sustainability questions for biomass. The Committee will act as a platform for discussion on the sustainability of biomass, particularly when applied as a transport fuel. >>more

02.07.09 EU issues template for national renewables plans to meet its targets on time

At the end of June, the European Commission adopted a template for national renewable energy action plans, requiring EU Member States to detail how they intend to reach their national targets for the share of renewables in their energy mix. The action plans are a feature of the new EU Renewables Directive and require Member States to fill in the template with sectoral targets for the share of renewable energy in transport, among others, and offer a trajectory for getting there. >>more

22.06.09 Germany reduces biofuels target

The German Parliament's lower house finally approved (on 18 June) the government's proposal to cut the 2009 blending target to 5.25 percent (of biofuel content in fossil fuels), from the original target of 6.25 percent. The decision follows attempts by the federal upper house to block the changes amid fears they would harm further investment in German biofuels. >>more

3. Projects and Activities

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

Biofuel chain enhancement for territorial development of European regions (BETTER)

The main aim of the BETTER project is to promote renewable energies (biofuels, in particular) within a new concept for a spatial development system, matching both the need for innovative energies and economic and social cohesion in rural areas.

Initiatives about the development of biofuels often focus on exchange of information and best practices between scientific and institutional partners. BETTER tries to go a step further, by setting up a specific and innovative approach to stimulate the transfer of knowledge to an applied level towards stakeholders. Moreover, a new governance model for the development of biofuels will also be developed in the project. >>more

4. 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:

  • 'Red, White and Green: Transforming U.S. Biofuels', published by the World Watch Institute (2009)
  • 'Assessing Biofuel Crop Invasiveness: A Case Study', published by the University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • 'Label my sustainability - Sustainability Test', tool developed by Biomass Research and Zero-e for suppliers to assess sustainability levels of biofuels

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

 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:

Bioenergy 2009 - Sustainable Bioenergy Business
31 August - 4 September 2009, Jyväskylä, Finland

The 4th International Bioenergy 2009 Conference will take place in Jyväskylä, in the heart of bioenergy. The conference will focus on a variety of factors affecting the future of the bioenergy, biopower, biofuels in transport and biobased modern technologies and products. These include logistic systems, management, total procurement chains, the effects of the energy market, the influence of green marketing and other trends affecting forestry, agriculture, industry and climate.



European Biomethane Fuel Conference
7 - 9 September 2009, Goteborg, Sweden

The Biogasmax project has for three years implemented cross-analysis, research and innovation developments on biomethane as a vehicle fuel. This conference will focus on the outcomes achieved from this major European Commission funded initiative.


2nd Algae Biofuels Summit
8 - 10 September 2009, Delhi, India

The Summit is focused on next generation biofuels using algae as the main feedstock. The summit will provide an opportunity for investors, entrepreneurs, biofuel companies, renewable fuel experts, their associates and academia to share their valuable experiences and knowledge.

The main objective of the Summit is to provide an up-to-date understanding of the next generation feedstocks and technologies in the algae biofuel industry. The Summit will be an excellent platform to disseminate information on recent research and development activities in the fields of phycology, algae mass production systems, photobioreactor technologies and other important areas of the algae biofuel industry.



Biofuels Supply Chain Summit
15 - 17 September 2009, Ghent, Belgium

The Biofuel Supply Chain Summit 2009 will be a unique occasion, uniting the major players within the value chain to debate and address all the key issues within the biofuels industry.

The event takes place from 15 - 17 September in Ghent, Belgium, and will feature leading authorities from both Europe and Brazil who will discuss their experiences. Participants will be encouraged to develop an in-depth understanding of the latest EU policies, legislation and economic effects, and discover the current developments and future initiatives for the transportation and logistics of biofuels.



All these events as well as many other events on biofuels 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

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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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