November news

28.11.07 MEPs back tougher fuel standards for oil industry

The European Parliament's environment committee has backed Commission plans aimed at making the oil industry take greater responsibility for cutting harmful emissions generated by its products, which experts say could prevent some 500 million tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

In a vote on 27 November, MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) agreed that, as of 2009, all fuel suppliers should be required to monitor and report on the "lifecycle greenhouse emissions" produced by their fuels throughout their life-cycle (i.e. production, transport and use) and that those emissions should be cut by 10% between 2011 and 2020.

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(source: EURActiv, November 2007)


27.11.07 Development of a 'biomass catalytic cracking process'

Bioecon (a Dutch biofuels start up company) and Khosla Ventures (a venture fund and assistance company), have joined forces to develop and commercialize a 'biomass catalytic cracking process' for the production of 'bio oil' or 'biocrude' from agricultural waste. 'Bio oil' or 'biocrude' is a mixture of hydrocarbons (obtained from the thermochemical processing of biomass) and can be further refined into transport fuels like gasoline or diesel.

The technology is said to have some advantages over the existing BTL (biomass-to-liquid) technologies for the production of synthetic biofuels, such as biocrude.

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(source: International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Nov 07)


26.11.07 UN IPCC sees climate change solutions strategy

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its Synthesis Report, integrating their other previous reports on scientific evidence and impacts of climate change, as well as mitigation/adoption strategies. The report calls for the implementation of strategies to deal with “abrupt climate change” to be done as quickly as possible. Strategies that “draw on carbon negative bioenergy and biofuels” have been cited. “Bionergy with carbon storage” (BECS), or “Biotic Carbon Capture and Storage”, have been recognized by IPCC scientists. In the agricultural sector, the Biopact reports that one method of carbon storage is the conversion of bioenergy crops into biofuels, and retaining part of the biomass in the form of “biochar” which can be applied to the soil.

Link to the Synthesis report (on website of IPCC)

(source: International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, Nov 07)


21.11.07 Certificate for sustainable palm oil getting closer

There is not long to go until there is an international certificate for the sustainable production of palmoil. The Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RPSO), which includes representatives from the palm oil industry around the world, will decide on the conditions at their meeting in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) during the third week of November. Certification of companies is expected to begin thereafter.

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(source: GAVE-news, November 2007)


20.11.07 Biofuels particularly harmful for developing countries, Oxfam report warns

A new report released by the UK aid charity Oxfam claims that in order to meet the rise in demand, the EU will have to import biofuels made from crops like sugar cane and palm oil from developing countries.

Download Oxfam Briefing Note [PDF 153 KB]

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19.11.07 Report now available on information needs of potential biofuel users

A report presenting the results of a survey carried out earlier this year to assess the information needs of biofuel users is now available. The survey was carried out within the framework of the EU Biofuel Cities project.

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15.11.07 Biofuel Cities Quarterly second issue online

The second issue of the Biofuel Cities quarterly newsletter is now available online. The current issue focuses on the role of 'end-users of biofuels'.

With a different focus in each issue, the Biofuel Cities Quarterly keeps you informed about technology and policy developments related to the application of biofuels.

See what is inside this issue by downloading it [PDF 650kB]

Subscribe now to receive the next issues


14.11.07 UN Panel to address sustainability of biofuels

Assessing the environmental and social impacts of biofuel production and the sustainable recycling of metals are likely to top the agenda of a new global think tank on resource efficiency, set up by the United Nations on 9 November.

The EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas highlighted the sustainability issue of biofuels as one of the top issues for discussion by the Panel. "We have to ensure that biofuels are sustainable," said Dimas, in relation to the EU's binding target of increasing the share of biofuels to 10% by 2020 - provided that the biofuels are produced sustainably and that second-generation biofuels are developed. "Both environmental and social impacts will have to be taken into account," added Dimas.

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(source: EurActiv, November 2007)


14.11.07 Decline in biodiesel expected for Italy

Italy's output of biodiesel is set to fall 40%, as production is repelled by regulatory obstacles on the domestic market and export issues. Assobiodiesel - the Italian biodiesel producer's association - expects Italy's biodiesel output to fall to 450,000 tonnes this year, with two thirds marked for export, from 750,000 tonnes in 2006.

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(source: Biofuels International, November 2007)


13.11.07 The potential of algae as a biofuel feedstock

Algae are set to eclipse all other biofuel feedstocks as the cheapest, easiest, and most environmentally friendly means of producing liquid fuel for cars, homes and power generators, according to a report by market analyst Kiplinger.

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(source: EurActiv, November 2007)


08.11.07 GEM BioFuels to fund Jatropha plantations

UK-based feedstock supplier GEM BioFuels has raised €5 million (£3.5 million) for use in expanding its jatropha plantations in Madagascar and to acquire a seed crushing plant to produce crude jatropha oil.

GEM Biofuels is a company established to supply jatropha-based feedstock to the rapidly growing global biodiesel market.

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(source: Biofuels International, October 2007)


08.11.07 Biofuel Cities European Partnership officially launched

After several months of intensive preparation, the Biofuel Cities European Partnership was officially launched today, 8 November 2007 at the Clean Vehicles and Fuels (CVF) Symposium in Stockholm, Sweden. Ms. Alexandra Langenheld of the European Commission’s Directorate- General for Transport and Energy officially inaugurated the Biofuel Cities European Partnership, which is a forum for the application of biofuels, open to all stakeholders in the area of biofuels for vehicles.

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(source: Biofuel Cities European Partnership, November 2007)


07.11.07 Dutch biodiesel manufacturers join forces

Eight biodiesel manufacturers in the Netherlands are leading the push climb to the top of the list of biodiesel producers in the European Union. The Netherlands Biodiesel Industry Association (VNBI) says its goal is to become one of the EU's top producers within two years. Together, the production plants of the eight companies manufacture a total of 1.5 million tons of biodiesel per year. Therefore, according to VNBI, the Netherlands could certainly replace 10% of diesel used with biodiesel by 2009.

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(source: GAVE-news, Oct 2007 / Biodiesel Magazine Oct 2007)


06.11.07 Sustainable Energy Europe Awards Competition 2008

Does your organisation receive sufficient recognition and praise for its endeavours in the field of sustainable energy or energy efficiency? Imagine the opportunity of being showcased across Europe as a pioneer in the field of sustainable energy innovation.

The Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign of the European Commission is a major initiative, promoting, showcasing and rewarding outstanding projects and programmes in the field. Become part of this exciting Campaign and join as a Partner before 31 October 2007 and you will be automatically entered into the prestigious annual awards competition, to be held in Brussels on 29 January 2008.

More information

(source: ManagEnergy)