February news

28.02.08 Meeting for IEE-supported biofuels projects

A meeting involving the coordinators of the 17 IEE (EU Intelligent Energy Europe Programme) supported projects on biofuels was held in Brussels last June, with the participation of staff from the European Commission. 

The meeting was an occasion for participants to provide feedback from their projects to the European Commission and to exchange experiences and ideas with people working on similar projects and facing the same issues.

It emerged that participants considered the development of European standards and sustainability criteria for biofuels a priority for the sector. It was also felt that improved transparency and coherent national support schemes would also help develop the market. The participating coordinators also plan to improve connections between their projects and to develop the potential for common initiatives.

(source: Intelligent Energy News Review 02, September)


26.02.08 Management support tool for biofuels policy making

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN-FAO) has announced the development of a "decision-support tool" to help countries derive the benefits of biofuel industry development, without putting food security at risk. According to the FAO press release, the tool is an "analytical framework" and can allow governments venturing into biofuels to "calculate the effect of their (biofuel-related) policy decisions on the food security of their populations".

The three-year project is aimed at making sure that bioenergy does not impair global food security.

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(source: International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications / FAO Newsroom)


25.02.08 First flight fuelled by biofuels

On Sunday 24 February, the first commercial flight partly running on biofuels took off from London Heathrow airport en route to Amsterdam.

One of the aircraft's four engines ran on fuel comprising a 20% biofuel mix of coconut and babassu oil and 80% of the normal Jet A aviation fuel. The Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 aircraft did not carry passengers.  

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(source: BBC News, 24 February 2008)


22.02.08 UK Biomass testing project given go-ahead

The UK based power technology supplier Doosan Babcock is developing new technology for the recovery of energy from bioethanol process in collaboration with the Carbon Trust, a company set up by government to respond to the threat of climate change.

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(source: Biofuels International, February 2008)


20.02.08 Worldwide bioethanol standard is feasible

Brazil, the USA and the EU are largely in agreement on a new standard for ethanol. The only point still being discussed concerns the maximum percentage of water in ethanol. This news has been announced by Unica, the Brazilian sugarcane industry association.

Europe, the USA and Brazil have recently completed an analysis of the standards currently being used for biodiesel and bioethanol. The objective is to harmonise these standards, wherever possible, and thus encourage the worldwide trade in these biofuels.

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(source: GAVE-news, February 2008 / Biofuels International, February 2008)


18.02.08 Slowdown in growth of European biodiesel

The Secretary General of the European Biodiesel Board (EBB), Raffaello Garofalo, says European biodiesel production grew 10% in 2007, the poorest rate of acceleration in 10 years.

Biodiesel production in 2006 increased 54% in 2006. Garofalo says only 50% of capacity was used in 2007, and blames US dumping of biodiesel for the problems, and lack of support in EU countries for biofuels.

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(source: Biofuels International, February 2008)


15.02.08 GM plans half its cars on ethanol by 2012

General Motors Corp (GM) is planning for half its cars in the United States to be running on ethanol by 2012 (reported by the Associated Press). The company is planning to have 11 ethanol-capable vehicles on the market this year and 15 in 2009.

(source: GAVE-news, February 2008 / Planet Ark)


14.02.08 Join 'Open Light House Tour' in Stockholm

With more than 20 years of experience of bioethanol, Sweden is today a world leader in transformations into sustainable transport systems based on biofuels from ligno-cellulosic feedstock. The expericences include the introduction of bioethanol cars (Flexi-Fuel Vehicles) and buses, the opening of E85 fueling stations, the building of research and production-facilities, and the development of an extraordinary market demand.

Interested in a practical share of experience? The 'Light House Tour' will take place on 2-4 April 2008 (in English) in Stockholm and is being organised as part of the BEST - Bioethanol for Sustainable Transport - project. Numerous partners from the public and private sector will be involved in the 3 day event thus being of benefit for a broad range of groups, such as politicans (local and national, fleet owners/managers, bus manufacturers and other interested biofuel experts and stakeholders.

Register as soon as possible!

For more information: contact barbro@esam.se

Website: www.best-europe.org/Pages/ContentPage.aspx?id=466

(source: BEST project website)


13.02.08 Plans for bioethanol plant in Italy

The Italian chemical group Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G) plans to build a 200,000 tonne bioethanol plant in the north region of Piemonte, Italy.

The investment of around Euro 100 million will build the largest bioethanol plant in Italy by 2009 and a further Euro 120 million will be pumped into research to convert the plant to process cellulose feedstock.

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(source: Biofuels International, January 2008)


12.02.08 Biofuel Cities Quarterly third issue online

The third issue of the Biofuel Cities quarterly newsletter is now available online. This issue focuses on the 'second generation 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 629kB]

Subscribe now to receive the next issues


08.02.08 MEPs seek tougher standards and higher taxes for fuels

Stricter emission limits for transport fuels could be in force by early 2009, according to the European Parliament's environment committee. Meanwhile, the European Commission plans to raise minimum taxes on petrol and diesel in order to stamp out 'fuel tourism' won the backing of MEPs but are likely to face stiffer resistance from EU Member States.

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(source: EURActiv, 30/01/08)


07.02.08 100% Biodiesel in all buses of the Graz public transport fleet

15 study tour participants from 11 European countries made the leap "from the frying pan into the tank" at the 2nd Biofuel Cities study tour for end users in Graz (Austria) at the end of January.

Chosen for its innovative biofuel end-use solutions, the city certainly did not disappoint and provided the visitors with a great learning opportunity.

Graz is well known in biofuels circles for its fleet of municipal buses, which run on waste cooking oil. Collected from private homes, as well as restaurants, this oil is re- processed in a local biodiesel plant and then used to fuel the city´s buses.

Taking place over two days, the study tour gave participants a detailed background on the reasoning behind their unique move to biodiesel, as well as what such a move entailed. Such presentations were further built upon with visits to the biodiesel plant, as well as offering a chance to see the Graz "ecodrive" buses up close at the fleet garage.

Biofuel Cities would like to thank the City of Graz and Mr. Gerhard Ablasser for their co-operation in preparing this event.

A report on the Study Tour will be available in the coming weeks.

Presentations and images are available for download from the Biofuel Participant area of the website under "Study Tours"


05.02.08 Sales of German biodiesel collapse

The German promotion organisation for oil and protein crops UFOP reports that the market for biodiesel in Germany has collapsed. In January the wholesale prices of biodiesel were (for the first time) higher than those of ordinary diesel, according to UFOP. Factory prices for biodiesel amounted to € 1.003 per litre, thus making the price of biodiesel 2.3 cents per litre higher than that of conventional diesel.

(source: GAVE-news, 4 February 2008)