April news

30.04.08 China Clean Energy: Production of biodiesel no longer profitable

China Clean Energy has currently suspended biodiesel production. The company says that production is no longer economically feasible, as it cannot pass on the extra cost of raw materials to its customers, due to a price ceiling imposed by the government.


(source: GAVE, 30/04/2008)

28.04.08 IEA warns against retreat on biofuels

Amid signs of a growing backlash against biofuels in the wake of the worst food price spike since the 1970s, the International Energy Agency said that the crop-based fuel was vital to meeting current and future demand.

Biofuels already make up about 50 per cent of the extra fuel coming to the market from sources outside the Opec's oil cartel this year, explaining why fears of a retreat from biofuels this week helped drive oil prices to record levels. William Ramsey, the IEA's deputy executive director, says that he 'does not know where the extra fuel should come from, since OPEC is not planning to increase production'.

(source: FT, 28/04/2008)

24.04.08 Trial with hybrid ethanol double-decker bus

The bus company 'Reading Buses' says that within the next two years it will be running a hybrid Scania double-decker bus on its routes. This will be a variation of the normal hybrid bus currently being tested in Stockholm.

Scania's hybrid technology generates power via a normal diesel engine that runs on ethanol. The mechanical energy is then converted (via a generator) into electrical energy. The bus is driven by an electric motor that also acts as a generator during braking actions. The energy generated is stored in so-called supercapacitors, which have a considerably longer lifespan than the batteries curently in use.


(source: GAVE mail, 23/04/2008)

21.04.08 Calls grow for EU to 'suspend' biofuels push

The EU must suspend its target of raising the share of biofuels in transport to 10% until a more comprehensive scientific study on their environmental risks is carried out, the European Environment Agency has said. The warning came as the World Bank joined the chorus of criticism against increased biofuel production.

In an opinion made public on 10 April, the Agency's Scientific Committee stressed that the EU's mandatory biofuel quota of 10% is an "overambitious […] experiment, whose unintended effects are difficult to predict and difficult to control".


(source: EurActiv.com, 21/04/2008)

14.04.08 Biofuel Cities Quarterly fourth issue online

The fourth issue of the Biofuel Cities quarterly newsletter is now available online. Based on the competence of major leading authorities, this issue focuses on the current debate concerning the sustainability of biofuels and suggests concrete measures to establish sustainability criteria for biofuels, in order to help governments and businesses take the most appropriate decisions.

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 640kB]

Subscribe now to receive the next issues

10.04.08 ebio presents bioethanol production data for 2007

After two years of growth rates over 70% the growth in European bioethanol production increased moderately in 2007. The main  reasons for this were  high  feedstock prices and low prices of third country originating ethanol. Total EU production was around 1.77 billion litres, a modest increase of 13.5% compared to the previous 2 years. The highest production was achieved in France, Germany and Spain. In 7 out of 13 Member States the production went down compared to 2006 with most important decline in Sweden, which halved its production to 70 million litres.

In 2007 production capacity went on-stream for the first time in Slovakia and the United Kingdom, with no bioethanol fuel was produced  in Finland, however. The total number of countries producing fuel ethanol has now increased to 13.   


(source: ebio Press Release)

08.04.08 UK report on indirect effects of biofuels: Call for Evidence

The Renewable Fuels Agency in the UK was recently asked by Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Transport, to lead a report on the indirect effects of biofuel. This report, due to be published in Summer 2008, will be informed by a number of studies, but the Agency is also looking for evidence, submitted by individuals or organisations, that may be relevant to the studies.  Evidence relating to the following would be particularly valuable:
- What are the key drivers of land use change and food insecurity and
to what extent will increasing demand for biofuels affect these to
2020? What evidence is available of impacts upon areas of high
conservation value and/or carbon stocks?

- How are GHG-savings of different biofuels affected by displaced
agricultural activity and resulting land-use change? How may this be
affected in the future by the introduction of advanced technologies,
use of marginal land and other improvements in production?

-What are the relationships between demand for biofuel feedstock,
commodity prices, land conversion and food insecurity? How might
these be affected in the future by yield improvements and other

- What economic benefits arise from production of biofuels or feedstock
in the South?

Please go the Agency's website at www.dft.gov.uk/rfa for more information.  You can also find the call for evidence document here [pdf 44KB].
The Renewable Fuels Agency looks forward to receiving your submissions.  The closing date is 14 April 2008.

(source: UK Renewable Fuels Agency)

08.04.08 Biofuel Cities Quarterly third issue online in Polish

The third issue of the Biofuel Cities Quarterly newsletter is now available online in Polish. Released in February, 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 Polish issue by downloading it [PDF 768 kB]

Subscribe now to receive the next issues.

02.04.08 New research alliance to advance biofuels research

The USA's Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory and ConocoPhillips (the third largest integrated energy company in the USA) have formed a strategic research alliance with Iowa State University to identify promising cellulosic biomass conversion technologies. The collaboration will bring three independently established programmes together to help identify the most efficient and cost-effective methods for making liquid transportation fuels from plants.


(source: GAVE-news, 01/04/08 / Green Car Congress)

01.04.08 New Finnish plant to produce tons of ethanol from waste

In Finland, an ethanol plant producing an estimated 44 million litres of ethanol per year is scheduled to open in Hamina. The ethanol will replace up to 2 percent of Finland's conventional petrol usage, with waste products from sweet factories and bakeries among its feedstocks. The system used by the energy company, St1, will produce ethanol at a concentration of 85 percent, however this will be concentrated further to nearly 100 percent purity. The location of the plant in the harbour of Hamina means that the end product can be easily transported by ship to the Neste oil refinery in Porvoo, where it can be subsequently blended into motor petrol.


(source: Biofuels International / Helsingin Sanomat)