July news

30.07.08  Greater links to climate change policies through biofuels

Biofuels for Transportation: The latest white paper from the Pew Center in the USA offers an introduction to the current state of play for biofuels: the technologies used in their production, their green house gas (GHG) emissions, and associated policy issues.

The amount of emission reductions that can be achieved through the use of biofuels varies widely, depending on choices made at each step from feedstock selection and production through final fuel use. One of the main conclusions of this paper is that support for biofuels should be linked to their GHG profiles. Given the complexity of this premise, development of methodologies acceptable to a large range of stakeholders is indeed a critical step in enabling and implementing any such policies.

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(source: Pew Center on Global Climate Change)


25.07.08  How the EU is 'topping up the fuel mix'

The latest 'News Review' from the European Commission's Intelligent Energy-Europe programme is now available online. Part of the News Review includes a report on the 16 projects on biofuels co-funded by the programme.

The report called 'Biofuels topping up the fuel mix' provides information on the main objectives and expected results on a range of European projects. These range from projects that: aim to set up CO2 labels for vehicle fleets (Carbon Labelling), set up networking schemes between biofuel suppliers and users (Bio-NETT) and set up a common procurement approach of different transport vehicles (COMPRO).

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(source: Intelligent Energy Europe)


21.07.08  World's first ecolabelled fuel

As of a few weeks ago (25 June), companies can begin to apply for a Nordic Ecolabel (commonly known as the "Swan" label) for fuels. Fuel products that can be certified with the Swan label are ethanol, biodiesel, biogas and/or a mixture of these fuels.

The Nordic Ecolabel has requirements for the entire product lifecycle, from the raw materials to the finished product, in this case the fuel that is available at the petrol stations. In this first version of the label requirements, grains as raw materials for fuels will not be accepted due to the uncertainty concerning the use of grains in the global food supply.

Download press release [pdf file]

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(source: Newsletter from Nordic Ecolabelling, July 08)


17.07.08  Barriers and solutions for the deployment of biofuels in Europe

The report on a European survey carried out to identify and collect information on technical and institutional (legislation, standards) barriers for the large scale implementation of biofuels is now available. The work was done as part of the Biofuel Cities project.

The results of the survey provide insight to all related stakeholders such as policy makers, vehicle (fleet) owners and operators, biofuel producers and distributors and will support them by developing instruments for stimulation of the use of biofuels and by setting up initiatives for the application of biofuels at a local scale.

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(source: Biofuels Cities Publications)


16.07.08  Italian biodiesel production set for significant increase

The Italian Biodiesel Association (IBA) has stated that five new biodiesel plants are ready to start operating, thereby increasing national biodiesel capacity from 1.9 million tonnes and to 2.7 million tonnes.The 12 existing plants produced only 469,707 tonnes due to high feedstock costs last year, down from more than 590,000 tonnes in 2006. The association is projecting that total production will reach 600,000 tonnes in 2008 and 800,000 tonnes in 2009.Italian research has detailed the potential to use tobacco oil as a biodiesel feedstock. Researchers say that tobacco is a higher-yield crop than comparable biodiesel feedstocks.

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(source: Biofuels International)


10.07.08  Gallagher Review discusses indirect effects of biofuels

The recently published Gallagher Review of the indirect effects of biofuels production concludes that there is a future for a sustainable biofuel industry.

The review was done by the independent UK Renewable Fuels Agency and has been prepared for the UK national government in response to the growing concern about the role of biofuels in rising food prices. The review examined the scale of the indirect effects of current biofuels production, proposed solutions and has examined the sometimes inconsistent and limited evidence base on biofuels.

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(source: GAVE-news 8 July 08/ Biofuel Cities Resources Database)


09.07.08  3rd Study Tour for biofuel end-users: Host Search

Does your city or region have projects it regards as exemplary in the field of biofuels for transport? For instance, a public bus fleet or municipal vehicle fleet running on biofuels, a local company or group producing biofuels for local use? If yes, would you like to share your experiences with interested European stakeholders?

Biofuel Cities is currently looking for such a city to host the next Study Tour (in October 2008) - the third in a series of study tours organised within the Biofuel Cities project.

If you have an interesting project running in Southern Europe or in one of the new EU Member States and are also interested in sharing your project with interested cities and organisations from other countries through a Study Tour, please contact us.

Email your expression of interest together with a one-page description of your project to Christine Klas from ICLEI: christine.klas@iclei.org


08.07.08  Biofuels not an obligation, say EU ministers

Over the previous weekend (5-6 July), EU environment and energy ministers distanced themselves from an EU-wide target to boost the use of biofuels in transport, after a World Bank report revealed that these reportedly 'green' fuels have pushed up food prices worldwide by a massive 75%.

Meeting for three days of informal talks, the EU ministers concluded that the European Commission's legislative proposals aimed at raising the share of biofuels in transport to 10% by 2020 had been misinterpreted and are in fact not limited to biofuels but to fuels from renewable energies in general.

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(source: EURActiv, 7 July 08)


04.07.08  'Schnitzel-power' in Graz

The report on the study tour carried out in the City of Graz, Austria, is now available. The study tour is the second in a series of study tours organised as part of the Biofuel Cities project.

The study tour included informative sessions from City representatives on the internationally leading example of Graz and visits to a biodiesel plant and the bus depot where the entire City bus fleet runs on biofuels.

Download the report [pdf file]

(source: Biofuel Cities Resource Database)


03.07.08  1st SEMS Summer School and 3rd European Summer School on Renewable Motor Fuels

As part of the project "Sustainable Energy Management Systems" (SEMS), a series of Summer Schools will take place over the next four years. The first Summer School will be held from 24th to 26th September at the Umwelt-Campus in Birkenfeld, Germany and focuses on energy management systems in communities and their implementation. Numerous examples of sustainable communities and their activities will be presented.

This year, the SEMS Summer School is connected with the 3rd European Summer School on Renewable Motor Fuels. Different examples of biofuels, their chances and restrictions will be discussed. Special attention will be paid to the issue of sustainability and the role of biofuels in communities.

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(source: Baum Group)


01.07.08  Rotterdam taxis switch to biofuel

The Rotterdam Taxi Central plans to partly switch to biofuels within the next 3-4 years. Certainly over half the 700 taxis will run on biopetrol or biogas. The City Council will also replace its current fleet of vehicles. Agreements to this effect have been signed through the City of Rotterdam Climate Initiative.

(source: GAVE news, 12 June 08)