Inside this issue

1. Latest Biofuels News

- Widely differing views on land use threaten effectiveness of biofuels

- Biofuels sustainability scorecard updated by IADB

- Sweden breaks ground on unique BioDME development

- Poland may not reach year end biofuel target

- 50% less emissions from bus modified for dual-fuel biomethane/diesel in the UK

- Big opportunities for Australia through non-food biofuels

- American biofuel sector heavily damaged by the recession

2. Projects and Activities

3. New Publications and Resources

4. Event Highlights

Editorial and Legal Information

1. Latest Biofuel News

23.09.09 Widely differing views on land use threaten effectiveness of biofuels

The concept of indirect land-use change (ILUC) caused by biofuel production looks like playing a complicated role in the European Union's (EU) rules relating to the use of biofuels across Europe.

An informal consultation by the European Commission on how EU Member States and some non-EU countries view ILUC provided widely differing views on how to address ILUC when calculating emissions from biofuels. >>more

22.09.09 Biofuels sustainability scorecard updated by IADB 

A new version of its Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard, which will enable users to better anticipate the impacts of potential biofuel projects on sensitive issues such as indigenous rights, carbon emissions from land use change, and food security has been released by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).

The updated version of the Scorecard includes new categories to more thoroughly capture the environmental and social dimensions of biofuels investments. >>more

21.09.09 Sweden breaks ground on unique BioDME

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden inaugurated (on 18 September) the world's first plant for the production of a renewable automotive fuel called BioDME.

The pilot plant is expected to begin production in July 2010 with a capacity of about 4 tonnes per day using forest residues as feedstock.

The plant is being constructed by Sweden-based development company Chemrec as part of the BioDME project with consortium members Chemrec, Haldor Topsře, Volvo, Preem, Total, Delphi and ETC. The project is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU's Seventh Framework Programme. >>more

15.09.09 Poland may not reach year end biofuel target

In Poland, now that the large oil companies' lobbying has failed to change the biofuels legislation, they are buying biodiesel on local and foreign markets to reach the 4.6 percent target by year end. Oil companies are likely to fall short of their obligation, but the use of B20 and B100 will help the final figure to come close to the 4.6 percent target. The government is currently considering including B7 and E10 mandates to the law, according to reports published by the World Energy Alternatives website.

(source: World Energy Alternatives)

11.09.09 50% less emissions from bus modified for dual-fuel biomethane/diesel in the UK

A consortium brought together by low carbon experts at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom (UK) has launched what is claimed to be the first bus in the UK to run on clean, biomethane gas. The bus is reported to reduce pollutant emissions and greenhouse gas emissions by around a half. It is hoped the technology will be rolled out to bus fleets across the country and further afield. >>more

02.09.09 Big opportunities for Australia through non-food biofuels

Up to 30 percent of fuel for Australia's road transport and aviation industry could be generated through biofuels, creating tens of thousands of jobs in rural and regional Australia, and adding AUD 5 billion to Australia's economy. This startling new analysis on second generation biofuels, conducted by Southern Cross University's Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics, shows that by 2025, 30 percent of the country's petrol could be provided by bioenergy. >>more

01.09.09 American biofuel sector heavily damaged by the recession

According to the U.S National Biodiesel Board, the U.S biofuel sector has been heavily hit by the global credit crisis. Currently, around two-thirds of the biodiesel manufacturers' production capacity is not being used. Low oil price and the postponement of U.S legislation requiring biofuel to be blended with conventional fuel has also contributed negatively on the sector. The Board expects turnover for 2009 to be around half that of 2008.

The mentioned issues are also expected to negatively impact the manufacture of next generation biofuel, made from non-food biomass. >>more

2. Projects and Activities

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

Novel high-performance enzymes and micro-organisms for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to bioethanol (NEMO project)

The European Union (EU) has invested EUR 5.9 million into the NEMO project to develop manufacturing methods for liquid biofuel from agricultural and forestry waste. The pan-European project is being headed up by Finland's VTT Technical Research Centre and brings together several European research institutions and companies to develop the next generation of biofuel.

The project's researchers are concentrating primarily on the fermentation of woody, lignocellulose-based crops. They aim to develop a form of microbial metabolism that can economically and efficiently convert sugars into large amounts of ethanol. Through the project, tests will be conducted using various types of enzymes and yeasts. Results will later be tested for industrial suitability.  >>more

3. New Publications and Resources

 The Biofuel Cities Resources Database has over 500 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:

  • 'The water footprint of bioenergy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences', published by Gerbens-Leenes, W., Hoekstra, A.Y. & van der Meer, T.H. (2009)
  • 'Biofuels for Transport: Part of a Sustainable Future?' (conclusions from a workshop), published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Bioenergy (2008)
  • 'How to make diesel from bacteria', video published by the BBC (2009)
  • 'Growing pains: the possibilities and problems of biofuel', published by Christian Aid (2009)

All resources can be accessed through the Biofuel Cities Resource Database. Access to the Resources Database is for Biofuel Cities European Partnership participants only.

4. Event Highlights

 To keep up to date, plan your attendance and contribute to the biofuels debate, visit the Biofuel Cities Events Calendar

Organising an event related to biofuels? Send us the details and connect to
your audience (

Highlights of some upcoming events:

Next Generation Biofuels Market
28-30 September 2009, Amsterdam, Netherlands

This conference will bring together key players who are pioneering the development of next generation biofuels to address the latest developments in creating cost competitive and industrial scale production of next generation biofuels technologies.



International Bioenergy Days
28-30 September 2009, Trollhättan Lidköping, Sweden

The event will feature seminars and study trips at which leading examples of environmental technology and working solutions will be presented. Delegates will have the opportunity to network and to meet leading experts, entrepreneurs and political decision-makers.

One of the three focus areas of the event will be biofuels for vehicles.



Future Oriented Mobility: Integrative Concepts for the Alpine Space
29 September 2009, Kempten, Germany

The international CO2-Neutral Transport for the Alpine Space (CO2NeuTrAlp) Kick-Off Conference offers a central platform for the discussion of the first project results and the potential of renewable energies for alternative propulsion technologies. Both technological and organisational concepts for sustainable mobility - foremost but not only - in the Alpine Space will be presented and debated. A vehicle fleet with electric or biogenous powered passenger cars, trucks, buses, pedelecs and tractors will be made available for demonstration purposes.

Apart from the project partners from France, Italy, Slovenia, Austria and Germany, about 200 international guests are expected, including decision-makers from local authorities, regions and companies, mobility experts, scientists as well as a broad range of public sector experts.



Environment and Energy 2009: New Solutions in the fields of Energy, Energy-Efficiency and Environment Technologies
15-18 October, Riga, Latvia

Environment and Energy 2009, the 5th annual international exhibition of this kind, will take place in Riga, Latvia, on 15-18 October. The event will provide a unique opportunity for professionals to meet, share their experiences and profit from workshops and conferences held on a wide range of topics, ranging from energy-efficiency, to environmental protection, and including environmentally-friendly fuels and transport.

This year the exhibition will include a completely new section, on energy-efficiency, which will enrich the event and will open a door to a wide range of issues related to energy-efficiency solutions. The exhibition will offer a comprehensive overview of the latest energy-saving and environmentally-friendly technologies and their application in practice.



Biofuels Ukraine 2009
21-23 October, Kiev, Ukraine

On 21-23 October, Kiev will host Biofuels Ukraine 2009, an international conference on renewable energies and biofuels.

The conference, and the accompanying Roundtable on "Biofuels. New Market Opportunities", will provide a platform for open discussion of hot issues of the industrial production and usage of liquid biofuels: bioethanol, biobuthanol, biodiesel, and biogas. It will also be an opportunity to discover more about the latest developments in biofuels industry in Ukraine and abroad.


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

5. 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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