European Commission proposes new biofuel policy

By Staff | November 20, 2012

The European Commission has released a proposal that aims to make significant changes to the EU’s biofuel policy. Specifically, the proposal seeks to limit the use of crop-based feedstock and include indirect land use change (ILUC) associated emissions in the greenhouse gas (GHG) profile of fuels. 

The proposal sets a 60 percent minimum GHG saving threshold for new biofuel production facilities, which the commission said aims to discourage additional investments in production facilities with low GHG performance. In addition, the proposal maintains the 10 percent renewable content goal for transportation fuels contained within the current Renewable Energy Directive, but caps crop-based fuels at 5 percent. The updated program would also establish incentives for biofuels that result in little or no ILUC emission, such as those manufactured from algae, straw or waste feedstocks.

Representatives of the European biofuel industry have spoken out against the proposal, noting that it will decimate Europe’s biofuel industry in the midst of the European economic crisis.