Strong and Stable for biofuels and bioenergy? Conservatives publish manifesto

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The Conservative party has published its 2017 manifesto. The pledges on energy and fuel supply from the incumbent party and bookies’ favourite for the upcoming general election paint an ambiguous picture, focusing on the targets and outcomes of energy production rather than the means.

“After we have left the European Union, we will form our energy policy based not on the way energy is generated but on the ends we desire – reliable and affordable energy, seizing the industrial opportunity that new technology presents and meeting our global commitments on climate change,” the recently published manifesto states.

What this means for bioenergy and biofuels isn’t clear, the openness of the manifesto could be seen as a cause for optimism, or concern. The main message seems to be that all potential energy and fuel sources will be assessed on their performance and ability to meet global climate change goals.

One area where the manifesto is definitely not ambiguous is shale gas, describing its discovery and use in the US as a “revolution”. The manifesto pledges to develop the UK shale industry, but also to implement new regulation and legislation to maintain public confidence. Here, the Conservatives stand in stark contrast to the anti-shale policies of their main opposition, Labour .

Like the other manifestos already published, Theresa May’s paints a worrying picture for the future of biodiesel and bioethanol in road transport. However, the timeframes for the advance of electric cars are much more gradual than those pledged by the Liberal Democrats.

“Our ambition is for Britain to lead the world in electric vehicle technology and use. We want almost every car and van to be zero-emission by 2050 at the latest – and will invest £600 million by 2020 to help achieve it.”

 

This article was written by Daryl Worthington, assistant editor for Biofuels International and Bioenergy Insight.