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Looking back on Platts 7th Annual Geneva Biofuels Conference

Jet d'eau. Image courtesy of Sindre Skrede via Wikimedia Commons
Jet d'eau. Image courtesy of Sindre Skrede via Wikimedia Commons

Struggles and triumphs of the biofuels industry were brought into sharp focus at the Platts 7th Annual Biofuels Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

With speakers from across the biofuels sector, the event at the Grand Hotel Kempinski covered the latest policy updates and struggles facing the industry.

Pharoah Le Feuvre, energy analyst at the International Energy Agency, presented a current, medium term and long-term perspective on the global biofuel market. He made the case that “robust demand for conventional biofuels” would be felt in Asia, fuelled by abundant feedstocks, supportive policies and a striving for greater energy security.

Rachel Solomon Williams, Head of Low Carbon Fuels at the Department for Transport UK, provided an update on policy in the country. She described how the UK is implementing a sliding scale to increase advanced biofuels by 2032, and decrease conventional biofuels in the nation’s fuel mix.

In terms of policy, two panels, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, noted a potentially challenging environment. A heated morning discussion, moderated by Adam Stepien, Director General of the Polish Chamber of Biofuels and involving EWABA’s Angel Alberdi, ePURE’s Emmanuel Desplechin and ORLEN Lietuva’s Kestutis Starkus, revealed significant differences of opinion on the issue of double counting.

Later in the day, the Markets & Trading Panel, involving BIOX Corporation’s Scott Lewis, Quentin Payet-Gaspard from Cargill and ecoMotion’s Florian Gollin, addressed shifting biofuels trade flows, discussing in detail the influence the US Environmental Protection Agency’s RFS waivers could have on the sector.

Of course, the event dealt with more than just the challenges of policies and volatile markets. Detailed success stories from UPM Biofuels, Neste and E4Tech pointed to a diverse range of positively implemented projects. Showing that even in a time of prolonged uncertainty for the biofuels industry, innovative companies can achieve a great deal.

Jet d'eau. Image courtesy of Sindre Skrede via Wikimedia Commons