The EU’s biofuels industry is continuing to react to the news last week that an informal agreement has been made on the revised Renewable Energy Directive (REDII).
On 14 June it was announced that the European Parliament, Commission and Council had reached a preliminary agreement on REDII. The deal sets out a path for Europe’s renewable energy sector post 2020.
Key components of the agreement include a 14% target for renewables in transport by 2030, a freeze on the use of high ILUC (Indirect Land Use Change) biofuels such as palm oil to current levels with a phase out by 2030, and a cap on member state’s crop based biofuels to 2020 levels, with a maximum of 7%.
The European Biodiesel Board (EBB) has issued a mixed response to the deal. The trade association for Europe’s biofuel industry is positive about the 32% target for renewables, as well as the agreement to put in place a single European database for biofuels to help ensure sustainability and the double counting incentive to push Member States to start using waste and residues in biofuels.
On the other hand, the EBB labels as ‘indefensible’ limitations and caps on the use of food-based crops and wastes and suggests the benefits of vegetable proteins arising from biodiesel production should have been 'more thoroughly considered'.
“The EBB welcomes the ambitious 32% overall target for renewables, coupled with the crucial 14% target for renewables in transport,” said EBB secretary general Raffaello Garofalo.
“Although this reinforces the EU’s strong push to decarbonise its transport sector and is a step forward in delivering on COP 21’s ambitions, we are perplexed about the unclear limitations targeting the use of food crops biofuels and we must be vigilant about how the RED II Directive will be implemented in practice.”
Garofalo also questions the high multipliers for electricity in road and rail that are present in the agreement. According to him, “these unreasonable multipliers can artificially inflate the uptake of renewable energy and, most importantly, would not deliver any additional GHG emission reductions, requiring additional efforts from Member States to meet their non-ETS emissions reduction obligations. As such, we urge Member States to be very cautious when implementing these at national level.”