Regulations driving mandatory blends of agricultural products into ground transport fuel makes for a heady cocktail of unintended consequences.
Despite the best laid plans of the European Union, companies have learned from the original Renewable Energy Directive (RED) throughout the 2010s, that there is a lot of room for things to go awry at the intersection of two huge and critical global markets like food and fuel.
Given the need for lower carbon fuels, the technical limitations of the new fuels themselves and the massive dislocation necessary in agriculture to find the land for the new marginal demand, biofuels were always going to be a complex policy area.
However, the decade of policy under RED did give valuable insight into the challenge and the EU now views the imminent start of its successor RED II with optimism and caution.
Its design intends to overcome the biggest RED problems, whilst continuing to increase the percentage of renewables in liquid fuel.
This article considers RED II’s likely successes and its limitations. It also considers how other renewable options, especially the expected rapid growth in the electric vehicle...
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