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Call to double bioethanol content in fuel to reach UK’s net zero target

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A type of petrol which contains 10% renewable bioethanol must be launched by 2020 to help the UK reach its net zero targets, according to the National Farmers Union (NFU).

The NFU has written to UK Government ministers calling for E10 to be supported in favour of the more commonly sold E5, which only contains 5% renewable bioethanol. It’s estimated that doubling the level of bioethanol in petrol supplies would have the same impact as removing 700,000 cars from the road.

Letters were sent to ministers including Defra secretary Theresa Villiers, energy secretary Andrea Leadsom and transport secretary Grant Schapps. The NFU has stated that the lack of supportive policy surrounding bioethanol is hindering farmers’ ability to deliver for the environment.

Tom Bradshaw, NFU combinable crops board chairman, told Farmers Weekly that the production of bioethanol in the UK could provide a solution to reduced exports after Brexit. He said: “Establishing a secure market for British wheat would mean farmers are not as vulnerable to volatile commodity markets, reducing reliance on grain exports to the EU which, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, would be hit with significant tariffs.

“Introducing E10 can also help farming solve some of the challenges around climate change. By using the high protein by-product of E10 to replace imports of animal feed products such as soya, the livestock industry can reduce its global greenhouse gas emissions.”