Trade associations launch liquid biofuel supply chain strategy to tackle emissions

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UK trade associations OFTEC, the Tank Storage Association (TSA) and the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) have launched a liquid biofuel supply chain strategy and taskforce to tackle carbon emissions.

The ‘Supply Chain Strategy for Liquid Fuels’ details the steps to be taken towards a transition to 100% biofuel, which is expected to replace heating oil in 1.5 million homes across the UK, and an additional 686,000 homes in Ireland.

The three associations will be joined by other trade bodies and industry representatives in a new taskforce for liquid biofuels, which will use the policy proposals in the strategy document to support a transition of the UK’s off grid heating market. It will also enable the UK Government to maintain a technology-neutral approach, as well as encourage all industries to find solutions.

“Liquid fuel, more specifically a bio product, can be part of the solution to achieve net zero,” commented Guy Pulham, CEO of UKIFDA. “Government talk about large scale electrification through the use of heat pumps, but we believe they need to look at alternatives as this is not feasible due to high installation and running costs of installing heat pumps for off grid homeowners; the requirement for additional National Grid generation and infrastructure costs.

“Recognising, the government’s targets on reducing fuel poverty, it is important any regulation around heat policy takes this into account. We can’t stress enough that electrification through the widespread use of heat pumps is not the only conclusion especially for vulnerable consumers who might be adversely impacted if they install solutions which reduce emissions and carbon targets but lead to higher bills.”

Paul Rose, CEO of OFTEC, added: “Our ‘Supply Chain Strategy for Liquid Fuels’ is a clarion call to government to respond to the huge environmental challenges we face with practical and inspiring policies that could help the 2.2 million oil heated homes in the UK and Ireland switch to a low-carbon liquid fuel.

“Following detailed independent research that suggests that the cost of decarbonising liquid fuel for heating gives the best value to the consumer when compared with other low-carbon solutions, we need policies to be ambitious enough for net zero but which also reflect the practical challenges and financial constraints of many households.

“Low-carbon liquid fuels offer the highest carbon reduction impact for the lowest cost (based on existing SAP 10.1 figures). Analysis also shows that sustainable, low-carbon liquid fuels could be produced in sufficient volume in the UK, with the additional benefit of generating investment opportunities and creating new green jobs.”

“Together, we have developed an ambitious and realistic pathway, one which reduces risk, achieves short- and medium-term reduction in carbon emissions, puts the needs of the consumer first and encourages business to plan ahead in order to meet those needs,” continued Peter Davidson, CEO of TSA.

The strategy sets five key challenges to the government to: encourage and support energy efficiency measures; support supply chain preparations to accept a 30% FAME/70% kerosene blend fuel into existing installations by 2027, including an industry-led field trial; support supply chain preparations to accept a supply low-carbon (0% fossil) liquid fuel by 2035; be actively involved in transitional communication work with consumers; and encourage all interested suppliers to evaluate all new low-carbon fuels and technologies under development.

In a statement, the trade organisations added: “Our industry is committed to creating a supply chain capable of distributing a 30% biofuel 70% kerosene blend from 2027 and 100% low-carbon liquid fuel by 2035. We are therefore calling on the government to work together with industry to support and benefit rural communities across the country and set out a clear roadmap to the decarbonisation of heat, with regulation that will provide confidence to the market by providing a clear trajectory to work towards realising our future vision.”