In April the European Technology and Innovation Platform Bioenergy (ETIP Bioenergy) has published an input paper to underline the role of sustainable biofuels in meeting the targets of the Paris agreement, in the context of the implementation the Renewable Energy Directive II (REDII) and its adoption by Member States.
Key recommendations by ETIP Bioenergy
Ambition in renewables
The increased 2030 targets for renewables in relation to 2020 are welcome since renewables have an important role to play in the energy decarbonization and transition. However, they will probably need to be increased to meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement in 2015.
Increasing role for biofuels
Renewable fuels and especially biofuels are key to help reducing the carbon footprint in transport segments that will continue to rely on internal combustion engines and are complementary to new mobility modes that are expected to make a significant market impact. An integrated bio-based technology development strategy exploiting synergies in combining biomass (BTx) and electricity/power (PTx) based technologies can help to stay on track to reach targets in time.
An EU-wide determination
The EU should encourage Member States to take an overall harmonized approach and to strive for the highest share possible of sustainable conventional biofuels (within the 7% limit). There will still be a certain flexibility for each MS, in determining to which extent different biofuels will be used to reach this target. In addition, the EU should be encouraged to refrain from using the option to decrease the 14% target, (if the conventional biofuels share is below 7%). All efforts are needed to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement!
Strong R&I strategy for advanced biofuels
To reach the deployment of advanced biofuels and other renewable fuels, an integrated approach of strong policy measures, research, innovation and improved financing solutions is necessary. The future focus should not only consider e-mobility and electricity for the transport sector. The combustion engine will be part of the energy transition and therefore sustainable biofuels as well.
A robust sustainability is mandatory
In addition, strong sustainability criteria for biofuels and their feedstocks are essential, and R&D efforts are also needed to properly assess the sustainability of biofuels (which includes the low-ILUC concept development). With regard to sector coupling, well-to-wheel (WTW) approaches should be considered when assessing GHG emission reduction, e.g. REDII for renewable fuels linked to CO2 fuel regulations for vehicles.
FNR contact person: Sophie Kruse
FNR is coordinator of the Horizon 2020 ETIP Bioenergy-SABS 2 project and was intensely involved in co-ordinating the preparation of the Input Paper.