ePURE against EU’s roll back of ethanol use

By Tim Albrecht | December 28, 2017

The European renewable ethanol association, ePURE, issued a statement decrying the recent agreement by EU energy ministers to roll back plans to use renewable energy in transportation, calling it a step in the wrong direction in the fight against climate change.

The Council agreed on a 14 percent renewables target for the transport sector by 2030 for each member state, with a sub-target of 3 percent for advanced biofuels. The existing 7 percent cap on first-generation ethanol is maintained, but if a member state sets a lower cap, it could reduce its overall target for transport renewables.

Coupled with the use of artificial multipliers for other renewable energy sources, this would have a double-barrelled effect leaving more room in the EU’s post-2020 transport energy mix for fossil fuel and of harming development of sustainable domestically produced biofuels like renewable ethanol, said ePURE in the statement.

“Now more than ever, Europe needs to foster renewable energy uptake in transport if it wants to meet its climate goals and achieve its ambition of at least 27 percent renewable share in its energy mix,” said Emmanuel Desplechin, secretary general of ePURE.

The EU must have a clear idea on their ethanol policy after years of uncertainty, added Desplechin. “Only a stable policy framework can restore investors’ confidence and allow existing biofuels operations to run,” he said. “As it stands now, the European Commission, Parliament and Council are all sending mixed messages, with fossil fuels as the only clear winner.”