Dear EBTP Stakeholder,
The official opening in October of the world's largest advanced biofuel facility in Crescentino, Italy demonstrates that deployment of cost-competitive advanced technology is now a reality at a commercial scale. However, to boost investor confidence and replicate this success story, a stable and supportive framework for innovative biofuel value chains is urgently needed.
Unfortunately, a final decision on proposals to amend the Renewable Energy Directive and the Fuel Quality Directive is likely to be delayed until late in 2014 and, therefore, the framework to support advanced biofuels remains uncertain.
The updated directives must provide a consistent, long-term regulatory framework that supports the deployment of advanced biofuels in Europe, while allowing for future improvements to data on iLUC and Life Cycle Analysis of new feedstock sources. Any measures that severely undermine the billions of Euros of investment in the existing European biofuels industry may hinder rather than accelerate the development of new technologies, in particular the commercialisation of drop-in and aviation biofuels.
A swift political resolution is therefore required to allow research and industry to find and implement the best technical solutions to the challenges of energy security and GHG emissions reduction in transport while creating jobs and growth in Europe.
Following an assessment in the summer of 2013, the EBTP is pleased to confirm that it continues to be recognised by the EC as an official European Technology Platform. As of April this year, the EBTP Secretariat no longer receives any funding from the EC. However, a new FP7 initiative EBTP-SABS commenced in September to support stakeholders across Europe to take a more active role in the EBTP and advanced biofuels R&D&D.
In particular, EBTP-SABS will promote closer liaison with feedstock providers, technology developers and end-users across Member States, who have a vital role to play in demonstration and deployment of advanced biofuels value chains. Communication activities will be further developed, featuring a new stakeholder forum and collation of detailed information on feedstock availability, demonstrations, research, key stakeholders and support frameworks in each Member State as well as other countries across the globe.
EBTP activities include continued support for the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative, the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme, ERA-NET Plus, Research Infrastructures, feedstock sustainability, and associated initiatives to accelerate commercial deployment of innovative advanced biofuels as an integral part of the European Bioeconomy.
Your input via consultations, stakeholder plenary meetings, working groups and knowledge sharing is vital to help overcome the many technical and non-technical challenges facing the European biofuels industry. We look forward to working productively with all stakeholders from 2013-2016 and beyond to find pragmatic solutions based on sound science and innovative technology.
European Biofuels Technology Platform
The contract for the Secretariat of the EBTP ended in March 31st 2013. In September 2013 a new FP7 Concerted Support Action, EBTP-SABS: Support for Advanced Biofuels Stakeholders commenced. The project is co-ordinated by the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR), Germany, with online communications and IT support provided by CPL Press, UK – both organisations having worked with the platform since its launch in 2006. The EBTP-SABS team is strengthened by the addition of Bioenergy 2020+, Austria, and Central European Initiative (CEI), Italy. An initial online consultation with stakeholders on R&D&D priorities and proposed EBTP-SABS and EBTP activities will be launched in early November.
FNR is the central coordinating agency in the area of Renewable Resources in Germany acting on behalf of the German Federal Ministery of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). CPL is a scientific publisher with a focus on bioenergy, database development and online dissemination. Bioenergy2020+ is the Austrian competence centre for bioenergy R&D and has been involved in numerous national, European and international projects in biofuels research and biofuels dissemination. Bioenergy2020+ will take responsibility for biofuels sector monitoring and will provide input for the establishment of new databases and factsheets. The Central European Initiative (CEI) has a wide network of contacts with ministries and researchers in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe, and will broaden the scope and outreach of EBTP.
EBTP-SABS will continue from September 2013 until the summer of 2016, and aims to update the EBTP SRA and SDD, to help inform Horizon2020 priorities on advanced biofuels within European bioeconomy activities and the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI). The project will also establish and expand information about stakeholders, demonstration and flagship facilities, research on advanced biofuels across all Member States and other countries of interest, as well as events, reports, feedstock availability and stakeholders.
It is planned to launch an updated version of the EBTP website in early 2014 with a community forum offering Stakeholders greater possibilities to comment and communicate on advanced biofuels R&D&D topics. In addition, two Stakeholder Plenary Meetings are planned under the new contract. The provisional date for SPM6 is 14-15 October 2014.
A main objective of EBTP-SABS is to improve knowledge sharing among advanced biofuels stakeholders in industry and research across Europe, the European Commission, the EIBI team, and EBTP Steering Committee and Working Groups.
A broad framework for EBTP-SABS is in place (as described above). In the next few days a short online questionnaire will be prepared to identify what specific dissemination activities, topics and types of information would be most useful for stakeholders.
The EBTP-SABS team would greatly appreciate any feedback and comments that can help inform the prioritisation of EBTP activities. This will assist the technology platform to provide a concensus view on priorities for European biofuels R&D&D, with respect to Horizon2020 2015-2020, and to update longer-term research roadmaps beyond 2020.
Please look out for the consultation email in the next few days. We look forward to working productively with all European biofuels stakeholders over the next three years.
Supporting Stakeholders of the European Biofuels Technology Platform
The 29th meeting of the EBTP Steering Committee was held on 11th June 2013, and was attended by 20 participants, including representatives of the SC, Secretariat and the EC.
Note: This meeting was during the period that the Secretariat was out of contract, so no newsletter was prepared. Future newsletter production has now been take over by the EBTP-SABS team.
The 30th meeting of the EBTP Steering Committee was held on 16th October 2013. It was attended by 19 members of the SC, 5 members of the EBTP-SABS team and 3 members of the EC. Current EBTP developments covered by the meeting are outlined below.
EBTP Steering Committee welcomes new Members
Since Summer 2013, the following applicants have been approved as new members of the Steering Committee:
Judit Sanquist, Sintef, Norway
Jonas Helseth, Bellona, Norway
Frederic Eychenne, Airbus, France
Allan Rankine. BP Biofuels, UK
Petri Lehmus, Neste Oil, Finland
Raffaelo Garoffalo, EBB, Belgium
In June 2013, Lars Hansen was elected by Steering Commitee members to remain as Chair until June 2015.
The application and voting procedure for Steering Committee membership is laid out in the EBTP Terms of Reference.
A number of existing Steering Committee members stood down during 2013, as they had already participated for a number of years and/or because their work role had changed. The EBTP welcomes all the new members and thanks the previous members for their personal contributions to the platform.
View list of current Steering Commitee Members
Recognition of EBTP as a European Technology Platform
In July 2013, the European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) was considered by the European Commission services to fulfil the revised criteria for recognition, and will therefore be included in the public list of recognised ETPs on the EC’s ETP website. To maximise its impact, the Commission recommended that the platform should seek opportunities for further engagement with Member States, increase efforts to further involve biomass producers and to continue to explore opportunities for engaging with civil society, particularly NGOs and consumer/societal groups. The EBTP will be supported in these aims by the new EBTP-SABS team.
Applications from civil society representatives for membership of the EBTP Working Groups are welcomed. Please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org, together with a short covering email outlining your experience in relation to advanced biofuels.
Working Group 1: Biomass feedstocks and logistics
On 5th June 2013, WG1 held a workshop on Resource Efficient Supply within the 21st EU BC&E, Copenhagen in collaboration with the Renewable Heating and Cooling Technology Platform. The aim of this workshop was to set the base for a roadmap for R&D priorities on resource efficiency. The first draft is expected in December 2013, and will be based on the SRAs/ Roadmaps of the EBTP, RHC, FTP, Biobased PPP and EERA Bioenergy. The aim of the combined roadmap is to:
Working Group 2: Conversion technologies
WG2 participated in EERA Bioenergy www.eera-bioenergy.eu workshops held in Spring 2013, leading to the development of a concentrated SRA, which will help inform priorities under Horizon2020.
Ingvar Landälv, Chair of WG2, made presentations on current pilot and demo plants at the 21st European Bioenergy Conference and in Chicago at tcbiomass 2013.
Topics for upcoming months include:
Note: In April 2013, The European Commission, Directorate-General for Climate Action, announced the NER 300 Second Call for Proposals for innovative renewable energy and carbon capture and storage projects. Member States submitted 33 project proposals by the 3 July 2013. No further information on the proposed projects was available as at 10 November 2013.
Working Group 3: End-Use and distribution
Applications are welcomed for new members of WG3, from aviation, marine, road transport and rail sectors and other applications of advanced biofuels.
Please send your CV to email@example.com together with a short covering email outlining your experience in relation to use of advanced biofuels.
Ongoing topics for WG3 include:
Working Group 4: Policy and Sustainability
Proposed changes to the RED and FQD are an ongoing hot topic, with the latest news that a final decision might even be postponed until after the European elections.
The EBTP concensus paper, produced by WG4, essentially still stands as there has been no fundamental new evidence since its publication, only the ongoing political procedures.
Other WG4 activites cover:
It is suggested to work towards a small workshop or session covering these points, preferably linked to another biofuels meeting or conference.
The EIBI Conference was held during EU Sustainable Energy Week on 26 June 2013. The work on the Implementation Plan is still ongoing. The newest version was presented at the 13th EIBI Team meeting on 5 November 2013 and is due to be finalised by the end of 2013.
Indirect Land Use Change
On 11 September 2013 a narrow majority of MEPs voted that conventional biofuels should not exceed 6% of the final energy consumption in transport by 2020, as opposed to the current 10% target in existing legislation, while advanced biofuels should represent at least 2.5% of energy consumption in transport by 2020. The MEP vote also endorsed double-counting of biofuels produced from UCO or animal wastes and a minimum 7.5% limit of ethanol in gasoline. Finally, they decided to include an iLUC factor in the Fuel Quality Directive methodology as of 2020.
Rapporteur Ms Lepage was two votes short of receiving a mandate to negotiate with member states, who will now seek a common position of their own. A second reading is now required, which is likely to delay the decision-making process to the second half of 2014. This will make it harder for demonstration and flagship plants to secure the funding needed for commissioning in Europe, and potentially puts on hold the creation of 1000s of new jobs in the European Bioeconomy.
On 16 October 2013 the European Parliament Intergroup on 'Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development' held a workshop entitled 'The future of Biofuels as alternative fuel for the transport sector'. A summary report and presentations are now available.
Public Private Partnership on Biobased Industries
On 10 July 2013, the European Commission proposed a €3.8 billion Public Private Partnership (PPP) on Biobased Industries, in order to accelerate the commercialization of biobased products in Europe, incl. advanced biofuels. The European Commission will invest €1 billion and industry €2.8 billion, from 2014 to 2020, to boost market uptake of new biobased products that are 'made in Europe'.
The partnership will promote the use of various sources of sustainable biomass and waste to produce everyday products such as food, feed, chemicals and transportation fuels. The use of local biomass and waste will generate growth and jobs in rural areas across European regions, while reducing the EU’s reliance on fossil fuels, thereby offering sustainable alternatives to oil-based products and enhancing energy and food security.
The PPP will capitalize on Europe’s innovation and technological leadership to bring biobased solutions from research labs to the market. Various sectors will be brought together to optimize and create new value chains, such as connecting farmers and foresters directly to consumers.
The PPP is part of the European Commission’s Innovation Investment Package. It is expected to start its activities in early 2014 and to end in 2020 following approval from EU Member States and consultation with the European Parliament.
The Biobased Industries Consortium brings together more than 50 European companies, clusters and organisations that have committed to invest in collaborative research, development and demonstration of bio-based technologies within the PPP. The consortium covers a broad range of sectors (e.g. agriculture, agro-food, biotech, forestry, pulp and paper, chemicals and energy), and includes leading research teams, SMEs and other participants, including members of the EBTP.
More info: www.biconsortium.eu
9 October 2104 saw the official opening in Northern Italy of the world’s largest advanced biofuels facility with a production capacity of 75 million litres of cellulosic ethanol annually – marking the beginning of a new era for advanced biofuels at the commercial scale. The BioCrescentino plant was developed by Beta Renewables, whose shareholders include BioChemtex, part of the Mossi Ghisolfi Group; and Novozymes, producer of industrial enzymes, which are both represented on the Steering Committee of the EBTP.
Situated in fields outside the city of Crescentino, it is the first plant in the world to be designed and built to produce bioethanol from agricultural residues and energy crops at commercial scale using enzymatic hydrolysis. The plant uses locally sourced wheat straw, rice straw and Arundo donax, a high-yielding energy crop grown on marginal land. Lignin, extracted during the production process, is used at an attached power plant, which generates enough power to meet the facility’s energy needs, with any excess green electricity sold to the local grid.
Further information on the plant and the production technology is available on the Beta Renewables website
A short presentation on the Crescentino advanced biofuels facility is available on the EBTP website
On 4 December 2013, the Final BIOLYFE Conference: 2nd Generation Bioethanol Production: Demonstrating large-scale bioethanol production from lignocellulosic feedstocks, will provide insight into the realisation of the world’s largest lignocellulosic bioethanol plant and discuss critical success factors for commercial-scale second generation bioethanol production worldwide. Stakeholders are invited to register for the BIOLYFE Conference by 22 November 2013. Further information is available on the BIOLYFE website
Note: Biolyfe is an FP7 project to develop an industrial-scale cellulosic ethanol demonstration facility at Crescentino, Italy.
Suggestions for presentation themes and discussion topics are welcomed for the 6th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of the EBTP, which has been provisionally scheduled for 14-15 October 2014 in Brussels. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A number of other conferences currently have open calls for abstracts. Some focus more widely on biomass energy, but include sessions on advanced conversion technologies for production of intermediates and/or liquid biofuels. The events also cover common issues such as biomass production and logistics.
The call for abstracts will close soon for the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EU BC&E), which takes place in Hamburg from June 23-26th 2014. Stakeholders are invited to submit industry-oriented presentations as well as scientific presentations. The programme will offer overviews of the latest scientific findings, industrial progress and political landscape and will extend from biomass itself to conversion processes for biofuels, bioenergy and biorefineries and to industrial applications and impacts on the environment.
Suggestions are invited for the programme of the Biofuels International Conference 2014 on 24 – 25 September 2014 in Ghent Belgium. Please see the website for details.
Calls for papers are invited for World Bioenergy 2014, which takes place in Jönköping, Sweden 3-4 June 2104 Final date for submission of abstracts is 1 December 2013. Notification of authors: will be made by 31 January 2014. Accepted papers will be published in the conference Proceedings.
Proposals for presentations on advanced biomass conversion technology and related topics are invited for 7th Annual world congress of Industrial Biotechnology-2014 (IBIO-2014) Dalian, China April 25-28
Full links and details for the following biofuels and bioenergy events are included on the Events Diary Page of the EBTP website. Some events cover related areas such as feedstocks, alternative transport fuels and industrial biotechnology. Please check regularly as new events are added each week. Selected events for Winter 2013 and Spring/Summer 2014 are listed below.
20-21 November 2013
Bioenergy Commodity Training 2013
26 November 2013
Biomass Policies Workshop on biomass resource efficiency
3 December 2013
2nd Annual European Future Transport Conference
4 December 2013
Final BIOLYFE Conference: 2nd Generation Bioethanol Production: Demonstrating large-scale bioethanol production from lignocellulosic feedstocks
5 December 2013
ESBF 1st Workshop - Building the EU's biofuel industry: A hurdle race
15-18 January 2014
4th Central European Biomass Conference
20-21 January 2014
11th International conference on biofuels "Fuels of the Future 2014"
3-5 February 2014
World Biomass Power Markets
17-19 February 2014
RFA National Ethanol Conference
4-6 March 2014
World Bio Markets
25-28 April 2014
7th Annual world congress of Industrial Biotechnology-2014
6-7 May 2014
European Algae Biomass
12-14 May 2014
5th AEBIOM European Bioenergy Conference
22-23 May 2014
REGATEC 2014 International Conference on Renewable Energy Gas Technology
3-5 June 2014
World Bioenergy 2014
4-6 June 2014
10th International Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries,
9-12 June 2014
International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
23-26 June 2014
European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EU BC&E)
27-29 August 2014
Nordic Biogas Conference, NBC 2014
24-25. September 2014
Biofuels International 2014
14-15 October 2014 (Provisional Date)
EBTP 6th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting - SPM6
Links to a number of new biofuels reports have been added to the EBTP Reports Database in recent weeks. Links to biofuels presentations are also included on relevant pages of the EBTP website. Recent examples include:
Feedstocks and logistics
Large Industrial Users of Energy Biomass
Lappeenranta University of Technology for IEA Task 40
EU bioenergy potential from a resource efficiency perspective
Status of Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Facilities in 2012
IEA Bioenergy Task 39
Liquid transportation fuels via large-scale fluidised-bed gasification of lignocellulosic biomass
Ilkka Hannula and Esa Kurkela, VTT TRC, Finland
Advanced Biofuel Market Report 2013
GAIN Report on Biofuels in the EU 2013
USDA FAS GAIN
Bringing biofuels on the market: Options to increase EU biofuels volumes beyond the current blending limits
Produced for the EC by CE Delft and TNO
Market Data: Biofuels
Who's winning the clean energy race? 2012
The current status of biofuels in the European Union, their environmental impacts and future prospects
EASAC - European Academies Science Advisory Council
Biofuels and food security: Risks and opportunities
ECOFYS on behalf of ePure
Analysis of Member State RED implementation
Produced by Ecofys and IEEP on behalf of EC
Analysis of the operation of the mass balance system and alternatives
Produced by Ecofys on behalf of EC
Mandatory requirements in relation to air, soil, or water protection: analysis of need and feasibility [as part of Study on the operation of the system for the biofuels and bioliquids sustainability scheme]
Produced by Winrock, IEEP and Ecofys on behalf of EC
Land Use Change Greenhouse Gas Emissions of European Biofuel Policies Utilizing the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) Model
Air Improvement Resource, Inc., (S&T)2 Consultants Inc., University of Illinois
Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) within Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) - Scientific Robustness and Consistency with International Standards
Prof. Dr. Matthias Finkbeiner, Technische Universitat Berlin
Food, Fuel and Plant Nutrient Use in the Future
David Zilberman et al, CAST, Council for Agriculture, Science and Technology