Biofuels may provide transport fuels from local resources that dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a sustainable way. But this is not necessarily the performance of any fuels produced from biomass. The European biofuel industry now suffers from examples of less sustainable biofuels being used as arguments against all.
Henry Ford, in his autobiographies, argued the distinction between industrialists and the greedy speculators. Industrialists tried to do something that would benefit their fellow human beings. As long as there was a decent government that would be profitable. The greedy just looked for any opportunity to make a profit, even when doing so may be destructive.
This century old perspective remains important today. The knowledge of bad practice may hit back quickly with modern information technologies. The indirect costs to the well performing parts of the industry from the few bad examples are painful to watch. The intellectual battles - in the IPCC process, in the European Parliament as well as in national fora - that have to be fought because of bad examples are reducing ambitions and slowing biofuel development.
The capacity of EBTP to present a well-argued vision of biofuels as a desirable part of a future sustainable transport system is crucial. It will require resources as well as intellectual capacity. However, if Europe is to succeed in sustainable development, it is essential. Biofuels should contribute to reaching Europe’s multiple target of competitiveness, security and sustainability.
Since the financial crises in the US and Europe, we have had to learn that our economic problems no longer automatically result in lowered prices of fossil fuels and raw materials. China has kept demand growing at sufficient pace to keep the oil price at 100 dollars per barrel. More important, for new sources of oil the economic and environmental costs of extraction are higher than for conventional wells on land. Alternatives are economically desirable.
In addition, in the fuel-refining industries the opportunity of finding domestic biomass feedstocks or biomass from a wide range of countries appears more attractive than relying on petroleum from a few exporting countries, some of which are involved in unpredictable conflicts. Secure supply is a relevant argument in the European supply chain of transport fuels - all the way to the consumers.
The potential costs of continued accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are also well described, recently again by the IPCC. We know biofuels can play an important role in reducing emissions from transport.
As new elected chairman of the Steering Committee I hope to inspire more contributions to the development of an EBTP strategy; contributions from biomass, fuel, and end use sectors of the industry to develop a sustainable industrial strategy - a strategy placed in the societal context, so as to be a strategy that can be widely supported also by others.
I look forward to meeting you at the 6th EBTP Stakeholder Plenary Meeting (SPM6) in Brussels on 14-15 October 2014.
Chair of the Steering Committee
European Biofuels Technology Platform
Due to a change of role at Novozymes, Lars Hansen, has resigned as Chair of the EBTP Steeing Committee (SC). The platform thanks Lars and his colleagues at Novozymes for their valuable contributions over the past three years, helping to drive forward the deployment of advanced biofuels technologies in a very challenging era for the biofuels industry in Europe.
Following nominations and voting in February 2014, the EBTP is pleased to announce the appointment of Tomas Kåberger, Chalmers University of Technology, as the new SC Chair.
Tomas Kåberger is Professor of Industrial Energy Policy at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and is a Distinguished Visiting Expert of bioenergy technology at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, and at IAS Technische Univ. München. He has extensive experience in the bioenergy industry and sustainable transport and has served on the board of Swedish and European Environmental organisations, and national committees developing energy and environmental legislation, as well as the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development as a member of a task force on Low-Carbon Industrialization Strategies. He is Editor in Chief, Energy Science and Engineering. From 2008–2011 he was Director General of the National Swedish Energy Agency.
Three members of the SC have recently stepped down due to other commitments: Allan Rankine, BP; Thomas Gameson, Abengoa; and Frederic Eychenne, Airbus. The SC is pleased to welcome two new members: Jo Howes, BP; and Thomas Nagy, Novozymes.
Calliope Panoutsou has taken over as Chair of Working Group 1 on Biomass. Markku Karlsson will now become Vice-chair. The platform thanks Markku for his leadership of WG1 over several years, and for the many hours of expertise he continues to provide to platform activities.
The EBTP is actively seeking experienced stakeholders from the Aviation and Marine Transport sectors to join the Steering Committee and Working Group 3. In particular, EBTP seeks an experienced Chair for WG3 to lead the EBTP strategy on end use of advance biofuels in all transport sectors, with a particular focus on accelerating demonstration and deployment under the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative and the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Applications are welcome from industry and research.
Please send a brief C.V. to email@example.com by the end of April, together with a short outline of your motivation to join the platform.
On 23 January 2014 the EC published a communication: A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030. Key points are summarised in an accompanying EC press release
Of particular relevance to biofuels was Q&A 12:
"The future of EU transport development should be based on alternative, sustainable fuels as an integrated part of a more holistic approach to the transport sector. The Commission has therefore not proposed new targets for the transport sector after 2020 (current targets: 10% renewable energy for the transport sector. The share of renewables in transport rose to 4.7% in 2010 from 1.2% in 2005). Based on the lessons of the existing target and on the assessment of how to minimise indirect land-use change emissions, it is clear that first generation biofuels have a limited role in decarbonising the transport sector. A range of alternative renewable fuels and a mix of targeted policy measures building on the Transport White Paper are thus needed to address the challenges of the transport sector in a 2030 perspective and beyond."
The EBTP Steering Committee acknowledges the need for future feedstock diversification and a more flexible approach to support the sustainable development of non-fossil transport fuels within the European bioeconomy up to and beyond 2020. There is also a vital need to leverage the billions of Euros invested in conventional biofuels production, and protect thousands of jobs in the industry. Before looking beyond 2020, there is an immediate need for a decisive and supportive EC policy on biofuels to promote investment in demonstration and deployment of innovative technologies to convert wastes to liquid transport fuels.
In order to reduce well-to-wheel GHG emissions, improve security of energy supply in Europe, and meet the future fuel requirements of freight, aviation and marine transport, EBTP continues to stress the vital need for:
The Integrated Roadmap of the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) is currently in a 2 month iteration period allowing a range of Stakeholders to produce a first consolidated draft. The European Commission (EC) and Member States (MS) will then have an opportunity to comment from May to June. A final draft is expected by end of June. The Action Plan will be finalised by the EC and MS by the end of 2014.
The results of the first call for proposals under ERA-NET+ BESTF have been announced. 3 projects have been selected for funding to demonstrate innovative technology for EIBI values chains. Summary informaiton is included in the table below. More detailed information will be added to the EBTP website shortly. All 3 projects are expected to commence in the 2nd quarter of 2014 and will continue for 36 months.
Partners: Göteborg Energi AB, Chalmers University of Technology, TU Berlin, Renewable Energy Technology International AB (Renewtec)
Countries: Sweden, Germany
EIBI Value Chains: 2, 1, 3
Project summary: Demonstration of a novel technology to simplify gas clean-up following biomass gasification. Chemical looping reforming will be used to reform the tars and the olefins directly after the gasifier.
Partners: DONG Energy Thermal Power A/S, Neste Oil Oy
Countries: Denmark, Finland
EIBI Value chains: 6, 5
Project summary: Demonstration of microbial oil production from lignocellulosic sugars from straw for production of high quality drop-in biofuels, renewable diesel and jet fuel.
Partners: Advanced Plasma Power Limited, National Grid PLC, Progressive Energy Ltd, Schmack Carbotech GmbH
Countries: Germany, UK
EIBI Value chains: 2, 3
Project summary: Demonstration of the production of grid quality BioSNG via gasification in a once-through process, without recycle, a minimum number of reactor vessels, at modest pressure and temperature, and with a high rate of heat recuperation.
The 6th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of the EBTP SMP6 will take place at the Diamant Conference Centre, Brussels, on 14-15 October 2014. The meeting will start around midday on the 14th and conclude in the early afternoon on the 15th, with the aim of maximizing opportunities for networking and discussion.
The conference will include 5 sessions broadly covering:
Session 1 Biofuels Technology - the road so far
Session 2 Overcoming hurdles - lessons learned from existing biofuels plants
Session 3 Production of biofuels for different end uses (road, marine, aviation and others)
Session 4 Looking beyond Europe – technology viewpoints from other countries developing advanced biofuels
Session 5 Long-term stable policy support to advanced biofuels production in the EU
The EBTP Secretariat welcomes stakeholders' suggestions for specific topics for discussion at SPM6. Please send us your suggestions by the end of April 2014. An initial programme and details of how to register will be circulated to all EBTP stakeholders and contacts by end of May 2014.
The Horizon 2020 portal now lists a wide range of calls with different focus and deadlines.
Calls linked to advanced biofuels and related topics are generally listed under Societal Challenges – Competitive Low-Carbon Energy (the links appear in purple on the index page). In addition, some related aspects of biotechnology, sustainable feedstocks and transport innovations are included under other call topics.
LCE-11-2014: Developing next generation technologies for biofuels and sustainable alternative fuels
LCE-11-2015: Developing next generation technologies for biofuels and sustainable alternative fuels
LCE-12-2014: Demonstrating advanced biofuel technologies
LCE-12-2015: Demonstrating advanced biofuel technologies
LCE-14-2014: Market uptake of existing and emerging sustainable bioenergy
LCE-14-2015: Market uptake of existing and emerging sustainable bioenergy
Detailed guidance on how to participate is available on the portal.
The 8th ERA-NET Bioenergy joint call will support transnational research and development projects in the area of integrated biorefinery concepts. Pre-proposals may be submitted by 28th April 2014, 1 pm (CET).
Biorefining is defined as the sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable products (food, feed, materials, chemicals) and energy (fuels, power, heat). An integrated biorefinery concept maximises the overall added value of one plant system by way of fractionation of the raw materials, integration of mass and energy flows and of processes, by (ideally) using all components of a raw material for a range of different products / intermediates, and by working with closed loops.
Thank you to all stakeholders who completed the Questionnaire on the FP7 project EBTP-SABS 'Support for Advanced Biofuels Stakeholders' (2013-2016).
Initial EBTP-SABS activities are now well under way including:
We would like to hear further views on the best ways to bring together stakeholders from industry, research, finance, policy and sustainability to accelerate the deployment of innovative advanced biofuels value chains
Please take a few minutes to complete our online questionnaire and provide comments. The questionnaire will remain online until end of April 2014.
The EBTP-SABS Team
The EBTP-SABS team is currently developing a database covering pilots, demonstration and first-of-a-kind projects, as well as supporting research projects covering the seven EIBI value chains and related advanced biofuels technologies. This will be launched in early summer 2014, and will be freely accessible to all stakeholders. Searchable databases are also being developed on Stakeholders and Deployment (covering sources of finance, support, policy, market development etc). The Reports and Events databases are now up and running.
Meanwhile, updated links and R&D&D project news from Europe and around the world continue to be added to the existing EBTP website under dozens of topic pages (e.g. algae, cellulosic ethanol, biotechnology, aviation, sustainability, etc).
A list of EC-funded projects (FP7, IEE, INTERREG IV, etc) on biofuels feedstocks, conversion, end-use and market development is included on the EBTP website. The page also includes updated information on ERA-NET, Horizon2020 and NER300 calls and supported projects. Updates on national R&D&D projects from across Europe will be added to the database in coming months. Examples of recent EC projects include:
Please sent updates on national or EC projects on advanced biofuels and related areas to firstname.lastname@example.org
7th International AGQM Conference: FAME - Renewable Fuel and Chemical Building Blocks on 6-7 November 2014 in Berlin is calling for papers until 30 April 2014
European Biogas Association Conference 30 September – 2 October 2014 in the Netherlands - is calling for posters
A new Events Page has been launched on the website, which now enables you to search for events, workshops and training courses via keywords or by month. Details of events and courses related to biofuels may be sent to email@example.com to be listed on the website and included in EBTP newsletters.
Further details and links to agendas and registration for the following events can be found on the Events Page:
1-3 April 2014
BioGas World, Berlin, Germany
1-2 April 2014
European Biomass to Power, Copenhagen, Denmark
1-2 April 2014
Bioenergy Supply Chain Congress 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark
(Bioenergy Commodity Trading)
8-9 April 2014
Biomass Fuel and Power Congress, Moscow, Russia
14-17 April 2014
Transport Research Arena TRA Conference, Paris, France
25-28 April 2014
7th Annual world congress of Industrial Biotechnology-2014 (IBIO-2014), Dalian, China
6-7 May 2014
European Algae Biomass, Seville, Spain
12-14 May 2014
5th AEBIOM European Bioenergy Conference, Brussels, Belgium
19-23 May 2014
PYRO 2014 - 20th International Symposium on Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, Birmingham, United Kingdom
22-23 May 2014
REGATEC 2014 International Conference on Renewable Energy Gas Technology, Malmo, Sweden
3-5 June 2014
World Bioenergy 2014, Jönköping, Sweden
3-4 June 2014
13th Annual World Biofuels 2014, Seville, Spain
4-6 June 2014
10th International Conference on Renewable Resources and Biorefineries
9-12 June 2014
International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo, Indianapolis, United States
11-12 June 2014
Oleofuels 2014, Düsseldorf, Germany
11-12 June 2014
12th SusChem Stakeholder Event and 10th Anniversary Celebration
17-18 June 2014
Platts 3rd Annual European Biofuels Conference
Prague, Czech Republic
17-18 June 2014
World Bio Markets Asia
Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia
23-26 June 2014
22nd European Biomass Conference & Exhibition, Hamburg, Germany
25 June 2014
Algae Event 2014: Providing a better understanding on how algae fit into the current biomass industry and how they could contribute to a sustainable bioeconomy in the future
15-16 July 2014
International VDI Conference - Biofuels 2014, Rotterdam, Netherlands
26-28 August 2014
2014 China Guangzhou International Biomass Energy Exhibition, Guangzhou, China
27-29 August 2014
Nordic Biogas Conference, NBC 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
2-5 September 2014
Symposium on Thermal and Catalytic Sciences for Biofuels and Biobased Products 2014, Denver, Colorado , United States
15-18 September 2014
Bioenergy from Forest Conference, Helsinki, Finland
24-25 September 2014
Biofuels International 2014, Ghent, Belgium
30 September - 2 October 2014
Conference of the European Biogas Association, Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands
8-9 October 2014
EBEC European Bioenergy Expo and Conference, Stoneleigh, United Kingdom
14-15 October 2014
EBTP SPM6 - 6th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of the European Biofuels Technology Platform, Brussels, Belgium
26-29 October 2014
Lignobiotech III Symposium, Concepción, Chile
19-20 November 2014
Lignofuels 2014, Madrid, Spain
3 April 2014
Workshop on Microbial Growth in Biodiesel Supply and Distribution Systems, Paris, France
29 April 2014
EBA Sustainability of biogas workshop, Brussels, Belgium
12-16 May 2014
Bioenergy School: Feedstocks & Conversion Technologies, London, United Kingdom
8-11 June 2014
Summer School on Catalysis of Biomass, Liblice Castle, Bysice, Czech Republic
7-10 July 2014
3rd European Biorefining Training School, Budapest, Hungary
17 July 2014
Workshop on Sustainability Assessment of Integrated Biorefineries, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Links to a number of new biofuels reports have been added to the EBTP Reports Database. Links to biofuels presentations are also included on relevant pages of the EBTP website. Recent examples include:
Wasted - Europe's Untapped Resource: An assessment of advanced biofuels from wastes and residues
ICCT, NNFFC, IEEP
Use of sustainably-sourced residues and waste streams for advanced biofuel production in the European Union: rural economic impacts and potential for job creation
NNFFC for the European Climate Foundation
Carbon Intensity of Marginal Petroleum and Corn Ethanol Fuels
Susan Boland and Stefan Unnasch, Life Cycle Associates
Prospects for Agricultural Markets and Income in the EU 2013-2023
EC Agriculture and Rural Development
Tomorrow's Biorefineries - Presentations from the Conference
BIOCORE, EUROBIOREF, SUPRABIO
European Workshop on biomethane - markets, value chains and applications
Urban Biogas, Green Gas Grids, Biomaster
A harmonised Auto-Fuel biofuel roadmap for the EU to 2030
E4Tech on behalf of Daimler, Honda, Neste, OMV, Shell and Volkswagen
Report on Innovative Financial Instruments for the Implementation of the SET Plan, First-Of-A-Kind projects
Measuring and Assessing Investment Risk in the Second Generation Biofuels Industry
Castalia Strategic Advisors, John Hopkins University, International Council on Clean Transport
EU Biofuels Investment Development: Impact of an Uncertain Policy Environment
The future landscapes of bioeconomy: Hungary
A Climate - KIC Bioeconomy platform study
EBTP-SABS would be pleased to help disseminate links to newsletters from relevant biofuels and advanced bioenergy organisations in Europe. Please forward details to firstname.lastname@example.org
This newsletter is produced on behalf of the EBTP by the EBTP-SABS project team, funded under FP7. The broad aim of EBTP-SABS is to enhance communciations and networking among Advanced Biofuels Stakeholders from research, industry, government, NGOs, feedstocks production, end use and related areas in all European countries.
The contents of this newsletter are copyright © EBTP-SABS 2014
The content of this newsletter cannot be considered as the European Commission’s official position and neither the European Commission, EBTP-SABS, EBTP nor any person acting on
behalf of these organisation is responsible for the use which might be made of it. Although EBTP-SABS endeavours to deliver a high level of service, no guarantee can be given on the correctness or completeness of the content of this newsletter and neither the European Commission, EBTP nor EBTP-SABS are responsible or may be held accountable for any loss suffered as a result of reliance upon the content of this newsletter.