Friday, June 22, 2007

UK takes the lead in biofuels certification


21 June 2007 – Today Douglas Alexander, UK Minister of Transport
announced a package of measures on the sustainability of biofuels
supplied under the RTFO. He also launched a public consultation on how
carbon and sustainability reporting should operate under the Renewable
Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO).

"We are one of the first countries to develop a detailed methodology to
allow transport fuel suppliers to report in detail on the carbon and
sustainability impacts of their biofuels", said the UK Minister of
Transport. The Minister announced that sustainability will be mandatory
from 2011 to earn certificates and that certificates will be issued,
also based on the carbon savings realised. The strong government
statement makes sustainability an even more important aspect for all
bio-energy players.

The consultation paper lists three main targets:

* The level of greenhouse gas savings expected from the use of
biofuels: 40% in 2008/09 compared to fossil fuels, 50% in 2009/10 and
60% in 2010/11;
* The proportion of those biofuels that is expected to come from
feed stocks meeting acknowledged sustainability standards (50% in
2009/10, rising to 80% in 2010/11) and
* The amount of specific information that is expected to be
included in sustainability reports (35% of the relevant data fields
within the monthly reports in 2008/09, 65% in 2009/10, and 80% in 2010/11).

The scope and format of monthly and annual reports, the verification
requirements and the default values to be used to calculate the carbon
savings offered by different biofuels when precise data are not
available, are the main topics that the consultation covers

The RTFO, that is modeled after the existing Renewables Obligation in
the UK electricity supply industry, is due to start in April 2008. In
order to receive Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs), biofuel
suppliers will be required to submit monthly and (if they apply for
450,000 or more certificates in an obligation period) annual reports on
both the net Greenhouse Gas savings and the sustainability of the
biofuels they supply. The Obligation will require companies to sell a
minimum of 2.5% renewable transport fuels in the UK in 2008/2009 and 5%
in 2010/2011. This is expected to save about 1 million tonnes of carbon
a year. The years 2008-2011 are regarded as an initial phase of the RTFO.

The final version of the reporting requirements will be published by the
RTFO Administrator as soon as possible, but not earlier than on 13
September, when the consultation closes.

Find more on this topic on UK's Department for Transport website at

Check for earlier Pacific Biofuel posts:

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