A new EU directive sets a mandatory 10 percent goal for biofuels until 2020. The goal is part of a broad climate and energy package with several parts that have an impact on the transport sector.
EU estimates that using bioethanol saves on average between 16 and 71 % of greenhouse gas emissions (if produced with no net carbon emissions from land use change).
There was intense debate and negotiation before the EU in December agreed upon a package of legislation, including the Directive on Renewable Energy Sources (RES). The package defines the following targets:
- 20 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990 levels by 2020.
- 20 percent increase in the use of renewable energy by 2020.
- 20 percent cut in energy consumption through improved energy efficiency by 2020.
Within the RES Directive, there is also a 10 percent target for transport fuels such as bioethanol and other biofuels.
The mandatory goal replaces a voluntary 5.75 percent target by 2010, which was established in 2003 and implemented by individual member states through a variety of policies.
The new legislation also includes biofuel sustainability criteria. Another regulation (2007/0297 COD) sets targets on CO2 emissions from cars. It states that the fleet average to be achieved by all cars registered in the EU is 130 g CO2/km by 2015.
The car manufacturer will have to pay penalties if their fleet exceeds the emissions limit value. Heavier cars are allowed higher emissions than lighter cars while preserving the overall fleet average.
Included in the legislation package is also a Fuel Quality Directive, which will allow higher ethanol blends up to 10 percent (E10). To avoid potential damage to old cars, petrol containing maximum 5 percent ethanol will still be on the market until at least 2013.
Further reading on the BEST newsletter # 4 can be viewed at the following link - http://www.best-europe.org/upload/BEST_documents/info_documents/BEST_News_4.pdf