A pivotal moment for advanced biofuels?

Global advanced biofuel capacity is low, and substantial scale-up is needed in order to meet EU climate targets, according to a recent study by E4tech for the European Commission. Advanced biofuels could play an important role in decarbonising the transport sector, offer an economic opportunity for the EU, and are strongly supported in the revised Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). Current technologies for the production of advanced biofuels are at varying degrees of commercialisation. EU production capacity for non-oil-based routes to advanced biofuels is only 250 thousand tonnes per year, but an additional 1 million tonnes of capacity is planned in the EU. Plants are generally located in regions with strong policy support, particularly when it is available at several points along the value chain.

E4tech carried out a review of the status of advanced biofuels in the EU and globally for the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), in order to provide evidence to support European policymaking through the Low Carbon Energy Observatory. The review includes a database of companies developing advanced biofuel production technologies and plants operating or under development. It describes incentives and policy support available to advanced biofuels in a range of countries including the USA, Brazil, China and every EU Member State. And, it provides scenarios for the potential development of advanced biofuel supply to 2030 in Europe and Globally. Reaching the 2030 RED II advanced biofuel target through EU-based production will be challenging, but can be achieved using imports from outside the EU. Strong policy support will be key in promoting demand for advanced biofuels, whilst on the supply-side actions to facilitate project financing, availability of sufficient high-quality sustainable feedstock, and, where required, refuelling infrastructure for vehicles running new fuel types or blends will be key.

E4tech have in-depth knowledge of the alternative fuels industry, and are experienced in providing strategic advice to industry and governments based on technical, economic, market and sustainability analysis. For more information about E4tech’s work in alternative fuels, see this link.

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