Renewable energy sources, including bioethanol, should take centre-stage in Europe's push to decrease its dependence on Russian oil and gas imports, writes Rob Vierhout, Secretary General of ePure, the European Renewable Ethanol Industry Association.
The European Renewable Ethanol Industry Association (ePURE) has published its first ever State of the Industry Report. The report gives a comprehensive overview of the situation of renewable ethanol production and consumption in Europe today and sets out the opportunities and challenges for the industry’s future. The impact of EU policy on the ethanol industry is closely examined throughout the report.
Air pollution is costing advanced economies plus China and India an estimated USD 3.5 trillion a year in premature deaths and ill health and the costs will rise without government action to limit vehicle emissions, a new OECD report says. In OECD countries, around half the cost is from road transport, with diesel vehicles producing the most harmful emissions. Traffic exhaust is a growing threat in fast-expanding cities in China and India, as the steady increase in the number of cars and trucks on the road undermines efforts to curb vehicle emissions.
From time to time I go to the plants of ePURE members to get up to speed on the latest developments in the sector I defend and represent. Recently I went to see what I consider a state-of-the-art production facility in Belgium. The 300,000 cubic meter (77.8 MMgy) plant runs two-thirds on wheat and one-third on the juice from sugar beets (molasses or sugar juice). The plant has a number of characteristics and coproducts that make it very special. The most remarkable element is the way this plant is generating its energy. Unlike most of the U.S. and European Union ethanol plants, it produces about 90 percent of its energy needs itself, in this case, by burning the bran (hard outer layer) of cereal. It is similar to what Brazilian plants do with the bagasse left over from processing sugar cane.