Study: EU has sufficient feedstock to ramp up advanced biofuel production


With its new, higher Fit for 55 ambitions for decarbonisation, the EU will need to mobilise a wide range of emissions-reduction solutions. As international organisations such as the International Energy Agency and IRENA have pointed out, this includes a significant boost in the use of sustainable biofuels – including both crop-based and advanced cellulosic ethanol.

This remains true even as electromobility becomes more mainstream. Europeans continue to buy vehicles that run all or in part on liquid fuel. Low-carbon fuels such as renewable ethanol remain the most immediate, sustainable, cost-effective and socially inclusive solution to reducing their emissions.

Fortunately, the EU has the capability to significantly upscale these renewable, sustainably produced biofuels. A new study from Imperial College London commissioned by Concawe dispels doubts that Europe has enough biomass feedstock to increase production of advanced biofuels.

The study assessed the availability of sustainable feedstock in three different scenarios (low, medium and high mobilization of feedstock) and found that the total EU potential sustainable biomass availability (agriculture, forestry and biowastes) is more than sufficient to supply feedstock for bio-based liquid fuels to aviation, maritime and a share of road transport.

The study also found that the increased use of available feedstock will have no negative effect biodiversity.

As John Cooper of FuelsEurope wrote recently in POLITICO Europe, “Policy incentives, favourable taxation schemes and other supporting measures will be critical to support the scaling up of these fuels and progressively reduce their cost, through the creation of economies of scale and through the repayment of the capital cost.”

Coupled with production of sustainable biofuels from crop-based biomass, the growth in these advanced biofuels will be crucial to achieving Fit for 55.

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