Brussels -- At tomorrow’s (March 5,2014) Energy Council meeting EU Energy Ministers must call for the introduc:on of a separate binding framework for debarbonisa:on and renewable energy use in transport as part of the 2030 climate and energy policy, says the European Renewable Ethanol Associa:on (ePURE). Failure to do so will leave Europe unable to meet it’s own climate objectives and further threaten energy security.
“Ministers must acknowledge the successes of the current policy in generating billions of litres of renewable fuels, mi8ga8ng GHG emissions in transport, helping to strengthen energysecurity, and keeping investment and jobs inside Europe. The current policy should be built upon, through the introduc8on of new measures to promote sustainable biofuels, both conven8onal and advanced”, said Mr. Rob Vierhout, Secretary General of ePURE.
The absence of speciﬁc, binding targets for renewable energy use in the transport sector, in the European Commission’s white paper, ignores the very pressing need to decarbonize transport, whose emissions have steadily increased by 36% since 1990 and now account for 26% of the total EU emissions. Without a dedicated framework for transport, Europe will fail to achieve the binding target of 40% GHG emissions reduc:ons put forward by the Commission. In the short-to-medium term biofuels are the only cost-eﬀective (1) abatement tool available to reduce GHG emissions in transport.
Security of energy supply is also an important element that should not be overlooked, especially given the recent developments in Ukraine - considering that Russia is an important fuel supplier to Europe. Europe’s dependence on imported oil has reached 85%, with EU transport alone being 94% dependent on oil based fuels. Home-grown renewable fuels, such as ethanol made in Europe, have an important role to play in displacing some of these oil imports, which o^en come from unstable countries. Since 2003 domes:c renewable ethanol has displaced the need for 104 million barrels of oil and saved the EU oil bill EUR 6.1 billion in the process.
The current policy has been a success. Since the introduc:on of the RED and FQD targets, the use of biofuels in Europe has grown to about 5% of total transport energy, and is projected to reach 8% by 2020. A binding renewable energy use target in transport was key to providing the necessary guidance and predictability that encouraged investment in the sector. It is impera:ve for the EU to renew and increase these ambi:ons up to 2030 in order to ensure consistency, continuity, and to capitalize on the full beneﬁts of sustainable biofuels.