Nordic countries and the U.S. show how ambitious, resilient - but straightforward - policy can create markets for renewable fuels that recruit investment into the bioeconomy. What should the EU do - or not do - to create thriving markets for biofuels and bio-based products?
Given that biofuels are the only proven solution to reduce GHG emissions from transport in the short- to mid-term, and that EU Member states are hard at work implementing REDII, while contemplating an EU Green Deal-inspired RED III, the time is right to extract learnings and best practices from some of the most successful biofuel markets in the world.
Policy in the EU strives for energy security and gradual decarbonization, especially in highly polluting sectors like transport, through innovation and improved value chains. However, despite progress in renewable electricity generation and early rapid deployment of electric vehicles in the EU market, light and heavy-duty road vehicles still account for nearly three-quarters of transport CO2 emissions, while emissions from aviation and marine will continue to rise in a post-Covid19 world, as well.
The European Green Deal calls for ever more ambitious GHG emission reductions across all sectors, transport included, with challenging targets for 2030, less than 10 years from now. Revised EU decarbonization targets for 2030 will likely call for 2.5 times the 2020 volumes, as commercial transport fuel demand is not expected to be dramatically reduced. At the same time, policymakers expect mostly non-mature “advanced” biofuels, produced from relatively new feedstocks and technologies,t o provide at least 3/4 of this new demand.
The challenge of dramatically increasing the amount of renewable fuel to market on a short timescale invites creative thinking. We believe that inspiration can be found in regions with the most ambitious and successful biofuel markets in the world. The goal is not necessarily to replicate their approach, but to extract the essential learnings for application across a wide variety of countries featuring diverse resources and capacities for biorefinery deployment.
Chair & Moderator