How much is relevant to the effective involvement of local government, policy makers, industry, research and development programs, financing and communications plans for a really cost-competitive and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels?
A first answer to this question has been given by the Chief Executive Officers of seven Leading European biofuel producers and European airlines, who gathered in Bruxelles on the 4th February 2013 to launch a new industry led initiative in order to speed up the deployment of advanced sustainable biofuels in Europe.
The sustainability initiative, called “Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels”, has been created in order to support the development of second generation biofuels in the European Union. The leaders of big companies such as Chemtex, British Airways, BTG, Chemrec, Clariant, Dong Energy and UPM have decided to join forces to ensure the market uptake of advanced sustainable biofuels by all transport sectors.
These CEOs believe that 2nd Generation and Advanced Biofuels (2GAB), which are made from no-food competing feed stocks, could represent today and in the near future one of the major industry opportunities to save our planet and respond to the challenges of climate change, while making progress in the sustainable energy technology field.
The members of the Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels are committed in developing and investing in innovative advanced and environmentally sound 2GAB industrial systems, bringing the technologies into commercial deployment on a global scale.
As the world is taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 2GAB can be a key part of the solution to reduce greenhouse-gases (GHGs), because they are cost-competitive, and they do not compete with food and have a considerably lower environmental impact than traditional fuels, made from petroleum oil or natural gas.
Significant 2GAB production could be deployed today, provided that a policy and regulatory framework enabling long-term investment is implemented. In Europe 10% of all fuels by 2020 must be alternative fuels, the large majority being biofuels.
Latest studies indicate that second-generation biofuels can reduce GHG emissions by at least 65%; while, first-generation biofuels, made from corn, wheat, soy or palm provide only modest reductions in greenhouse gases and can push up food prices.
During this first Bruxelles meeting, the seven “Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels” have established a common strategy based on several actions, aimed at accelerating market penetration and technology deployment and use. In particular:
- Accelerate research and innovation into emerging biofuel technologies, including algae and new conversion pathways, supported by public and private R&D programs;
- Work together with the supply chain to further develop worldwide accepted sustainability certification;
- Establish financing structures to facilitate the implementation of sustainable biofuel projects;
- Publicly promote the benefits of advanced sustainable biofuels.
- Plan to address national policy makers, the European Commission and the European Parliament with a single voice;
- Invite the rest of the sustainable biofuels industry to follow them on the same path.
Moreover, they want to:
- Liaise and interface with the other EU related groups such as the European Biofuels Technology Platform and the European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative;
- Work in cooperation and interface with the other international similar groups such as IEA Bioenergy Implementing Agreement and the Global Bioenergy Initiative;
- Address and close the existing gap in terms of technology representation, financial instruments, policy development and lack of market incentives both at EU and national level.
The “Leaders of Sustainable Biofuels” is a strategic corporate initiative to further stimulate the EU policy towards accelerated industrial research and innovation into emerging biofuel technologies, including algae and new conversion pathways, supported by public and private policies promoting deployment, as well as reduced fossil energy imports in the European Union.