EU Council proposes lower crop-based biofuel cap post-2020


EU energy ministers agreed Monday on a proposal allowing member states to reduce their overall targets for renewable energy in transport if they lower the cap on crop-based biofuels below the previously agreed 7% post-2020.

European ethanol association ePURE criticized the move Tuesday as "an unfortunate turn in the wrong direction for the fight against climate change."

Coupled with the use of artificial multipliers for other renewable energy sources, such a move would have an even more damaging effect on the domestic biofuels industry, ePURE said.

"The EU needs to agree a clear way forward for its biofuels policy after years of policy uncertainty," said Emmanuel Desplechin, Secretary General of ePURE. "Only a stable policy framework can restore investors' confidence and allow existing biofuels operations to run. As it stands now, the European Commission, parliament and council are all sending mixed messages, with fossil fuels as the only clear winner."

The council proposals on renewable energy targets will be subject to negotiation with the European Parliament next year.

This forms part of a set of proposals to implement the EU's commitment to a 2030 renewable target of 14% for transport for each member state, including a 3% sub-target for "advanced biofuels" and allowing double-counting.

Electromobility is also strongly encouraged by two multipliers of 5x for renewable electricity used in road transport, and of 2x for rail transport.

In addition, member states will have the possibility of opening up their national support schemes across borders to generators of renewable energy in other member states, but the final decision on this will remain with them.

In relation to investments in renewable energy, the council text, like the commission's proposal, prevents unjustified retroactive changes to support schemes.


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