Here’s an update on recent news items and other public policy developments in recent weeks relating to the development and commercialization of renewable fuels around the world.
European Parliament report on ILUC. The Industry Committee of the European Parliament has issued a report on indirect land use change (ILUC) under the Renewable Energy Directive that is attracting opposition from the biofuels industry. The report concluded that different biofuels have different potential impacts on ILUC, and recommended that the RED take these differences into account in measuring progress towards meeting GHG reduction goals. Industry sources are critical of the methodology the EC uses to measure ILUC.
Biofuel industry opposition to EC’s ILUC proposal. In late April, a coalition of biofuel industry associations in Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the UK issued a joint statement critical of the recent European Commission proposals to amend the RED and to take indirect land use change (ILUC) into account. The group’s statement criticizes the Commission’s ILUC stance as “based on very uncertain science” and “triggered by the non-factual food vs. fuel debate”. The paper also took issue with other aspects of the proposed RED revision, stating that the proposed 5% cap on food-derived biofuels is a “setback” from current market share, and criticizing the focus on advanced biofuels, which the paper maintains “demonizes” first generation biofuels.
U.S. senators challenge EU anti-dumping duty. On April 29, a bipartisan group of 14 U.S. senators sent a letter to the Acting U.S. Trade Representative and the Acting Secretary of Commerce, recommending that the U.S. ask the World Trade Organization to challenge the duty on U.S.-produced fuel ethanol that was recently imposed by the European Union.
Looking at it from another perspective, the EU’s anti-dumping duty on U.S. ethanol is predicted to provide a boost to European ethanol production. In 2011, U.S. imports accounted for 20% of the EU market, but analyst F.O. Licht now projects this market share to decrease to less than 5%. This is said to open opportunities for European ethanol producers.
It has been reported that fuel refiners in India are rushing to produce or procure enough ethanol to fulfill the government’s mandate to blend 5% ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supplies. The mandate is due to take effect on June 30, 2013.
Also in India, the Ethanol Manufacturers’ Association has decided to again approach the national government to demand a price for ethanol that is high enough to cover manufacturing costs in all regions of the country, including those states with the highest production costs.
The government of Thailand has set ambitious goals that call for alternative fuels to make up 44% of fuel consumption by 2021, but a spokesman for the Federation of Thai Industries says that this goal is unlikely to be met. The Federation says that meeting the goals, which would require an 8-fold increase in demand from 5 million liters per day to 40 million, is “too challenging”.
Brazil instituted tax breaks and low-cost credit lines to support domestic ethanol production and promote lower prices. Industry sources favored the move but said they fell short of what the industry needed.
The government of Zimbabwe has approved the use of E85 ethanol in flex-fuel vehicles. The country’s Energy Regulatory Authority announced the move, which is expected to help reduce prices at the pump, on April 10.
Sudan has instituted an E10 blending program, in partnership with private companies Kenana and Nile Petroleum.
Previous Biofuel Policy Watch posts on international biofuel news:
- International Biofuel News, April 3, 2013
- International Biofuel News, March 6, 2013
- Biodiesel News (and international biodiesel mandates), March 5, 2013
- The Proposed EU Trade Action Against US Ethanol, January 29, 2013
- International Ethanol Mandates, January 25, 2013
- The Proposed Revision to the EU RED, January 22, 2013
D. Glass Associates, Inc. is a consulting company specializing in government and regulatory support for renewable fuels and industrial biotechnology. David Glass, Ph.D. is a veteran of over thirty years in the biotechnology industry, with expertise in industrial biotechnology regulatory affairs, U.S. and international renewable fuels regulation, patents, technology licensing, and market and technology assessments. Dr. Glass also serves as director of regulatory affairs for Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc. More information on D. Glass Associates’ government and regulatory consulting capabilities, and copies of some of Dr. Glass’s prior presentations on biofuels and biotechnology regulation, are available at www.slideshare.net/djglass99 and at www.dglassassociates.com. The views expressed in this blog are those of Dr. Glass and D. Glass Associates and do not represent the views of Joule Unlimited Technologies, Inc. or any other organization with which Dr. Glass is affiliated. Please visit our other blog, Advanced Biotechnology for Biofuels.