Biofuel Industry News

  • The EU has the largest biodiesel market in the world

New EU biodiesel policy postponed

Oct 23 2013 Read 1010 Times

The EU has postponed the implementation of a policy regime for biodiesels. The Environment (ENVI) Committee of the European Parliament has voted against the negotiations with Member States that would lead to the capping of food crop biodiesel use. As well as reducing food crop biofuel usage, the policy would also result in the measuring of emissions created during biodiesel production. 

It is expected that creation of new biodiesel policy will be delayed until 2015, in a move that many in the industry are condemning. Biodiesel makes up around 80 per cent of the biofuel that is produced with the EU and the EU biodiesel market is the largest in the world. Companies throughout the sector have said that the lack of a stable policy regime could affect them and their investors.

Approval was granted last month for the current regulations to be reviewed by the European Parliament. However, a second reading is needed of the motion to begin negotiations with Member States, as it only passed by one vote. Although the case for fast-tracking the second reading was argued by MEP Corinne Lepage, rapporteur of the biodiesels draft, who said that the industry wanted a "quick result", it is likely that the second reading could be delayed for up to a year due to the approaching end of the current parliamentary term.

A total of 15 companies within the industry have called on the EU to begin the second-reading process so that a policy regime can be in place before May 2014's elections. However, companies that produce conventional biodiesel from food stock are opposing the fast-tracking of the second reading. This is likely because any new policy will affect them the most and could result in financial losses.

The ENVI decision has been condemned by Kare Riis Nielsen, director of European affairs at Novozymes. He said that the delayed policy was "bad news for industry and investors who need clarity".

"Once again policy-makers are delaying decision-making on indirect land use change (iLUC). Ongoing regulatory uncertainty is jeopardising all the parallel EU efforts to attract much needed investments in innovative renewable energy technologies, including in advanced biofuels.

"Despite the absence of mandate, we are urging Member States to continue the negotiations on the iLUC proposal and finalise their first reading position before the end of the Lithuanian Presidency."

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