• EU approuved 10 Sustainability schemes for biofuels

    by   Luisa Daidone

    August 06, 2012

    Since 19 July 2011, the EC has recognised voluntary schemes that applies directly to 27 EU Member States. Schemes include the Assessment report and the Commission Implementing Decision.

    In order to receive government support or count towards mandatory national renewable energy targets, biofuels used in the EU (whether locally produced or imported) have to comply with sustainability criteria. These criteria aim at preventing the conversion of areas of high biodiversity and high carbon stock for the production of raw materials for biofuels. The entire biofuels’ production and supply chain has to be sustainable. To this end, the sustainability of biofuels needs to be checked by Member States or through voluntary schemes which have been approved by the European Commission (EC).

    1. ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification)
    2. Bonsucro EU
    3. RTRS EU RED (Round Table on Responsible Soy EU RED)
    4. RSB EU RED (Roundtable of Sustainable Biofuels EU RED)
    5. 2BSvs (Biomass Biofuels voluntary scheme)
    6. RBSA (Abengoa RED Bioenergy Sustainability Assurance)
    7. Greenergy (Greenergy Brazilian Bioethanol verification programme)
    8. Ensus voluntary scheme under RED for Ensus bioethanol production
    9. Red Tractor (Red Tractor Farm Assurance Combinable Crops & Sugar Beet Scheme)

    10. SQC (Scottish Quality Farm Assured Combinable Crops (SQC) scheme)

    Source: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/biofuels/sustainability_schemes_en.htm


  • The harmonization of the Italian institutional framework for Directives 2009/28/EC and 2009/30/EC

    by   Luisa Daidone

    August 06, 2012

    Italy have implemented the Renewable Energy Directive, in order to develop the sustainable production of biofuels.

    An important decree 28/2011 was approved last year, introduced for the promotion and use of sustainable biofuels in  transport.

    Over the last year after, this important law a National System of Sustainability Certification for biofuels was activated.

    The most important laws regarding biofuels are:

    • Decree of the Ministry of environment 11 June 2012, Amendments to the National System of Sustainability Certification of biofuels and bioliquids;
    • Decree of National System of Sustainability Certification.23 January 2012, National System of Sustainability Certification for biofuels and bioliquids;
    • Decree of the Ministry of environment of 31 March 2011, n.55 implementation of Directive 2009/30/EC;
    • Decree No. 201 of March 3, N. 28 implementation Directive 2009/28/EC.

    The main important Italian laws can be found on the Virtual Library.


  • +3% the increase in EU biofuel trasport consumption in 2011

    by   Luisa Daidone

    July 25, 2012

    The annual Biofuels Barometer is published by Eurobserver.

    Biofuel consumption in transport continued to increase in the European Union. According to first available figures, it should stabilise at around 13.6 Mtoe (millions of tonnes of oil equivalent) in 2011, compared to 13.2 Mtoe of consumption in 2010. It is too early to say whether all this consumption meets the Renewable Energy Directive’s sustainability criteria, because the majority of the sustainability systems had yet to be set up in 2011 (see insert p. 47).

    While consumption continued to increase in Europe, the growth of biofuel consumption in transport steadily slipped. Growth was only 3.o % between 2010 and 2011, down from 10.7% between 2009 and 2010, 24.6% between 2008 and 2009 and 41.7% between 2007 and 2008. The reason for this downslide is the 2020 target that requires less effort than that of the 2003 Biofuel Direc­tive (which aimed at a 5.75% share in 2010) and has also pushed back the date by which Member States must incorporate biofuel into their national markets. Today’s priority is to ensure that the biofuel consumed within their national boundaries meets the sustainability criteria set in the Directive. Thus Germany, France and other EU countries have set a threshold before they decide on any future increase in their incorporation rate. Some impor­ter countries (primarily Central European) have lowered their incorporation rate or kept it low to ease their economies as they ride out the recession. Between 2010 and 2011, just a handful of countries decided to increase their biofuel incorporation rates in the fuel total – namely, Finland (4 to 6%), Poland (5.75 to 6.2%), Italy (3.5 to 4%), Spain (5.83 to 6.2%), Bulgaria (3.5% to 5% in volume), the Netherlands (4 to 4.25%) and Denmark (first quota set at 3.5%).

    Biodiesel is still the main biofuel in European transport with a 78% share of total consumption, as against 21% for bioethanol. Biogas fuel consumption (0.5%) is still a purely Swedish phenomenon and vegetable oil consumption has reverted to marginal status (0.5%) since Germany started taxing this product.

    Sales of E10, a fuel made up of 90% unleaded petrol and 10% bioethanol by volume in some countries are behind the faster growth in bioethanol consumption (6.2% up on 2010) compared to biodiesel (2.4%). The European Commission would like E10 to be the main petrol fuel used in all the Member States by 2013.


    Source: http://www.eurobserv-er.org/pdf/baro212.pdf


  • Economic potential of producing sweet sorghum as an annual bioenergy crop in the state of Florida

    by   Anna Fragkidou

    July 12, 2012

    A study conducted by the  University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) evaluated the economic potential of producing sweet sorghum as an annual bioenergy crop in the state of Florida. An enterprise budget indicated that it would cost about $1,620 per acre to produce a plant (first) and a ratoon (second) crop of sweet sorghum for energy on the mineral soils of South Florida.

    Harvest and transportation, account for over two-thirds of total production expenses and are directly related to energy consumption. These costs are increasing significantly, when transport miles are greater and energy prices rise proportionately. Fertilizer prices have risen in recent years with energy prices and continue to fluctuate. Moreover there are other expenses involving fuel used in tillage, planting, and cultivation that also consume energy directly, thus fluctuating with energy prices. The high expenses for energy use must be surpassed by the energy produced by the crop. The budget assumes a total yield of 45 tons per acre for the plant (30 tons/acre) and ratoon (15 tons/acre) crops (average of 22.5 tons per crop). Assuming 14 gallons of ethanol are derived from fermentation per wet ton, a yield of over 600 gallons of ethanol could be realized from these 45 tons. Breakeven cost evaluations indicated that at the base yield of 45 tons per acre, ethanol would need to have a value of at least $3.12 per gallon for the ethanol producer to break even at this yield level when two crops of sweet sorghum are harvested. The previous analysis assumed that two crops of sweet sorghum were grown in one year and that they were harvested and transported as corn for silage, which conveys very high transportation costs.

    The results of the study showed that, if sweet sorghum can be produced as a rotation crop and some of the practices in the sugarcane industry can be utilized, sweet sorghum can become profitable as ethanol prices rise. For this expectation to be fully realized, however, improved varieties with higher yields of sugar and with pest resistance, fertilizer nutrient efficiencies, and alternative utilizations (grain, bagasse, vinasse, etc.) will need further research and development to reduce energy and dollar investments in producing sweet sorghum, boost revenue, and increase overall profitability.

    Source : Economic Potential of Sweet Sorghum for Ethanol Production in South Florida, Zane R. Helsel and José Álvarez

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