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Biofuels in Europe at the crossroads

There are a number of key issues facing the EU biofuels sector going forward which suggest that the sector has reached a crossroads.  In September 2012 in a major U-turn the European Commission proposed to move the goalposts by altering the nature of mandated targets and cap the contribution of first generation biofuels based on sugar, cereals and vegetable oils at 5% of total energy use in the transport sector by 2020, i.e. half the mandated 10% contribution of total renewable energy.  More recently the EU and the US announced that they were to negotiate a free trade agreement which could potentially cut tariffs on ethanol in future.  The outcome of these developments and discussions has potentially profound impacts for the EU biofuels supply chain from the farmer to the fuel consumer.

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