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Biofuels Directive consultation launched

The Department for Transport has launched a 12-week consultation on implementing the Biofuels Directive, which could see an increase in the amount of biodiesel sold in the UK.

Currently, the main type of biofuel on sale in the UK is biodiesel made from recycled waste vegetable oils. In the future, however, fuels could encompass biodegradable municipal waste.

Transport Minister David Jamieson said: The Government is already supporting biofuels by means of fuel duty incentives. We are seeking views on what more we might do to encourage the development and use of biofuels, and on the levels of biofuels sales targets that we might set for 2005 and 2010.

The Government estimates that the UK could use as much as 12 million litres per month in 2005, a six-fold increase. Because most biodiesel was used in a blend of up to 5%, this would also mean that as much as 10% of all diesels used in the UK would include an element of biofuel.

While this could seem low when compared with Europe, the Governments consultation said it represented a realistic target.

Jamieson added: There is clearly a balance to be struck between the costs of biofuels and the benefits that they offer. Todays biofuels are relatively expensive, especially when compared with fossil fuel alternatives. Their costs may come down in future, but in the meantime we need to ensure that the costs to society and to motorists of meeting the targets we set ourselves do not outweigh the benefits of meeting them.

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